Salted Caramel Crepe Cake- Homemade crepes layered with salted caramel pastry cream topped with fresh whipped cream and generous drizzles of homemade salted caramel
Want to hear a really funny thing? I was recently in Paris and never had a crepe. What in the world was I thinking? The problem was there was too many other good things to eat, check out my post on my favorite Paris Eats. Whether it was steak frites, onion soup, eclairs, tarts, lamb pita, baguettes… you get the picture. So naturally I didn’t have any room for crepes. And I had already checked the whole crepes in Paris off the last time I was in Paris.
Anyways, Crepes have been on my mind. And as any normal person does on Wednesday afternoon I felt like flipping 30 crepes. I also had a container of homemade salted caramel in the fridge, I always make sure to have some on hand. The fridge was looking pretty full, the Half & Half container needed to be used, so pastry cream folded with salted caramel sandwiched between crepes sounded like a good idea. I always think they are so visually appealing to look at, all those layers. Not to mention delicious. The first time I had a crepe cake was at a wine bar in NYC, I remember it all too well. This was YEARS ago, I am sad to say it has taken me this long to make a crepe cake myself. It was only natural that I made a salted caramel crepe cake, as if you have read my blog before you know me and salted caramel are besties, whether its tres leches cake, cheesecake or cookies, salted caramel goes with everything.
This is really an easy dessert to make, just a little time consuming- flipping all the crepes and waiting for the pastry cream to chill. The beauty of this is that its make ahead. Even when I am not working I seem to always be busy so having something make ahead or even just certain components of the dessert made ahead makes life easier.
Then when its time to assemble its as easy as layer some crepes, spread some pastry cream and add more layers, then chill and top with fresh cream (because fresh cream?!) and drizzle with loads of salted caramel! Enjoy! Now if you wanted an intense salted caramel flavor I would suggest drizzling salted caramel in between some of the layers.
In a large heavy bottomed pan cook the half & half with 6 tablespoons granulated sugar over medium heat until the mixture is simmering, not boiling
In a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and finally add cornstarch whisking until pale yellow.
When half and half is warmed, slowly whisk a small amount into egg yolk mixture to temper eggs. Slowly add remaining half & half mixture until fully combined, then transfer mixture back to saucepan cooking over medium heat whisking continuously. Cook until mixture has thickened and a few bubbles burst. Take off heat and add butter and vanilla bean paste. Pour into container and cover with plastic wrap pressed up against the cream to prevent a skin. Chill for 1 hour in fridge and 1 hour in freezer or make up to 48 hours ahead of time and chill in fridge.
Before cake assembly add salted caramel to pastry cream and fold in until no streaks remain.
Place a 9-10 inch skillet over medium-low heat while you prepare the crepe batter.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt and sugar. Set aside.
In another bowl whisk together half and half, water and eggs. Add half of the mixture to the flour mixture, then add melted butter and finally remaining half & half mixture. Making sure no lumps remain.
Using a stick of butter lightly coat the pan wit butter. Then pour 2 oz (1/4 cup) of batter and swirl pan so the complete bottom of the pan is covered. Let it cook for a minute or two until the top is dry then flip and cook for another minute. Make sure to adjust temperature depending on how your crepes are cooking, every oven is different. My crepes cook best just under medium. Every 2-3 crepes I grease the pan with the stick of butter ( I did not use the full stick but its easiest to use a stick). Once the crepe is fully cooked set it on a wire rack of cool completely.
Place 3 crepes on serving platter then place 2 tablespoons of pastry cream then place one crepe then 2 tablespoons pastry cream every few crepes add 2-3 between the pastry cream for stability. Once you have used up all the crepes and pastry cream wrap in plastic and chill 4 hours or overnight.
Before serving in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment whisk heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks. Spread on top of crepe cake and drizzle with salted caramel. Store in fridge.