Layered Crepe “Cake” with Nutella, Pastry Cream and Summer Berries

Again, my inspiration was from Girl in a Food Frenzy’s post on Crepes.  But this time, I decided to make them without the buckwheat flour.  I wanted them more sweet, less savoury, and have more of a cakey quality.  So I decided to look through my The Beautiful Cookbook: France, which had a recipe for Crepes Suzette.

I think someone somewhere has done the same thing that I’ve done, but I totally wanted a tasty, easy and ridiculously yummy cake to serve on Olympics Opening night…which just happened to be an impromptu celebration of another friends’ birthday.

So, I knew I wanted berries, I knew I wanted Nutella, and I knew I wanted Pastry Cream.  So, all three were combined.  And it was to die for my friends.  Truly, to die for.

Fairly easy to make, even better to eat, here’s the recipe for this simply exquisite “cake”:

For the crepes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

2 eggs

1 tsp sugar

3 drops vanilla extract

1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the pastry cream:

1 1/4 cups whole milk (or 2%)

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tbsp liqueur (grand marnier, kirsch etc)

1 cup Nutella or melted milk chocolate

3 cups mixed berries, such as strawberries (sliced), raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and currants

Powdered Sugar, for dusting

To make the crepes:

Mix all the ingredients and whisk vigorously, let rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

In the meantime, make the pastry cream.  In a medium, thick bottomed sauce pan, heat the milk and vanilla bean until just boiling.  In a large heat proof bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, flour and cornstarch.  When the milk is hot and just about to boil, pour into your egg mix and whisk continuously so that the eggs don’t curdle.  Pour all the milk in a slow stream and keep whisking until done.  Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat until it boils, always mixing, until it thickens.  When it has thickened, take off heat and keep whisking for another minute or so.  Add the liqueur.  Take out the vanilla pod and reserve covered with plastic wrap until using.

If you are using milk chocolate, melt in a double boiler.

Separate about 1/3 cup of pastry cream.

Mix the Nutella (or melted chocolate) into the large bowl of  pastry cream.

In a large sauté pan, heat a good knob of butter until it melts, then wipe away with some kitchen paper.  Add a ladle of crêpe batter, and swirl it around so it covers the whole pan.  Cook for about 40 seconds, and with a spatula lift off and cook the underside, 30 seconds more.  Continue to do this with all the batter.

To make the cake:

Layer nutella pastry cream and strawberries on a crêpe, top with another crêpe, and continue to do so until you don’t have any crepes left.  On the last crêpe, top with the 1/3 cup of pastry cream (without chocolate) top with the mixed berries and currants.  Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, and just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

 

 

 

 

Apricot, Blueberry and Rosemary Galette

To me, summer means stone fruit and berries.  Mouth-watering cherries, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums.  Ripe and succulent blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and the such.

Yesterday at our market, we overdosed on these.  We bought about 20 apricots, those fabulous flat peaches, which they call Paraguayos here, nectarines and blueberries.  I was pretty certain we couldn’t consume all that fruit before it goes bad…..but that is us.  We see things and we want them, thinking that we are going to go on a fruit fast or something.  But not so, because well, you know about how much food I brought back from Switzerland.

Since Sundays are our official lazy days, I figured, why not make a galette?  It is such an unfussy dessert, I love the free form crust, flaky yet consistent enough to hold all that fruit.  I chose to make the dough with rosemary, because my little plant is doing quite well, and I love rosemary in savoury and sweet dishes.  I also decided to fill it with apricots and blueberries.  That way, I am sure none of our fruit will go bad.

This is really easy to make, feel free to add any other herbs to your dough to make it your own.  And for these lazy summer days, nothing is nicer than a no-fuss galette with a glass of lemonade or iced tea.

Enjoy!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

For the galette:

Makes 2 disks

3 cups flour

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

16 tbsp butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, chilled

2/3 cup ice water.

1 small sprig of rosemary

2 tbsp of sanding sugar

1 tbsp cream

Filling:

6 apricots, halved, and then slice the halves in two.

a handful of blueberries

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the flour, sugar and salt.  Mix on low-speed with the paddle attachment.  Add the butter, and mix until incorporated, and looks like wet sand, but there are still some big chunks of the butter that are visible.  Add the rosemary and mix.

Add the ice water all at once, and mix until incorporated.  Don’t overmix.  Gather the dough, and shape into two balls.  Wrap in plastic and shape into disks.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Take out the dough, and roll out one of your disks to whatever shape you want, square, rectangle, round.  Place on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment.  Arrange the fruit in the style that you most like, and then fold up the sides.  With a galette, you are the artist.  If you only want a tiny little peek of what’s inside, make the borders 4-5 inches.  If not, a good rule of thumb is stick to two inches.

Press some of the sanding sugar onto the borders of the dough, and sprinkle a little bit on the fruit.  Brush the entire galette, fruit and all, with the cream.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let cool a little before serving.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla