Just when I thought I had salted caramel in about every dessert I could think of, I got the idea to create a salted caramel crepe cake. Known in French as a gâteau mille crêpes, a crepe cake is made up of “thousands” of crepe layers filled with pastry cream. A thousand (mille) layers is obviously an exaggeration, but it’s generally what the French tend to name desserts that are made up of many, many layers.
Instead of filling this cake with pastry cream, I filled it with salted caramel cream. I simply whisked homemade salted caramel into whipping cream until the two were combined and the cream obtained soft peaks. The result is a lighter cake with sublime flavor. You can of course use store-bought caramel with perfectly good results, but I highly suggest making your own crepes, as the crepes make all the difference.
If you’ve never made crepes before, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The batter is made in a blender then heated in a skillet over the stove. I chose to make a mini crepe cake so I used a 6-inch pan to keep my crepes from spreading out too much. Cooking crepes is very much like cooking pancakes, the difference being that crepe batter is much runnier, as well as the fact that you scoop a lot less into the pan so that the cakes end up thinner. The thinness of the cakes also allows you to pile on more layers (which means more salted caramel filling!) to create this glorious crepe cake.
- 2 eggs
- 2.5 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- tiny dash of salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup salted caramel
- strawberries for garnishing on top
- powdered sugar for sprinkling on top
- To create the crepe batter, add all of the crepe batter ingredients (except the flour) into a blender. Pulse until combined.
- Gradually add the flour into the blender, one tablespoon at a time, giving the batter a quick pulse after each addition. Place the crepe batter into the fridge to rest for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, create the caramel sauce by adding 1/4 cup of water and the granulated sugar to a heavy bottom saucepan. Give the sugar and water a stir to combine, then set the saucepan over medium-high heat. Do not stir the mixture anymore. Wait for the mixture to come to a boil and continue to simmer until it becomes a dark amber color and starts to smoke - about 7 to 9 minutes. Make sure you keep your eyes on the caramel the entire time as it can burn quickly.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and very carefully add in the whipping cream, leaving space between you and the pan as the mixture will bubble violently. Stir the cream in until it’s completely smooth, then stir in the salt. Pour the salted caramel into a bowl to cool.
- To create the cream filling, whisk whipping cream on high speed until indentations begin to appear. Add in the powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of the cooled salted caramel; whisk until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To cook the crepes, warm a 6-inch skillet over medium-low heat. To the skillet, add about a tablespoon or so worth of crepe batter; immediately move the pan from side to side to spread the crepe batter across the bottom of the skillet.
- Once the edges begin to golden, gently lift the crepe (nudging it along the edges) using a spatula, and flip over to cook for another 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer the crepe to a plate to cool.
- Once the crepes have all been cooked and cooled, begin assembling your cake. Place a crepe on your serving plate, then smooth a layer of the salted caramel cream over the crepe. Top with another crepe and then salted caramel cream. Continue this process until you've filled all the layers.
- Once you've reached the final crepe, add a dollop of cream to just the center of the crepe. Garnish with a couple of strawberries and powdered sugar.