Monday, May 23, 2022

Layered Crêpe Torte


This crêpe cake from Scharffen Berger is based on sachertorte, with chocolate and apricot jam. Luckily, I was making this ahead of time, which allowed me to course-correct. 

The original ratio of milk-to-flour was too high; it took me 3 crêpes in 2 different pans to confirm, but indeed, once I added more flour, I had no more problems. The amounts below are mine. 

The Engineer would have liked it better without any nuts, but I am not sure that the filling would have had enough substance at that point. The kids were okay with the whole thing, but it wasn’t their favorite. I think that this summer, I will try a version of a crêpe cake with a mixture of whipped cream and Nutella as filling. If they don’t like it, I’ll stop making it, because right now, it feels a bit like casting pearls before swine! 

For the crêpes 
3 large eggs 
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour 
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar 
½ tsp. salt 
3 cups lactose-free whole milk 
1 Tbsp. lactose-free butter, melted, plus more for the pans and foil 
1 18-oz.-jar of apricot jam (I used two-thirds of a 13-oz. jar) 
4 oz. finely grated bittersweet (62%) chocolate 
½ cup ground pecans 
¼ cup granulated sugar 

For the chocolate sauce 
6 Tbsp. brown sugar 
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 
½ cup cocoa 
1 pinch salt 
½ cup water 
½ tsp. vanilla 

For the crêpes 
Place the eggs in a large bowl, add about one-third of the flour, and whisk to combine. Whisk in the remaining flour, the sugar, and salt. Carefully whisk in about one-quarter of the milk (it will tend to splatter), then gradually whisk in the remaining milk. Whisk in 1 tablespoon butter. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. 

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Brush on a coating of butter and let it sizzle. Lift the pan from the heat and ladle in 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of the batter (I used more). Shake and rotate the pan to spread the batter in an even layer. Return the skillet to the heat. Fill in any holes in the crêpe with a bit more batter. Cook the crêpe for about 1 minute, or until the bottom is set and golden brown. Lift an edge of the crêpe with a heatproof spatula and quickly flip the crêpe. Cook the second side for about 5 seconds to set and lightly brown. Slide the crepe onto a plate, and cook the remaining crepes, stacking them on the plate. Use immediately or, to freeze the crepes, place a piece of waxed paper between each crepe, then wrap the stack tightly in plastic wrap. 

For the chocolate sauce 
In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugars, cocoa, and salt. Add the water and gently whisk everything together. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil while stirring; then lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sugars have dissolved and the mixture has thickened. Let cool, then transfer to a glass jar. 

For assembly 
Remove the lid from the jar of jam, place the jar in the microwave, and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and continue to heat until the jam is melted or heat the jam in a saucepan over medium heat until softened. Strain the jam into a small bowl. 

Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Lightly butter a 9- or l0-inch pie plate or deep ovenproof serving dish (I used an 8” springform pan and lined the outside with aluminum foil). Tear off a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the dish and butter it on one side. 

In a small bowl, mix together the chocolate, pecans and sugar. Place a crêpe in the center of the pie plate. Spread a scant tablespoon of jam over the crepe and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of the chocolate mixture. Top with another crêpe and continue to stack and fill the crêpes until all of them are used, leaving the top one plain. (At this point, the torte can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost before baking.) 

Cover the torte with the aluminum foil (buttered side down) and place in the oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated throughout. The filling will bubble around the edges. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. 

Cut into wedges and serve with the chocolate sauce.

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