Tag Archives: chocolate

Café au Lait Crepe Cake with Orange Cream Sauce

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Cafe au Lait Crepe CakeThis Café au Lait Crepe Cake with Orange Cream Sauce is my way of sending out a bad year and welcoming in a better New Year.  I wanted to do something special to reward all of us for doing our part and sticking it out.  Every part of this can be made ahead.  It can also be assembled ahead and refrigerated or frozen.

French Crepes for the Crepe Cake

This is actually an easy cake to make.  The crepes are a bit time consuming if you use one pan at a time but they can be made ahead and frozen.  Because the crepes are so delicate, the cake is easier to put together if the crepes are frozen. Please read my post on All Purpose French Crepes for a complete rundown on this French specialty with how to photos.

I used an 8” non stick pan to make these. The crepes themselves will be about 7”.  Have hand a stack of parchment paper or wax paper cut into 9” squares with which to stack the crepes as they come from the pan.

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour (235 grams or 8 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1 1/2 cups water
5 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 stick of butter for the pan

Place all but the stick of butter in a food processor (by batches if necessary).  If by batches, whisk together in a large bowl after processing.  Let rest for 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Over medium heat, swipe the pan with the stick of butter for the first crepe and every 4 or 5 after that. Ladle about 2 tablespoons or 1 liquid ounce of batter into the middle of the pan.  Quickly swirl the pan around to cover the bottom and about 1/4” up the side.

Brown on one side for about a minute or so, flip the crepe and brown the other side.  The first side of the cooked crepe is always the best looking.

Stack between paper as soon as it is done.  Cool to room temperature.  If not using immediately, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for a few days or place in a freezer bag and freeze for a month or so.

For use in the Crepe Cake, leave them frozen.

Yield:  About 24 crepes

Café au Lait Truffle Filling

The Café au Lait filling is from a line of truffles I designed some time ago. It calls for milk chocolate but semisweet could be substituted.  This can be made a week ahead and refrigerated.  Bring to room temperature to use.  It needs to be very soft but not liquid.

1 1/4 cups 40% cream
1 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee
15 ounces milk chocolate (425 grams)

Heat the cream and coffee until steaming.  Do not boil. Submerge the chocolate below the cream. Let sit 4 to 5 minutes.  Stir to incorporate chocolate, whisking gently towards the end to remove any lumps.  Pour into a storage container and bring to room temperature.  Refrigerate overnight or up to several weeks.  Bring to room temperature to fill the crepe cake.

Yield:  About 2 1/4 cups

Orange Cream Sauce for the Crepe Cake

The Orange Cream Sauceis a variation of the sauce for Crepes Suzette and was first featured in the Stuffed French Toast blog where you will find the how to photos.  This can be made days ahead and refrigerated.  Serve at room temperature.

The slightly tangy sauce compliments the richness of the cake.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons Curacao, Triple Sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons Brandy
1/4 cup 40% cream
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Melt butter in a saucepan.   Add the sugar, orange and lemon juice; bring to a boil and boil hard for 3 to 4 minutes until somewhat thickened.

Add the orange liqueur and brandy; boil another 2 minutes to return to thickness.  In the meantime whisk the cream and cornstarch together.

Remove the orange mixture from the heat and let the boiling subside.  Add the cream mixture; return to heat and, stirring constantly, bring back to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

Yield:  1 cup

Assembly

Crepes
Café au Lait Truffle Filling
Orange Cream Sauce

Remove the crepes from the freezer.  They may seem stuck together, but if you lift the paper under the crepe you should be able to slowly pull it away.  Also, after you get one side lifted, insert your hand under the crepe and it should pop off the stack.

Place one crepe on a serving plate or cake board.  If the crepes are at all moist, place a paper towel on top of them and press down to remove the moisture.  Blotting crepes for Cafe au Laiit Crepe Cake

Place one heaping tablespoon of the Café au Lait Truffle filling in the center of the crepe.Spoon of Filling Filling on Crepe Without delay, spread the it out to the edges, covering it entirely. Because the crepes are frozen and the filling is chocolate it will set up rapidly.Filling spread on crepe

Place another crepe on top of the filling and repeat the filling all the way to the top. Leave the top crepe plain.Cafe au Lait Crepe Cake filled

Wrap in film and refrigerate until completely set.Cake wrapped

When ready to serve, you can place a doilie on top and sprinkle it heavily with powdered sugar,  Carefully remove the doilie.Powdered sugar on Cafe au Lait cake

To serve, slice the Café au Lait Crepe Cake into about 12 servings. The servings may look small but the cake is very rich.Crepe Cake cut

Sarah Bernhardts – A Macaroon Like No Other

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Sarah BernhardtsWhile originally referred to as a petit four, Sarah Bernhardts can be a cookie or a dessert depending upon the size.  I have seen the various things used as fillings from buttercream to ganache.  I have used the truffle filling I made at the bakery.  Every fall, we would make these melt in your mouth Chocolate Chocolate Truffles with their rich, velvety filling, only to take them off as the weather warmed. Continue reading

All American Chocolate Creamsicle Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Creamsicle CakeThis Chocolate Creamsicle Cake is an updated version of one of the first cakes I made….a lot!  As you’ll see this recipe was atypical for me but being self-taught it took me a bit to build my confidence before I was able to get into scratch baking and pastry. Continue reading

Sky High Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Sky High Salted Caramel Chocolate PieThis Sky High Salted Caramel Chocolate  Pie is a make-ahead, no-bake chocolate pie that came to me while I was making the special dessert for Valentine’s Day this year at the restaurant.  It’s super easy with intensely deep, layered flavors of coffee and brandy which enhance the chocolate.  It can be frozen in part or as a finished dessert.  The really neat thing about this pie is that, when cut, it forms its own sauce as the salted caramel layer slowly oozes out to form a puddle around the base.   Continue reading

Zuccotto – Italy’s Secret Dessert

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

ZuccottoZuccotto has everything going for it so I’m not sure why it isn’t up there in the ranks of famous Italian desserts.  But I have rarely come across it.  Not exactly a cake, although it includes sponge cake, not exactly not a cake so we’ll settle on dessert.

My first attempt at Zuccotto left me unimpressed.  Perhaps because I am not a fan of ricotta cheese.  Adding whipped cream and mascarpone simply made three neutral flavors predominant.  So I went about using the flavors of Italy – amaretto, hazelnuts, cherries, candied orange, cinnamon, and chocolate to amp up the flavor and give it a lot of character.  As with many European desserts, this is not overly sweet.  Continue reading