Well Happy New Year everyone! May this year bring all of us much joy and happiness! It was a wonderful 2 weeks off – but time to get back into it. Having a blog means you really don’t take time off as everything you make has a blog-ability factor to it – some much higher than others. I made this bloggable dessert for our Christmas sweet table. I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to work out, but the recipe read really well, the picture looked great (again, it is from a site I trust – always read the comment section from others who have tried it before you, they can be helpful) and I knew I could embellish on some of the flavoring ingredients. It comes from the Epicurious website and yes there are plenty of similar variations with plenty of fillings on other sites. I picked this recipe to make (back in October 2015) as I wanted something different that would satisfy my guests – high in taste, some alcohol (not the star, but a strong supporting role), and not too fussy to put together – I found it in this recipe. I held off on making it until Christmas – glad I did.

The original recipe just used whipped cream between the layers, but I added peach jam which I thinned with some Grand Marnier as extra flavoring. The whipped cream was also flavored with Grand Marnier – yes it is my favorite “go to” flavoring for anything decadent. I stacked my cake 15 crepes (that’s about how many crepes I got given the first one or two which never turn out – but make great samplers) high.  The peaches and cream combination is truly a classic, and with the Grand Marnier (hey, it’s not easy being in a supporting role :)) – a home run.

I got a crepe pan from one of my very thoughtful nieces as a Christmas gift a few years back (she is on a first name basis with everyone at Williams-Sonoma, no really!). It’s a great pan and whenever I make crepes, this is the pan I use – wooden spatula and all. The crepe batter is unusual in that there is no resting time needed. I did find using an immersion blender really helpful to get the crepe mix fully blended – not to mention making clean up so much easier. This is a must try cake, as my other niece puts it “it takes our sweet table to another level!” Well there’s a compliment! So easy, so tasty, so decadent, so different! My crepes were made in an 8” pan, the original recipe called for a 10” pan. I gave height to the overall appearance of the cake by adding berries to the top. This is a rich cake so small wedges are all that is required – you could easily serve 20 people with this cake. As always – enjoy!

6 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
3 cups chilled heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup icing sugar, divided
2 teaspoons grated orange zest, divided
2 tablespoons Churn 84, melted
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier – really, a little more didn’t hurt – up to 3 tbsp. or till it feels good!

Additional Filling – not part of the original recipe, my variation
¼ cup good quality peach jam or marmalade, I used PC Black Label Ontario Peach spread as I had some at home 
¼ cup Grand Marnier – of course I eyeballed this quantity 🙂

Blend eggs, milk, 1/2 cup cream, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with flour, salt, 1/4 cup icing sugar, and 1 teaspoon zest in a blender until just smooth – or use an immersion blender as I did
Over medium-high heat, place an 8″ or 10” non-stick skillet, brush the surface with some melted Churn 84
Pour in a scant 1/4 cup batter and immediately tilt and rotate the pan to coat the bottom – if the batter starts to set before the entire bottom of the pan is coated, make this first one your your test crepe i.e. you need your crepes to be all the same size so they stack nicely, so use the bottom of the skillet for sizing
Adjust the heat between crepes – up or down until you get it right
As the crepe starts to set and cook (total time should be between 15 and 45 seconds per crepe), loosen the edges with a heat proof spatula
Lift the edges until you can safely hold onto the crepe with your fingers, and flip it over and cook for a further 15 – 30 seconds more – transfer to a plate and cover with a clean towel – don’t burn yourself
Continue making crêpes, brushing skillet with butter each time and stacking on the plate – keep the crepes covered to keep them moist
When you have finished making the crepes, beat the remaining 2 1/2 cups cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 3/4 cup icing sugar, zest, and Grand Marnier in a large deep bowl with an electric mixer until cream holds stiff peaks
Warm the jam in the microwave until loosened – add the Grand Marnier and continue to stir
Center a crêpe on a serving plate and spread with 1/4 cup cream, dot and spread with the jam mixture
Continue stacking crêpes and spreading with cream and the jam mixture, ending with a crêpe
Frost the cake with any remaining cream – you may need to whip up an additional cup of cream to frost the outside – if you are using fruit to garnish, add it just before serving
Chill, covered with a cake dome, at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours – this cuts beautifully well when set!

crepe cake2a

crepe cake3a