Mille. What is that – a million? Well, a thousand, but still, a lot. A Mille crêpe cake is one created from stacked crêpes that form layers. In between the crêpes can be just about anything from jam, curd, mousse, marscapone, whipped cream, pastry cream, and much more. The flavor possibilities are endless, with fruits or chocolate or nuts included.
Here are photos I discovered on Pinterest of Mille Crêpe cakes; photo credits below.
Aren’t they just stunning?
Just recently, my blogger friend Suzanne, from A Pug in the Kitchen, wrote a post that really spoke to me. She wrote about challenging herself in the kitchen, so as to present posts of her creations that were much more than “everyday” food.
All of us who follow Suzanne love her blog just as it is, plus admire her tireless work as a passionate animal advocate as well, but I completely understood what she was saying.
I actually went through this quite a few years ago, before I began my blog. It stemmed from the fact that my daughters had moved away, I had retired from catering, and I was only cooking for my husband. His meal requirements are simple, which is fine, but I missed the creativity from the years I cooked for others. And you can only have so many parties!
So I began making dishes that were “out of my comfort zone,” so to speak. One Christmas I made a yule log, for example, and it came out pretty darn well! And all of that led to me starting this blog almost four years ago, where I’m able to make dishes I consider fun, and use ingredients I personally love.
The only negative with food blogging, when there’s no one around to eat what you make, is that you must eat it all yourself, or feed friends who have similar tastes. That is challenging when my favorite foods are snails, steak tartare, pigs feet, pork belly, stinky cheese, and everything liver.
In any case, what also seemed poignant in Suzanne’s blog post was that she planned on taking a whole day off of work in order to make a Mocha Daquoise for her upcoming birthday!
I also had an April birthday, and I’d pondered making a Mille Crêpe cake for so long, that I decided it was finally time! In all honestly, Suzanne has a much bigger challenge on her hands.
To make this cake one must first make crêpes. Then I had to figure out a filling.
The very top middle photo is by Honestly Yum, and the filling is a mixture of marscapone and dulce de leche. I happened to have chestnut cream in my pantry. Mixed and lightened with marscapone will make a perfect filling.
For the top? So many options, but I thought of simply melted dark chocolate. Done.
Just to see if she had a Mille Crêpe in her book, I looked at Dorie Greenspan’s book “Around my French Table.”
She doesn’t have an actual cake recipe, but she had this to say.
To me, that sealed the deal. No recipe is really needed. Turns out this may not be as challenging as I previously thought, but still a little more attention to detail than what I typically put into a dish.
To make the crêpes, I followed my own recipe, adding a little vanilla extract. You might have your own tried-and-true recipe; just make sure you get 18 – 20 crêpes for the cake.
For the filling, I mixed together 32 ounces of marscapone and 12 ounces of chestnut cream, both at room temperature.
After refrigerating the crêpes overnight, I began the ordeal of stacking and filing them. It didn’t start well.
My filling was a bit on the thick side, even though it was at room temperature. At that point I probably should have added some whipped cream, but I didn’t. I pursued. I discovered that pressing with the top crêpe with my fingers was the best way to get the filling spread evenly, all the way to the edges.
This is important otherwise the cake would be domed in the middle. This was definitely tedious, but I persisted.
I covered the cake with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Then I proceeded to melt 12 ounces of dark, bittersweet chocolate. One bit of advice I read in a cookbook is that when you are tempering chocolate, you are melting it. You are not cooking it. I always have remembered that, and even if it takes a bit longer, I melt chocolate over very low heat.
Now comes the challenging part for me, as I am no pastry chef. If you haven’t figured that out already, you will definitely come to that conclusion on your own.
I gently poured the chocolate over the cake, and let some dribble down the sides. Then I refrigerated the cake for 30 minutes.
The cake sliced easily enough, although the hard chocolate shell wanted to crack.
That was when I realized I should have made a chocolate ganache instead of using melted chocolate. Oh well.
The cake itself was delicious, although a ganache would have made the “icing” more pleasant.
Will I make a mille crepe cake again? Probably not. But I’m glad I made it and survived my challenge. It was truly delicious. And, I ended up with a birthday cake that was just as enjoyable the next morning with coffee!
The green matcha cake is from http://matchatearecipes.co.uk/post/122421717800/matcha-mille-cake
The black and white cake is from https://www.buzzfeed.com/emilyhorng/awaken-your-dessert-love-sensors-with-this-black-white-mille?sub=4201473_8372322&utm_term=.nnJJKl0pQ#.vbZNyXZOz
The red velvet cake is from https://www.sweetandsavorybyshinee.com/
The Boston cream cake is from http://www.willcookforsmiles.com/2013/08/boston-cream-crepe-cake.html