Ombré Crepe Cake
This is definitely a cake for a special occasion! It is a labour of love making the individual crepes, but it results in an absolute showstopper. This cake can be made in a variety of flavours and the ombré feature is optional, but oh so beautiful. I opted to make this cake using @suncorefoods natural purple sweet potato powder. The flavour possibilities are endless. I think next time I am going to try matcha or hojicha tea (roasted green tea) powder. You could use berry powders, bright colours like blue spirulina, or even just add a bit of citrus zest for flavour. The icing for the cake is dairy free and made from whipped coconut milk and has a definite coconut flavour. You can of course substitute your favourite icing.
The Crepes Yield: 22-24 Crepes 400g all-purpose flour ½ tsp sugar ½ tsp salt 4 eggs 600ml milk (plus more for adjusting consistency) Want to do the ombré? You’ll need 10 x 1/2 tsp purple sweet potato powder to add in 10 separate additions Melted butter (for frying) Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Make a well in the centre, crack the eggs, and add these to the dry ingredients. Gradually mix the ingredients together and begin to add the milk, a little at a time. Be careful not to overmix this, as it will overdevelop the gluten and make the crepes rubbery. I let my crepe batter sit in the fridge over-night (it should at least chill for 1 hour). The next day I added another 200ml of milk to adjust the consistency, as it does thicken as it sits. Heat a crepe pan (or medium non-stick pan) over medium high heat and brush with melted butter. Stir the crepe batter (after having adjusted the consistency) and add a ladleful to your pan (approx. ¼ cup). Quickly swirl the pan to evenly coat with the batter (you can add a drop of extra batter here or there to repair any holes). Cook for one minute, until you see the edges starting to crisp up and bubbles forming beneath the surface. Using a spatula (I was able to use my long metal offset spatula because my crepe pan does not have a non-stick coating) gently flip over the crepe and allow it cook a minute further. Try to avoid getting much colour on the crepes. If you would like to do the ombré cook two of the plain crepes and then began to add ½ tsp of the purple sweet potato powder in between every two crepes, gradually making the batter more and more purple. This is a time-consuming process but the results are well-worth your efforts! Don’t forget to butter the pan between each crepe to avoid sticking. Layer the finished crepes between sheets of parchment paper. The Cream (Whipped Coconut) 4 cans premium* coconut milk Sweetener to taste (I used ¼ cup granulated white sugar) 1 tsp vanilla bean paste** (optional) Want to do the ombré? You’ll need 10 x 1/2 tsp purple sweet potato powder *The way you can tell if a coconut milk is “premium” is to pick it up the can, hold it next to your ear, and shake it. If you can hear a bunch of liquid sloshing around, then it is not going to have as much of the coconut fat as you want. If you shake it and don’t hear anything or very little, then it is primarily solidified coconut fat, and this is what you want! **Vanilla bean paste is one of those ingredients I can’t live without. It can be used straight across as a substitute for regular vanilla extract. The nice thing about it is that it has the tiny vanilla bean seeds suspended in it, so it studs whatever you are making with little black flecks of vanilla seeds.
The most important step of making the whipped coconut cream is putting the cans of coconut milk in the fridge overnight! They need to be very chilled, so don’t forget this step. Remove the cans from the fridge the next day, open, and pour out any liquid from the can (reserving it). Add only the solidified white coconut fat to a stand mixer, fit a whisk attachment, and whip on medium high until you achieve your desired texture. If it is too stiff, thin with some of the reserved coconut liquid. This is where you can add in your optional sweeteners and/or vanilla. Keep chilled.
The Cake First, I cut my crepes into even circle by laying a mixing bowl upside down on them to use as a guide and running around this with a pairing knife. I prefer my crepe cakes to have cleaner edges, but if you are going for a more rustic look then trimming the crepes is completely optional. Assemble the cake by first adding a bit of the whipped coconut cream to your desired plate or cake pedestal, as this will help affix your cake and prevent sliding. If you are doing an ombré, every two crepes my colour changes, so after two layers I adjusted the colour of cream by adding ½ tsp of the purple sweet potato powder in separate additions. I continued to do so after every two crepes, gradually making the cream more purple. Gradually build your cake, layer by layer, and finish with a layer of the whipped coconut cream on top. Smooth out the edges and garnish with something of your choosing (I used edible flowers). Keep refrigerated.