Posts tagged ‘Frosting’

June 9, 2013

Banana Bread Crepe Cake | gâteau aux crêpes

crepecake

Here is a cake that trumps all cakes.A crepe that trumps all crepes.

The kind of cake that makes the French tremble in their booties.  What a sacrilegious idea to combine crepes to make something other than a traditional crepe, egg and ham dish? Though they all shudder at the thought of a crepe cake, they always come back, eye-ing the photos, interested, wondering if they could put their culinary preferences aside for the moment in order to engage in such an American spin on the crepe.

This is the kind of cake that says “I am sorry but I don’t have a birthday present for you.” This is the kind of cake that says “breakfast, lunch and dinner”. This is the kind of cake that says “squish” when you cut into it. This cake is divine. The recipe seems long and daunting but once you have mastered the crepe technique (which is essentially the pancake technique but easier) this cake is a breeze. No oven needed. Can be stuck in the freezer for faster consolidating results. Even the most anti-banana beards on the planet have approved the subtle hint of banana that infiltrates the palate. It marries perfectly with the cream and the butterscotch. There really is no other way to eat 10 crepes in one bite than this way.

crepecake2

Banana Bread Crepe Cake with Butterscotch

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

(serves a many, but was eaten by 2.)

What you’ll need:

Crepe batter

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus extra for greasing pan
  • 1 large ripe banana (should yield about 1/2 cup peeled and squished)
  • 1 cup (235 ml) milk
  • 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves

Cream cheese yogurt filling

  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, well-softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (345 grams) plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Walnut butterscotch topping

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (about 50 grams) chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, or to taste

Now what?

  1. Crepe batter: Mix together banana and butter in a food processor or with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing until obtaining a smooth liquid. Let the batter rest in the fridge for 1 hour minimum. This part is essential since it helps your crepe batter thicken up significantly. If possible, overnight will yield the best results.
  2. To make the crepes: Heat a non-stick skillet or a crepe pan on medium heat. The best part about France is that a crepe pan will cost you 2 euros whereas in America where it will be deemed a specialty item. Melt a nub of butter in the pan. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour the crepe batter in the pan as you swirl the pan around so that the batter spreads out evenly and thinly across the whole pan. Emergency fill in any open holes carefully with fresh batter if need be. The French will argue that an ideal crepe is a thin one. Let the crepe cook, untouched for 2-3 minutes. Once it is ready to be flipped, the crepe will be golden brown and it will peel right off and flip easily. Cook for 30 seconds on the second side, and transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, you should get 10-11 crepes. Cool crepes completely before assembling the cake.
  3. Cream cheese filling: Beat cream cheese until fluffy, then add the greek yogurt, sugar and vanilla and beat for another minute, until fluff-city.
  4. Cake assembly: Lay the very first cake on your cake platter or plate of choice. Spread with 1/4 cup of the cream cheese filling and then place another crepe on top. Repeat until the crepes or the cream cheese filling runs out, but be sure to end with a crepe hat on top.
  5. Butterscotch topping: Combine the cream, brown sugar and butter in the bottom of a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.  Be sure to stir occasionally in the beginning and more frequently as it reduces and thickens. After 10 minutes, once it smells toasty and feels thick to the touch, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt, then walnuts. Immediately pour over stack of filled crepes. Spread the butterscotch over all of the “hat” so that everyone gets their share of butterscotch topping.

Bon app!

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September 12, 2012

Filling the Void: Macarons (A Guest Blog by Susan Elliot)

Musings from my counterpart all the way in the United States of America, 12 days away from France….a post from Susan Elliot:

Filling the Void

Filling the void with dark chocolate ganache. It’s the only appropriate thing I can think of. Leaving the place and the people, surtout one certain person, has been more of a ‘ripping out, roots and all’ experience than I had expected it would be. It’s bittersweet and, at the moment, more bitter than sweet.

So dark chocolate is the only option I think. At least 70%, as the recipe suggests.

From one day to the next, I’ve jetted so far away from these people, the place, a best friend; the results of my choice yet I couldn’t have foreseen the sentiments this experience would evoke for me.

It’s my attempt to get back there, to feel closer to you, to feel as if you would be with me in the kitchen. These macarons are my attempt to bridge the gap between us. From one side to the other with dark chocolate ganache, just what you’ll find in the middle of this chocolate macaron.

The goal was smaller, traditional macarons, but in the end, one big maracon cake was the best I could pull off for this first attempt.

July 26, 2012

Vegan Iced Apple Cake Squares

In France, it is normal to eat a lot of cheese and a lot of dairy.  A LOT of dairy.  The only difference between French dairy (le laitage) and American dairy is that in France, it is ACTUALLY dairy.  Sounds redundant. Let me explain.  The first time I poured myself a glass of milk in the US after my first year in Strasbourg, I gasped at the lack of opaqueness.  It looked like milk-water.  It tasted like milk-water.  I was shocked.  I was unfazed however and then proceeded to make a cake with American butter.  But why was it white? In France, the butter is yellow, creamy, and potent.  It all boils down to differences in pasteurization I imagine but the quality and breakdown of these ingredients are fundamentally different here.  In any case, being born and raised with an American belly (but with French taste buds), I have a hard time adjusting to the strength of French cream, milk, butter and cheese.  I eat it, love it, enjoy it, and then regret it almost systematically.   Hence, on a coup de tête (or a whim, as I do most things) I decided to implement some entirely vegan days into my week in order to neither terrorize my stomach nor deprive myself of the delicious wonders that France has to offer.  I was a touch skeptical about the quality of a vegan apple cake, but I must admit that it was very addictive, delicious and absolutely passable as a normal dairy filled cake substitute!  Best to eat it piping hot….

Vegan Iced Apple Cake Squares

(adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen)

Makes 1 8-inch cake

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 gala apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp almond milk (or soy/rice/milk)

Now what?

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 f / 180 c.  Grease pan and line it with wax paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  In a separate bowl, mix together oil, vanilla and vinegar.  Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ones and mix well until combined.  Add apples and walnuts and mix well.
  3. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until cake is set and slightly brown on top.  A knife or toothpick should come out clean.
  4. While the cake is baking, combine powdered sugar and almond milk until smooth.
  5. Once cooled, cut the cake into squares and ice as you please!
  6. Try to wait until it is cooled before eating so that you do not burn your tongue (I speak from experience.)

June 26, 2012

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Gâteau aux carottes

I would be lying if I told you that this cake was low fat.  I would be a big liar.  Yes, I know that you must be saying to yourself “but if there are 3 cups of carrots inside, that’s 3 servings of vegetables per cake! ” Though I wouldn’t condone eating the whole cake just to get your daily 5, I would suggest that you take a walk on the wild side and make this not so low fat cake. And I have two very strong French arguments as to why.

A French grandma might tell you that carrots:

  1. make you likeable (les carottes rendent aimable!)
  2. make your butt pink and rosy! (les carottes donnent les fesses roses!)

I think that in this day and age, we could all stand to be a little more likeable (though I plead the fifth on the necessity of pink and rosy butts across the world.)  And since I prefer not to lie, I guess I should come out with the honest truth.  Not only will you be likeable and rosy butted, but you also seriously enjoy the smell wafting through your apartment as these little puppies bake and the familiar taste of all things fallish (poor seasonal timing for me, but alas…)  It doesn’t hurt to have a maple syrup cream cheese frosting to boot.  I must conclude by saying that if you ever find yourself missing the infamous Starbucks carrot cake, this guy will be the perfect home made antidote!

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Gâteau aux carottes

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

This could either make a two-layer cake OR 2 loaves OR 24 cupcakes OR 48 mini cupcakes (depending on your mood.) What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups (260 g)  flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (230 ml) canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups (270 g) grated peeled carrots
  • 1 cup (100 g) coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces (454 g) cream cheese softened (Philadelphia)
  • 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) pure maple syrup

1)   Preheat oven to 180 c / 350 f.

2)   Make your cream cheese frosting by blending all of the ingredients with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes and then allowing the frosting to chill in the refrigerator.

3)   Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.)

4)   In a separate bowl, mix together sugar and oil, adding eggs one at a time.

5)   Incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients in several parts, mixing well.

6)   Add grated carrots, walnuts and raisins if you’re feeling extremely adventurous (or want to get another fruit/vegetable in your cake!)

7)   Divide your batter accordingly.  If you are making a two-layer cake, you must use two buttered and floured molds of approximately the same size (9-in cake pans will do.)

8)   Bake for approximately 20 minutes (mini cupcakes / cupcakes) or 45 minutes (loaves/cakes.)  You will know your cake is done once a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cakes cool on a wire rack and frost only once they are completely cooked.  Be wary not to have a “frost one, eat one” policy like I do, but taste them a little warm just the same.  Set frosted cakes in the refrigerator to set for 30 minutes.

9) Withhold all desires to dive head first in the remaining cream cheese frosting.

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