Gluten-free Chocolate Crêpe Cake
It’s Pancake Day! This year, instead of the usual pancakes with lemon and sugar, why not shake things up a bit and celebrate with this pancake cake? (Although, technically, this is a crêpe cake, in the UK we use the terms interchangeably and therefore it counts).
Why make a crêpe cake? Well, it saves on the hassle of greasing and lining cake tins for one thing. You don't have to preheat the oven, or carefully check whether the cake is baked through (woe betide you if it isn't, hello sunken sponge cakes!). In fact, you don't need an oven at all to make a crêpe cake - all you need is a trusty stove top with which to heat up your pan.
This gluten-free chocolate crêpe cake is made up of thin chocolate crêpes, with alternating layers of milk chocolate ganache and whipped cream throughout. It is topped with a heap of whipped cream, a dusting of cocoa powder and some chocolate shavings. Heaven.
It may look fancy, but I promise you, this crêpe cake recipe is easy as pie. Though, if you don't fancy the hassle of making the whole thing there are a few shortcuts you could take. If you don't want to make chocolate ganache for this recipe, you can always slather whipped cream throughout the whole crêpe cake instead. Alternatively, my all-time favourite pancake topping, Nutella, works a dream. Whatever you choose to do, however inventive you choose to get, choose to make a crêpe cake this year!
Make sure to sieve the cocoa powder and the flour into the batter, else things could get a little lumpy which will result in less than pristine crêpe.
When making the milk chocolate ganache, though the cream must be warm to melt the chocolate, it is important that the cream is not too hot else the whole mixture will burn, resulting in an unpleasant grainy mixture. Nobody wants that in their crêpe cake.
Make sure that all the components of the crêpe cake are completely cold before attempting to assemble the cake. If not, the cake will just slide apart. Trust me, I've made this mistake before.
Once made, this chocolate crêpe cake will need to be stored in the fridge and consumed within 3 days.
Gluten-free Chocolate Crêpe Cake
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes + cooling time
Serves 8 to 10
For the gluten-free chocolate pancakes:
360ml milk 3 medium eggs, room temperature, whisked 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5g caster sugar ½ tsp salt 100g gluten-free plain flour
40g cocoa powder
30g unsalted butter, for frying
For the milk chocolate ganache:
200g milk chocolate, broken up into pieces
For the cream:
350ml whipped cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar and salt. Then, sieve in the gluten-free plain flour and the cocoa powder and mix again until everything is thoroughly combined. Leave the crêpe batter to rest for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, to prepare the ganache: in a microwave safe bowl, heat up the 225ml cream until it is hot, but not boiling. Add the broken up milk chocolate and quickly whisk together to combine the chocolate with the cream as it melts. Once the chocolate has fully melted into the mixture, set the ganache aside to cook properly and harden.
To make the crêpes: heat up a medium sized frying pan on the stove, keeping the temperature at med-high. Add a knob of butter and roll it around the pan to lubricate it before adding roughly 1/4 cup of the batter. Tilt the pan to roll the batter around the base of the pan until it is covered. Then, allow the crêpe to cook for a minute or two before flipping using a spatula and cooking it for 30 seconds on the other side.
Once the crêpes are cooked, place them onto a plate and use pieces of kitchen towel to separate each one. You should end up with between 12 to 14 crêpes. Once all the batter has been used up, set the crêpes aside to cool completely.
In a clean bowl, whisk up the remaining 350ml cream. When it begins to thicken add the powdered sugar and then continue to whisk until the cream is thick and holds it's shape.
To assemble the cake, place a crêpe on a plate or cake stand, spread a heaped spoonful of chocolate ganache over the crêpe and top this with another crêpe. Then, spread a heaped tablespoon of cream onto the top of the crêpe and cover that with another crêpe. Keep layering up the cake until you’ve run out of crêpes.
Finish off the chocolate crêpe cake with any leftover whipped cream, a dusting of cocoa powder and some chocolate shavings. Store the cake in the fridge until serving.