by Hari Won
Strawberries are in season and I can't tell you how excited this house is about that. We eagerly await the arrival of local berries, that make their appearance in early summer. It means that soon to follow are other local goodies that we are so fortunate to gather from passionate farmers in our area. How lucky are we!
Recently I made a Crêpe Cake to showcase some of the gorgeous juicy berries that I purchased at market. This is a great make ahead dish that would be stunning served on any brunch table or as dessert with a cup of coffee. It's light and airy and full of paper-thin crêpes stacked up high to highlight all of that delicious fruit.
The crêpes couldn't be easier to make, and the addition of a light, hoppy lager makes them even more delicate and airy (yes, beer for breakfast can be good). Don't worry, although they do have great flavor, they don't taste like beer. The batter also includes tangy buttermilk and is best when made ahead and left to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours. The crêpes themselves can also be made ahead, up to 48 hours, and layered between sheets of parchment paper until ready to use. I would recommend this step as a time saver! The cake is just a simple process of layering the crêpes with the filling of your choice. Hazelnut spread is an all time favourite, but to keep the cake nice and light I opted for a simple banana pudding and whipped topping filling.
I just happily layer and fill, layer and fill, until I run out of filling. I'm pretty sure this time I was close to eighteen crêpes in all when I was finished the cake. Assembly took about 20 minutes total and I left the cake in the refrigerator until dinner time. Minus the slice I removed, and ate, to photograph for you.
Geez Louise the things I do for you.
Just the smell in the kitchen when making these, reminded me of a trip I took to Paris a few years ago. My girlfriend took me to the Eiffel Tower for my birthday and immediate crêpe eating ensued. I believe at one point I had a savory crêpe in one hand and a sweet one in the other. Life is grand.
Sweet Crêpe Batter
adapted from Jehnee's Crêpe Recipe from http://www.thekitchn.com
*makes approximately 25 crepes
1 pkg instant banana pudding (or flavor of choice)
1 3/4 cups milk, cold
1 1/2 cups whipped topping
fruit for garnish
1. Melt the butter and warm the milk in a microwave safe dish. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer for a few seconds to combine. Make a well in the flour mixture, pour eggs and oil into the well and beat on medium speed until combined. Slowly add the melted butter and milk mixture and mix until batter becomes uniform in texture. Stir in beer, until just evenly incorporated (don't overmix). Refrigerate the batter, covered with plastic, for 8 hours or overnight, if you can.
2. Pour 1/3 cup batter onto a smoking-hot pan (my pan was about 8″ wide), swirling the batter to create an even surface. Cook for approx. 2 minutes on the first side (look for a golden brown colour), then about 30 seconds on other side. Layer crêpes between sheets of parchment paper. Refrigerate crêpes until needed (I put mine in a resealable bag).
3. When ready to assemble, make the banana filling. Mix milk and pudding for 2 minutes. Fold in the whipped topping. Layer crêpes on a cake platter, starting with a crêpe and spreading about 1 1/2 tbsp. of banana filling on top. Layer with another crêpe and continue on until you run out of filling. Left over crêpes can be frozen for later use. Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours or more. Top with whipped topping and fresh fruit just before serving.
About Hari Won
Hari has been a close friend with Josh since kindergarten. Her place is right around the corner from Josh’s.
She claims they are only friends. Hari also loves to drink. By accident, she tried her first taste of beer in middle school; felt in love with them since then.
Life has been up and down lately for Hari. She and/or other friends often meet up with Josh for a few packs. They may drink through the night, while taking turn to tell their life stories.
Hari received her BS degree in biochemistry from University of Phoenix. She hoped to become a great brewmaster someday...