Super excited to join this year's #virtualpumpkinparty!! With so many delicious recipes to try, I'm sad it's a *virtual* party and we're not all coming together to actually eat this pumpkin-fest! Here's my Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake -- a beautiful rich cheesecake with layers of both pumpkin and chocolate cheesecakes on a crunchy bourbon biscuit base :)Read More
Pandan Roulade with Chocolate Mascarpone Cream. I am in love with these flavours together! Topped with fresh raspberries and a hint of edible gold bling 💕Read More
The most delicious baked chocolate cheesecake! With a base made from Bourbon Biscuits and a velvety topping whipped together with mascarpone, cream cheese, eggs and milk chocolate. Extremely indulgent and perfect for a dinner party 💕Read More
I have a lot of cookery books. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. They are currently all balanced in precarious piles over our guest room floor. I'm in the planning stages of a little office space (and am unbelievably excited about it) but that's a small while away so for the moment we're sticking with the tottering book piles! But not long ago I was dismantling one of these piles to get to a book (always at the bottom, right?) and started reading an old Fiona Cairn's book, Bake & Decorate.
I love her preface where she talks about empowering all sorts of different people to try their hand at baking and creating lots of memories and aromas of cake making throughout our homes. It's so true (at least for me). My boys are finally taking an interest in cooking and baking and I'd love for them to start building a love for this in their childhoods.
So when thumbing through this wonderful baking book, I found a recipe for Pistachio and Orange Blossom Cake. I absolutely LOVE pistachio and the idea of pairing this with lovely fresh springtime orange blossom was too tempting.
This is a simple looking cake. It doesn't have layers so is presented as an un-split cake with a layer of mascarpone cream on the top. It doesn't pretend to be something it's not and would look perfectly in place on a tea table or with a cup of coffee one morning. However what it does do is pack a punch with its flavours. In the cake we have pistachio, almond, orange zest and orange blossom; whilst in the topping we have mascarpone, orange zest, vanilla and orange blossom. And if that's not enough, there is a delicious syrup made from orange juice, sugar and orange blossom that soaks the cake. So you can see - it's definitely not lacking in taste!
The first part of making this cake is roasting the pistachios - and then blitzing them to a powder. The butter, sugar and orange zest are creamed in a standing mixer whilst the dry ingredients are sieved into a separate bowl. When the butter and sugar are fully creamed, the eggs are added one at a time - if it starts to curdle, then a tablespoon of the flour mixture should be added. Then the pistachios and almonds are folded in with the dry ingredients and finally the orange blossom water. Simple.
Whilst the cake is baking in the oven, the syrup is made. This is a simple combination of freshly squeezed orange juice, sugar and orange blossom water in a saucepan, brought to a rolling boil. It needs to simmer until you have around 60ml of liquid (this is 4 tablespoons to give you an idea of how much you need). It takes around 10-15 minutes but you need to keep an eye on it as there's a tipping point when it becomes a sticky marmalade!
Once the cake's out of the oven, then the cake should be pricked all over and soaked with the orange syrup - and allowed to cool in its tin. When it's ready to come out and completely cooled down, then it can be frosted. The topping is made from the mascarpone, orange zest, vanilla, orange flower water and sugar and can be hand-whipped in a bowl. Then spread on top of the cake with a palette knife.
So I love the texture of the cake. The nuts are delicious and the mix of pistachios and almonds are really stunning in this cake whilst at the same time being very moist. With the topping being made of mascarpone, it feels a lot lighter than traditional buttercream - more like the texture of whipped cream which is so yummy. There is a light green hue to the inside of the cake itself (from the pistachio) which I love contrasted with the flecks of orange in the frosting. I thought the flavours might be a little grown-up for my boys, but after three helpings, I think I can be assured it's a popular choice :)
This is a lovely light cake and would be perfect for afternoon tea or a coffee morning. It definitely heralds in the start of springtime and sunnier days 🌞
Pistachio and Orange Blossom Cake
from Fiona Cairn's Bake & Decorate
- 175G UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED
- 100G SHELLED UNSALTED PISTACHIOS
- 70G SELF-RAISING FLOUR
- 1 TSP BICARBONATE OF SODA
- PINCH OF SALT
- 200G GOLDEN CASTER SUGAR
- ZEST OF 1 ORANGE
- 4 EGGS, LIGHTLY BEATEN
- 70G GROUND ALMONDS
- 2 TSP ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER
- JUICE OF 1 ORANGE
- 45G GOLDEN CASTER SUGAR
- 1 TBSP ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER
- 250G MASCARPONE
- ZEST OF 1 ORANGE
- 1/2 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- 1 TBSP ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER
- 30G GOLDEN CASTER SUGAR
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan)
- To make the Cake, grease and line a 7 inch cake tin (if you don't have this size, you can use a different sized tin by adjusting the cooking time)
- Spread the pistachios in an even layer on a baking tray and place in the oven for around 5 minutes - they can burn quite easily so give the tray a little shake half-way through cooking and keep watching them
- Let them cool down and then blitz in a food processor until finely ground
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl
- Place the butter, sugar and orange zest in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy
- Add the eggs little by little, beating after each addition - if the mixture starts to curdle, add a tablespoon of the flour mixture
- Then fold in the pistachios and almonds, flour mixture and finally the orange blossom water
- Place in the baking tin and smooth over the surface
- Bake for around 40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean
- Whilst the cake is baking, make the Orange Syrup
- Place the orange juice, sugar and orange blossom water in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil
- Simmer for around 10-15 minutes until there is 60ml liquid remaining in the pan
- When the cake is out of the oven, immediately prick it all over with a toothpick and then pour the syrup evenly across the surface
- Allow the cake to cool completely in its tin
- When it's cool, turn it out onto a plate and make the Frosting
- Place the mascarpone, orange zest, vanilla, orange blossom water and sugar in a bowl and beat until smooth
- Spread this on the top of the cake with a palette knife
- Adorn with flowers or serve just as it is :)
So there's this pan. We've had it for, oh, maybe ten years. It's been sat in a drawer at my parents' house, unloved, and I rediscovered it over easter. It makes Æbleskiver, Danish Pancake Puffs, which I have discovered today are, quite frankly, delicious! They are little light balls which can be filled with all sorts of flavours. The possibilities for flavour combinations are endless but the ones I'm making are filled with mascarpone and lemon cream which is tangy, fresh and decidedly yummy.
If there's one person that's possibly even more addicted to baking and cooking ware and gadgets than me, it's my mum! When they spent a decade out in Toronto, we discovered our love for Williams-Sonoma and my mum used to get drawn into all the in-store demos and come home laden with all the necessary kitchenware and ingredients required to make them at home. Cue, the Æbleskiver pan. I secretly love the hordes of different cooking bits and bobs she's gathered over the years!
Making these pancakes was a voyage into the unknown as I haven't made or tasted them before. The batter and filling are simple to make; the cooking of them takes a little more technique! We start by making the Lemon and Mascarpone Cream which is as simple as it sounds -- equal amounts of mascarpone and lemon curd beaten together for a few minutes until smooth and creamy, then refrigerated until you're ready to cook the pancakes. I would make this to taste and would have an even tangier lemon cream next time as it's one of my favourite flavours.
The pancake batter is again an easy recipe using buttermilk. First of all, the dry ingredients are mixed together in a bowl. Then the egg yolks are lightly beaten in a separate bowl and the buttermilk whisked into the egg mixture. This is added to the dry ingredients and mixed until combined. You get a rather lumpy mixture so don't fear if you don't have something beautifully smooth at this stage!
As I whisked the egg white to stiff peaks, my batter puffed up in its bowl and then I added the egg whites in 2 stages, stirring through with a metal spoon. We're almost ready to make the pancakes but first need to melt some butter for your pan.
The process moves pretty quickly now, especially if you have different measuring spoons trying to get everything into the pan in order. First of all, you pop 1/2 tsp melted butter into each pan cavity and wait for it to bubble. Then add 1 tbsp batter, top it with 1/2 tsp lemon cream and then finally cover it with another 1 tbsp batter. This is all quite fiddly and I had the heat up too high for the first batch so trying to get all of these different elements into the pan before I needed to flip each ball was all very hectic.
I abandoned the spoons for the second batch and popped the batter and lemon cream into two separate piping bags. Much simpler! I also turned the heat down to low so the whole process felt much calmer :) After you've added your two lots of batter and cream to each cavity, after 3-4 minutes the balls should be ready to flip. When we make regular pancakes, we always wait for the first few bubbles to appear on the surface so we know we're ready to flip them and these little balls were the same. They're also pretty easy to slide around and check how well cooked they are underneath. I spun them round with the aid of two teaspoons but you can use cocktail sticks if you prefer.
They come out of the pan very easily and after you transfer them to a plate, liberally sprinkle them with icing sugar to make them look really pretty.
I read up on whether you need to invest in one of these pans to make the pancake balls and the unfortunate answer is that you do if you want the ball shape which after all, makes them pretty cute. Although you probably won't be making lots of different creations with this pan, the flavour combos are endless and I'm already dreaming up both sweet and savoury ideas for them :)
I squirrelled away a few of them for hubby tonight and just thought I'd check out whether they're still good cold and I am very pleased to confirm that they absolutely are -- think doughnut texture and super yummy!
My boys and I have already come up with our next few flavour combos - stay tuned ;-)
Lemon & Mascarpone Pancakes
adapted from Williams Sonoma's Lemon-Mascarpone Filled Pancakes
Makes around 20 pancake balls
- 80G MASCARPONE
- 80G LEMON CURD
- 250G PLAIN FLOUR
- 3/4 TSP BICARBONATE OF SODA
- 1 TSP BAKING POWDER
- 1.5 TBSP CASTER SUGAR
- 1/2 TSP SALT
- 1/2 LEMON, ZEST ONLY
- 3 EGGS, SEPARATED
- 420ML BUTTERMILK
- 100G MELTED BUTTER
- ICING SUGAR, TO DECORATE
- To make the Lemon & Mascarpone Cream, put the mascarpone and lemon curd into the bowl of a freestanding mixer and beat for around 3 minutes until smooth
- Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to make the pancakes
- Place all the dry ingredients (flour, bicarb, baking powder, caster sugar, salt and lemon zest) into a bowl and stir to combine
- Put the egg yolks in a separate bowl and whisk lightly
- Add the buttermilk and again whisk lightly until combined
- Whisk the egg and buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until combined - you will have a thick and lumpy mixture at this stage
- Whisk the egg whites to stiff peak
- Gently fold the egg whites into the batter in two additions and ensure that the mixture is all combined
- Place the batter and the lemon cream into two separate piping bags
- Melt the butter
- Place the pan on a low heat and add a teaspoon of butter to each cavity
- When the butter is bubbling gently, add around 1 tbsp batter into each cavity
- Then insert the tip of the lemon cream bag gently into the top of the batter and add 1/2 teaspoon cream
- Cover this with another tablespoon of batter
- When little bubbles start to appear on the surface of the batter, it's time to flip them gently using 2 teaspoons to help rotate them
- Cook the other side for around another 3 minutes
- It's easy to rotate the pancake balls in their cavity so you can check that you're happy they're cooked all around
- When cooked, gently remove them from the pan and transfer to a plate
- Sprinkle them with icing sugar
- They are best eaten warm but are also yummy cold so be sure to make up a whole batch and you can eat them later for a sweet snack :)
It feels like a week where a bit of colour is needed to brighten up the day. Nothing shouts colour more than this stunning Rainbow Meringue Cake with its rainbow layers, gorgeous vanilla mascarpone cream and topped with strawberries, raspberries and pomegranate seeds.
The idea for the rainbow meringue layers was taken from the Meringue Girls Cookbook. I am a HUGE fan of meringue, particularly macarons, and their little meringue kisses which I recently turned into little ghosts for a kids' birthday party, are the loveliest treats.
The meringue is straightforward using the Meringue Girls process. You need a couple of batches of their meringue mixture which is also the base of their kisses. It's simply oven-heated sugar added a spoonful at a time to egg white whipped to stiff peaks and then whisked for around 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
The more fiddly bit is preparing the piping bags for the mixture and these need to be coated with thick food paste in the different rainbow colours. Did you ever use an acronym to remember the rainbow order? I can still be found muttering Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain!! To achieve the different hues, I used Sugarflair Spectral Paste in these colours: Velvet Red, Yellow/Cream, Yellow Extra, Holly Green, Ice Blue and Purple. To apply them, the way that's easiest for me is to turn the piping bag inside out (I don't worry about the very tip of the icing bag as it will be snipped off and also gives us a little tag to hold onto when pulling the bag back through the right way). Once your bag is turned inside out, pop it over a wine bottle and then take your chosen food colour paste, painting the inside from tip to half-way down the bag with a thick coating of colour. If you leave the bag for too long after painting, you'll notice that the colour may start to separate so it's worth giving the bag a quick brush with a pastry brush to distribute the colour just before adding the meringue.
Then pull the bag back the right way so the food colour is on the inside. I then pop my bag into a measuring jug and fill it with a couple of scoops (I used an ice cream scoop) of meringue. Squidge the food colour into the meringue with your fingers and then snip off the end. Pipe the mixture onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper starting at the outside and working in. I found that I didn't have generous amount of meringue mixture for each one so had to use a spatula to smooth it and cover the whole circle. Be careful not to smooth the very outside of the circle with the deepest colour as this will show on the outside of your cake so you want a really vibrant colour.
After baking and cooling, you're ready to assemble your cake. The cream does make the inside of the meringue soften and disintegrate a little, so it's best to assemble this as close to serving as you can. I decided to fill my cake with a vanilla mascarpone cream and then top it with beautiful strawberries, raspberries and pomegranate seed and a light dusting of icing sugar.
This cake is sweet and delicious and the cream is lovely and light.
It does take a little preparation but looks so bright and colourful, it would be a welcome addition to any party, dinner affair or just for fun.
Ours is just for fun. Can't wait to show the kids what they're having for pudding tonight :)
Rainbow Meringue Cake
Rainbow Meringue (from Meringue Girls Cookbook)
- 300G EGG WHITES (I use Two Chicks egg whites but you could also use around 10 medium eggs)
- 600G CASTER SUGAR
Vanilla Mascarpone Cream
- 500G MASCARPONE
- 460ML WHIPPING CREAM
- 4 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT (to taste)
- 140G CASTER SUGAR (to taste)
- PUNNET OF STRAWBERRIES
- PUNNET OF RASPBERRIES
- 1 POMEGRANATE
- ICING SUGAR (to dust)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
- The meringue is made in 2 batches so the first batch will make 3 meringue discs
- Line 3 baking trays with greaseproof paper and draw a 10 inch circle as a guide
- Line a roasting tray with greaseproof paper and then pour in 300g sugar, smoothing it to get it spread as evenly as possible
- Put the sugar in the oven for 5 mins
- Measure 150g egg white in a standing mixer and start by whisking is slowly
- Then increase the speed to medium for a couple of minutes and then increase it again to high speed until it's formed stiff peaks
- The sugar should be ready to come out of the oven and with the mixer turned up to high speed, it should be added a spoonful at a time to the egg white (around 30 seconds between each addition)
- When the sugar is all added, keep mixing for another 5 mins - it's ready when you can rub a bit of meringue between 2 fingers and can't feel the grains of sugar
- Prepare 3 icing bags by turning them inside out and popping each one over a wine bottle (or similar shape)
- Paint the icing bags thickly with food colour paste, ensuring a heavy coating from the tip down to half-way
- Turn the bags the right way around and then add 2 scoopfuls of meringue into each bag, squidging the colour into the meringue with your fingers
- Snip off the end and then pipe a 10cm circle on the prepared baking tray
- Bake for around 1 hour until the meringue lifts off the baking tray
- Leave to cool on the tray
- Repeat this process with the other half of the meringue ingredients and the remaining 3 colours
- When you're ready to assemble the cake, prepare the mascarpone cream
- Put all the cream ingredients into a bowl and mix for a couple of minutes until the cream is smooth and has soft peaks
- Spread the cream over each of the layers and then assemble in rainbow order
- Top with your favourite fruit and dust with a sprinkling of icing sugar :)
I know it's not Easter. It should, in fact, be summer but you could be mistaken for thinking it was autumn going into winter most days here in London right now. So back to Easter. Or rather not being Easter, but these lovely little buns that are traditionally served at Easter in Sweden should be served all year around. Doesn't the name sounds romantic "Bollos de Pascua suecos"? Much nicer than "Swedish Easter Buns"!
I hadn't tried these before, but saw a photo on Pinterest that stayed somewhere in the back of my mind for a day such as this one. When we were recently in Canada, out in the Algonquin National Park, we made many visits to our favourite bakery, Henrietta's Bakery, where they had lots of traditional buns filled with jam and cream, fresh cakes and pies and somewhere amongst all of this I was reminded of these little buns. Incidentally, if you ever find yourself in the Algonquin National Park with a craving for something sweet, I thoroughly recommend a visit to that lovely bakery for their amazing sticky buns :)
But back to my Semlor buns which are in essence bread flavoured with cardamom. The cardamom is freshly ground so it has a really vibrant flavour and smell. I'm not a huge cardamom fan (especially if you find me accidentally chewing on one in my pilau rice) but the 1 teaspoon in these buns is not too overbearing and adds a rather pleasant flavour.
Once they are baked and cooled, it's time for their little hats to come off. Then a small amount of the insides are scooped out ready to be mixed with almond paste and then layered back inside the bun. I made my own almond paste which meant I could make it to my desired consistency and as sweet as I liked it. This is then topped with a generous swirl of the most delicious mascarpone cream mixed with vanilla paste, icing sugar, milk and cream. Its little hat goes back on top and then it's dusted with icing sugar. There. Easy, right?
There are a few different sources that inspired these which found me translating Swedish recipes (and as such missing important stages!) but my recipe was in the main adapted from Swedish Food and Mercaditas Bakery. These buns do have a few different stages but it's totally worth the effort. The freshly ground spice really does give this a lift and transforms it from just a bread bun whilst pairing really well with the almond and mascarpone cream.
They're lovely enjoyed with a cup of coffee - but in my world it's always a hot chocolate :)
Semlor "Bollos De Pascua Suecos"
- 75G BUTTER
- 300ML MILK
- 10G FAST ACTION DRIED YEAST
- ½ TSP SALT
- 55G SUGAR
- 1 TSP FRESHLY GROUND CARDAMOM
- 500G PLAIN FLOUR
- 1 EGG
Almond Paste Ingredients
- 125g GROUND ALMONDS
- 60ML MILK
- ICING SUGAR TO TASTE
Mascarpone Cream Ingredients
- 250G REFRIGERATED MASCARPONE
- 120ML WHIPPING CREAM
- 60G ICING SUGAR
- 1 TSP VANILLA PASTE
- Melt the butter in a saucepan
- Add the milk and heat until it's lukewarm and mixed well
- Add the yeast and mix until it's all dissolved
- Put the salt, sugar, cardamom and flour in a mixer and make a well in the centre
- Add the buttery milk mixture and egg and then mix for 5 mins with the dough hook (or alternatively knead it by hand)
- The mixture should be sticky but not stick to your hands when it's ready
- Place in an oiled bowl covered loosely with clingfilm and leave to prove for a half hour
- Gently turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth
- Divide the dough into equal balls (I wanted 8 so just calculated what each ball needed to weigh and used the weighing scales to make sure they were all even sized at around 95g)
- Put the dough balls onto 2 baking sheets lined with baking paper, cover with a tea towel and leave for another 40 mins
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan)
- Bake for 25 mins until the tops are browned and then allow to cool
- If you're not filling the buns immediately, store them in an airtight container as they tend to dry out quickly
- Make the almond paste by mixing all the ingredients together - the icing sugar is at your discretion until the paste is sweet enough for you, but as a guide, I added 3 tablespoons
- Cut a small hat off the top of each bun and place aside
- Then scoop out a little of the bread from inside each bun and add this into the almond paste, then mix together
- At this stage, I added a little more milk until I had a creamy paste
- Divide the paste between each of the buns
- Then beat the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla paste until mixed together
- Add the whipping cream and beat on high until it holds its shape and forms stiff peaks
- Using a star nozzle, pipe the cream onto each bun
- Then replace their hats
- Sprinkle liberally with icing sugar!
I am in SERIOUS ice cream heaven! I have just made the most deliciously yummy Mascarpone Ice Cream marbled with homemade salted caramel and filled with sugared almonds. I can't take all the credit though, as this recipe came from a wonderful blog I stumbled upon the other day from Sarah at Broma Bakery. There are so many lovely recipes on her blog all beautifully photographed and I have a list of her other recipes that I can't wait to try!
But back to this no churn, silky smooth Mascarpone Ice Cream. Yes, that's right - no churn. Which means you don't need any fancy equipment to make this apart from a vessel (ideally a loaf tin) in which to freeze your ice cream.
Sarah uses her favourite brand of Lush Gourmet Almonds, but since I didn't have access to these, I made my own sugared almonds that I chopped roughly and added in place of her suggestion. The only challenge I had with making these was trying not to eat them all before they went into the ice cream! They're lovely and sweet with a great crunch.
The ice cream is simple to make but you need to cast a blind eye to the calories of this one with whipping cream, mascarpone and condensed milk - and that's before we come on to the homemade caramel sauce! It is made simply by whipping the whipping cream and then folding in the other ice cream ingredients before adding almonds. There are very specific instructions for adding the caramel - I would have been inclined to swirl it through the base but followed the recipe and it worked out well so can only suggest you do the same when making this. Then the finished ice cream needs to freeze overnight.
This ice cream is rich and creamy and would taste good without the salted caramel and almonds but I like the caramel ribbons and the nuts give an additional crunchy texture which pairs well with the caramel. I think it's quite a grown-up ice cream (which is no bad thing in our house otherwise it would disppear in a matter of seconds!) and I can't wait to see how this will work with other flavour combinations :)
Mascarpone Ice Cream With Salted Caramel & Sugared Almonds (from Broma Bakery)
Sugared Almonds Ingredients
- 100G ALMONDS
- 70G ICING SUGAR
- 2 TBSP WATER
Ice Cream Ingredients
- 570ML WHIPPING CREAM
- 225G MASCARPONE
- 395G SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK
- 1 TBSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- ½ TSP SALT
Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
- 100G (½ CUP) SUGAR
- 40G BUTTER
- 60ML (¼ CUP) WHIPPING CREAM
- 1½ TSP SALT
Sugared Almonds Method
- Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat
- Stir constantly until all the almonds are covered with the icing sugar
- Remove them when they are a sticky white and spread them out on a layer of greaseproof paper to cool
- Roughly chop the almonds
Homemade Caramel Sauce Method
- Place the sugar in a saucepan and heat on a medium heat for around 5 minutes
- Stir the sugar occasionally to ensure that it all melts, but just enough to remove the lumps, and until it turns a dark amber colour
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, taking care as it will start to bubble, until they are mixed together completely (around 1 - 2 minutes)
- Pour in the whipping cream and salt and mix until it's all thoroughly combined
- Place back on the heat for 30 seconds, stirring all the time
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes
Ice Cream Method
- Prepare your loaf tin with greaseproof paper
- Put the whipping cream into a bowl and whip until soft peaks form
- Fold in the mascarpone, condensed milk, vanilla extract and salt and beat until stiff peaks form
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of almonds and fold the rest into the ice cream mixture
- Spoon half of the caramel over the top of the ice cream without stirring it through and then pour half of the ice cream into the prepared loaf tin
- Pour the rest of the caramel over the remaining ice cream and then pour this final half into the loaf tin
- Swirl the caramel very gently with a skewer
- Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the ice cream
- Freeze overnight and allow to soften slightly before serving
The sun is shining today and summer feels like it just might finally be on its way. As I write this, I know I'm tempting fate and that a downpour will arrive at any moment! This has been a busy week of cake prepping and admin so we definitely need a mid-week treat to tempt the taste buds, but something that embraces the summer sunshine today.
I've seen a number of crêpe cakes on the internet, but most of them are filled with nutella and syrup and since those two toppings are at the top of our favourite list for our weekly pancakes (I say weekly but our youngest would campaign for them every day of the week given the choice), they've never tempted me. Then I saw a lovely, fresh alternative on Call Me Cupcake which seemed perfect for a summery day and a need for something sweet - Dulce De Leche & Mascarpone Crêpe Cake.
The crêpe batter is sprinkled with orange zest (lemon, if you prefer) and adds a touch of freshness to the cake (and a subtle but beautiful aroma of orange when you're cooking them). You need to get into a rhythm producing the crêpes. Now I don't claim to be an expert pancake maker (I leave that to my hubby) but after the production line needed for this cake, I definitely got better! I made 20 crêpes from the batter using a six inch pan (although one of these sadly met an untimely demise with maple syrup and my mouth during cooking). It's important to separate the crêpes after cooking (either spread out or using greaseproof paper between the layers) otherwise they'll stick together whilst they're cooling.
It doesn't take long for them to cool down - just the length of time it took to make the mascarpone filling (I chose this over the ricotta in the original recipe). To make sure I had enough filling for the alternate layers, I divided the pancakes in two and spread half of them with ricotta and half of them with dulce de leche. It works better to spread the fillings on them when they're separated as when they're stacked and you press down on them, the filling squeezes out. When they all had their toppings, I stacked them, topped them with fruit and then a light sprinkling of icing sugar. After it was made, the kitchen was quite warm and the dulce de leche started to ooze out, so I kept it refrigerated and that also made it easier to cut.
The resulting crêpe cake is delicious and light, although the ricotta is very creamy so it feels more indulgent, especially paired with the dulce de leche.
This cake is best eaten the day it's made so it's probably an afternoon tea or dinner treat. I know this sounds quite fiddly, but it's very straightforward to make and is a lovely alternative to a usual baked cake so it's definitely one to try.
It does only make a six inch cake though, so make sure you don't invite too many friends around to enjoy it with you :)
Dulce De Leche & Mascarpone Crêpe Cake (recipe from Call Me Cupcake)
- 4 LARGE EGGS
- 1½ CUPS MILK (350 ML)
- 2 CUPS PLAIN FLOUR (260G)
- 1/4 TSP SALT
- 1½ TBP SUGAR
- ZEST OF 1 ORANGE (FINELY GRATED)
- 1 CUP WATER (235 ML)
- 75G BUTTER
- ½ TIN DULCE DE LECHE
- 170G MASCARPONE
- 1 TBSP ICING SUGAR
- ZEST OF ½ ORANGE (FINELY GRATED)
- EXTRA ICING SUGAR (FOR SPRINKLING ON TOP)
- MIXED FRUIT FOR TOP
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, flour, salt, sugar and orange zest until the batter is lump free
- Stir in the water and leave it to thicken at room temperature for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes, melt the butter and stir into the batter
- Using a 6 inch frying pan, melt a little butter in the pan and cook the pancakes one by one trying to make them as thin as possible (I used around ½ ladle batter for each crêpe)
- Lay each crêpe to cool on greaseproof paper making sure that you separate them with more greaseproof paper if you plan to stack them for cooling
- Leave to cook completely
- Combine the ricotta, tablespoon of icing sugar and orange zest
- Spread half of the crêpes with the ricotta mix and the other half with dulce de leche
- Then stack the pancakes on top of each other
- Top with your choice of mixed fruit and dust with icing sugar just before you plan to eat them
- And enjoy the fruits of your crêpe production line!