Sometimes I just can’t help myself. When I make cupcakes, I can’t help tasting the butter cream It’s not like I don’t know what butter cream tastes like, it’s just that I want to make sure it tastes…good…which of does of course. It tastes the exact same every time, but for some reason I gotta taste it. Same goes for after I pipe the icing onto the cakes and I’m left with a bowl with the drags of the icing. Gotta taste it, because I don’t remember if it’s good or not…right?!
Today I made an Almond Crépe Cake. I tasted the almond filling after it was made, and it was delicious. About a minute later, after taking the crépe batter out of the fridge, I tasted it again. Not because I didn’t know it was delicious, but because it was just…sitting there.
My issue is that by the time whatever I’m making goes into the oven, I’m already sick of it due to tasting it too much along the way. So when I actually taste what i’m eating when it’s all pretty on my plate, I’m not excited to eat it! It’s a problem I’m working on fixing…it’s just that sometimes I forget I’m trying to fix it.
Pictured above is the apple crépe cake I made last fall. After hours of searching the internet and not finding anything inspiring to do with the apples in the fruit bowl, I decided to grab a cookbook. After only a few minutes of searching, I came across this cake. Immediately I knew it had to follow dinner that night. Funny how I completely forgot to actually look at one of the many cookbooks on my shelf. I’m being brainwashed I say! So after enjoying this apple cake so much, I decided to make the almond one to see if it could compare. Personally I enjoy the apple one, because crépes and fruit are just meant to be together. The almond one is delicious as well, especially when it’s cooled completely. Which one do you think would be your favourite?
I enjoyed both these cakes the next morning for breakfast 🙂
Both these recipes are adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and they are delicious hot, warm and cold.
Gàteau de Crépes à la Normande (Mound of Crépes with Apples, Flambé)
For the Crépes:
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, rum or brandy
- 1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour-I just gave it a really good whisking
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
Place the ingredients in the blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend 3 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- 3 egg whites
- a pinch of salt
Just before you take the mixture out of the refrigerator and are about to make the crépes, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff. Fold half into the batter, fold in the other half and make the crépes!
Make them just like any other crépe, but the egg whites make them puff slightly! I was very excited while doing this.
- 2 lbs. crisp cooking or eating apples
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, more if needed.
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons brandy, cognac, or dark rum
Quarter, core and peel the apples. Chop them roughly. You should have about 5 cups. Cook in a covered heavy-bottomed saucepan over low hear for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until apples are tender. Uncover, add sugar, raise heat and boil, stirring, for 5 minutes or more. Applesauce should reduce and be thick enough to hold itself in a fairly solid mass in the spoon. Add more sugar while the apples are cooking if you feel necessary. Stir in the cream, almond extract and liquor.
(I ended up taking a potato masher to the apples because since I do not have a lot of experience with reduction, I needed to help the sauce along a bit)
To Assembling we go! (plus a few extra ingredients)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds plus 2 tablespoons-I had none so just used finely chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Center a crépe in the bottom of a buttered glass pie dish. Spread a layer of apples over it and sprinkle with a a scant tablespoon of almonds or macaroons. Continue with layers of crépe, apples, and almonds, ending with a crépe at the top. Sprinkle the almonds over the last crépe. Pour on the butter and sprinkle with sugar.
About 30 minutes before serving, place in the upper third of a pre-heated, 375-degree oven to heat through thoroughly. The sugar on top of the mound should almost begin to caramelize.
I skipped this next step due to people who do not enjoy the taste of brandy as much as others in my household, but if I make this again, I definitely won’t skip it! Instead I just put a dollop of whip cream on the top 🙂
Just before entering the dining room, pour 1/2 cup of warm brandy, cognac or dark rum over the hot mound of crépes. Avert your face and set the liqueur aflame with a lighted match, and enter the room with a bang!
The server should spoon the flaming liqueur over the dessert until the fire subsides, then cut into portions from the mound as from a cake.
Crépes Fourrées, Frangipane (Crépes with Almond Cream)
Make the above crépe recipe but without the liqueur, and while the crépe batter is sitting, make the filling. Then cook the crépes and assemble cake.
For the Frangipane (Almond Custard Filling)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 cup boiling milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
Beat egg and yolk with electric mixer, gradually adding the sugar. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture turns pale yellow, and thickens enough that when a bit is lifted with the beater, it falls back into the bowl forming a slowly dissolving ribbon on the surface of the mixture. Do Not beat beyond this point or the egg yolks may become granular.
Beat in the flour. Then beat in the boiling milk in a thin stream of droplets.
Pour mixture into a 2 1/2 quart saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir slowly with a whisk, reaching all over the bottom of the pan. When mixture begins to coagulate into lumps, beat it vigorously until it smooths and thickens into a stiff paste. Then turn down the pan to moderately low heat and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the flour thoroughly. Be careful the custard does not scorch the bottom of the pan.
Take the pan off the heat and beat in the butter, flavourings and almonds.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Place a crépe in the bottom of a pie pan and spread 2-3 tablespoons of filling all over the crépe. Repeat until you have used up all your crépes and almond filling. Pour 2 tablespoons melted butter over the top, then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar over the top.
Place in oven for 20 minutes, and let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Spread melted chocolate over the top for an extra little something yummy.
Enjoy these delicious desserts!