Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mille Feuille Crêpes Cake

Mille Feuille Crêpes Cake


This is my third Pierre Herme recipe I've tried. I've made Pierre's chocolate eclairs, chocolate meringue cake and now a mille feuille crêpes cake. I've fallen in love with his recipes and perhaps I will buy his book soon. Mille feuille means a thousand layers in French. The recipe isn't difficult to make, except for the crêpes, which I'm just not good at doing. And this is the part that will also test your patience, as it takes a while to make each crêpe (and you have to make a lot of them!). But the end result is worth it! Here is the recipe:


Mille Feuille Crêpes Cake




Mille Feuille Crêpes Cake recipe: Batter adapted from "Joy of Cooking", pastry cream adapted from "Desserts" by Pierre Herme.

Ingredients for crêpes batter:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups milk
- 6 eggs
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 7 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt

Ingredients for vanilla pastry cream:
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
- 3 ½ tablespoons butter

Ingredients for assembling cake:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons Kirsch (I omitted this)- Confectioners' sugar, optional

Instructions for crêpes batter:
- The day before serving the cake, make the crêpes batter and the pastry cream.
- Cook the butter in a small pan until it is brown like hazelnuts.
- In a large pan, heat the milk until steaming. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- With a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the eggs, flour, sugar and salt. Slowly add the hot milk and browned butter. Pour into a contair with a spout, cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring batter to room temperature.

- Place a nonstick or seasoned 9-inch crêpe pan over medium heat and cover the surface with oil. Add 3 tablespoons batter and swirl to cover the surface. Cook until the bottom just begins to brown, about 1 minute. (you need to peek constantly, do this with a rubber spatula) Then carefully lift an edge and flip the crêpe with your fingers. (the crêpes are super hot, so cover your fingertops, or just your thumbs, with a band aid) Cook on the other side for 5 seconds. Flip the crêpe onto a flat surface. Repeat until you have 20 perfect crêpes. (I got about 17 crêpes)

Instructions for vanilla pastry cream:
- Bring the milk to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla, then set aside for 10 minutes.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and set aside a small bowl that can hold the finished pastry cream and be placed in this ice bath.

- In a medium heavy-bottomed pan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Then place the pan over high heat and bring to boil, whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Press the pastry cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the small bowl. Set the bowl in the ice bath and stir until the temperature reaches 140 degrees on a thermometer. Stir in the butter. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Instructions for assembling cake:
- Whip the heavy cream with the sugar and Kirsch. Fold a quarter of the whipped cream into the pastry cream, then the rest.
- Lay 1 crêpe on a cake plate. Using an a rubber or icing spatula, cover with a layer of pastry cream. Repeat until you've used all of the crêpes. Lay the best-looking crêpe on top.
- Chill for 2 hours. Dust with sifted confectionars' sugar. When ready to serve, slice it like a cake.



Making the crêpes (not my favorite part).


 
A stack of crêpes


 
Layering the crêpes with the pastry cream. The pastry cream is sooo good! It kind of taste like ice cream.


 
Ta da!!! The cake is a bit wobbly.


 
The mille feuille.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Ingredients for assembling cake:
- 1 tablespoon"
1 tablespoon what?

Daniëlle said...

1 tablespoon sugar.

Thanks for noticing!

Rhonda said...

Yummm! I love your blog!!!

Daniëlle said...

Thank you Rhonda! :)

Gay said...

Wow, thanks for the recipe. I'm experimenting on crepe cakes for Christmas.

Monique Boblin said...

I love you blog and am now following!!!!! Plus I will be making this cake for my b-day wobbles or not. I love the joy of cooking!! PLus I plan to one day take french cooking classes.

Anonymous said...

how much corn starch?

Paris Pastry said...

1/3 cup!

Anonymous said...

I tried the recipe and my pastry cream I think came out wrong for me >_> The consistency came out sticky that it couldn't be sifted through the fine-meshed sieve ._. Lol, I haven't even stirred the butter in, since it's couldn't be 'stirred' to it x.x Can you tell me what I might have done wrong? D: Maybe the heat was too high? Or I maybe I didn't whisk too vigorously? T___T

Paris Pastry said...

I'm so sorry to hear it failed! I don't think the problem is too high a heat. I think the pastry cream was probably too long on heat. As soon as you feel it begins to thicken, take it off the heat immediately because it will set some more when it warm and cooled.

Anonymous said...

hi! when you say cook butter, do you mean by melting it?

Paris Pastry said...

@Anonymous: Yep, melting it and then letting it brown a bit.

Anonymous said...

"hi! when you say cook butter, do you mean by melting it?"

February 9, 2011 8:52 AM

thanks! that was very helpful!:)

Vava Yuva J. said...

thank you for your recipe :D
I made mine and ta da..yumm

thanks again :)
luv ur blog by the way

josh said...

after u mix your crepe hows the texture watery? and do i really need to cook the butter until hazelnut brown what if i just melt it?

Paris Pastry said...

@Josh: Yes, it's pretty runny. Melting the butter works too.

Anonymous said...

may i ask something... did we use fresh milk for this?

Paris Pastry said...

@Anonymous: You can. Regular milk is fine too.

Alwayswrite said...

I am unclear about assembling the cake. - Whip the heavy cream with the sugar and Kirsch. Fold a quarter of the whipped cream into the pastry cream, then the rest. - are you saying you should only put 1/4th the whipping cream into pastry cream? I am very anxious to try this recipe

Paris Pastry said...

@Alwayswrite: Yes, that's what it means. It will lighten the pastry cream before folding in the rest of the whipped cream. Don't be nervous! It's not so hard to make, it's just more of an assembling task with this recipe :)

Mary's Pastry Lab said...

i just bought home 3kgs of strawberries. so gonna make a strawberry crepe cake :D

Anonymous said...

Salted Butter or Unsalted butter?

Paris Pastry said...

Unsalted! Alaways unsalted :)

Anonymous said...

Great recipe! Thanks! :-) mine turned out fantastic.

Ps I added a little soda bicarbonate to the flour. Not sure if that helped. Was really worried about the crepes not turning out "light" enough. But they we're fine :-)

Brooklin Bregon said...

hello. emergency~~~ my 13 yr old daughter started making this yesterday, and had some problems with instructions. she felt some were not clear for a beginner cook. in any case, today, she took out the batter to warm to r. temp and then i saw her cream. oh no. sticky and thick and glumpy. after reading another post, i think she cooked too long. my question is, can we quickly make the cream again (how long exactly?) Also, after putting cream in ice bowl, you say to add butter. is that "melted butter"? and do we have to wait a whole day to chill? can we chill for just a short time? the house is anxious to eat..lol. also, when she whips the cream, who much to whip? stiff? how long approx? thank you. we are not new bakers, but this recipe is a bit diff if you dont have baking experience, especially french baking. thank you...we are waiting your reply.

Anonymous said...

sorry, this may be a repeat question. my daughter made this yesterday, but this morning we realized the cream is not right. thick, sticky, clumpy. we need to re make the cream but have some questions. we think we may have cooked the milk too long? she removed it as soon as it just began to boil, so maybe not then? maybe the second boil? this is where it got really clumpy and thick. please help us here. then, after she put cream into ice bowl and added butter, was the butter supposed to be melted or room temp? and after we remake this cream..must it chill for another day? can we chill for much shorter time as the batter is ready now? thank you. we are anxiously waiting your answer.

Paris Pastry said...

Hi,

Let me start off by saying that for a beginner you did chose a more challenging recipe, but that's no biggie.

Which cream do you mean? The pastry cream? That shouldn't be lumpy. You could pull it through a fine mesh siever to take out any lumps. If it's sticky, it's probably too thick, in which case you could bring it to room temperature or add more butter to it.

Butter should be room temperature, it will melt in the warm pastry cream. And in my experience, you don't have to wait for long to use pastry cream. Just let it chill a good few hours for the right consistency.

Good luck, and enjoy! :)

Anonymous said...

Hello!

Is there any way to tell when to add the butter to the heated pastry cream without using a instant read thermometer? I don't own one, and I would rather not have to buy one just for the sake of making a mille crepe.

Thanks.

Paris Pastry said...

I don't have one either. I let the pastry cream cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the butter! :)

Zoe Twitt said...

Actually, I was chatting on the phone while making tha pastry cream and forgot entirely about adding the butter. It was a rubbery mess. But my ingenuity prevailed and I just whipped the lumpy pastry cream with my hand held electric mixer. Then I added the whipped cream according the the directions. Strangely, this all worked better than the last twice

Anonymous said...

Paris, you're awesome for answering all our questions diligently! I just wanted to add that I make this cake often and this weekend I made it for my bf's bday as its his fave. Well, I was gabbing on the phone when making the pastry cream and I heated it too quickly. Lumpy disaster! Then I forgot to add the cream. To remedy, I BEAT THE PASTRY CREAM IN AN ELECTRIC MIXER until it was smooth and creamy, not bothering to add the butter at all, then folded in the cream. Worked beautifully!!!!! I recommend in fact. Hope it's helpful for the lumpy cream questions. Xx

Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand this:
Whip the heavy cream with the sugar and Kirsch. Fold a quarter of the whipped cream into the pastry cream, then the rest.

Why do we have to make more cream if we already have the pastry cream?

Paris Pastry said...

Hi,

Merging whipped cream together with pastry cream, gives it a more subtle, lighter cream to use for the crêpes. Pastry cream alone, is a bit too heavy for texture with delicate crêpes.

:)

Anonymous said...

So beautiful, I can't wait to make it for my class!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to convert the ingredients to grams?

Paris Pastry said...

Yes it is possible. Just Google an ingredient converter and you'll find a list of helpful websites.