Chocolate Mille-Crêpes with Orange Cream, Orange Caramel & Candied Zest


I posted a chestnut mille crêpes recently and at this point you’re probably thinking that i’m obsessed with crêpe cakes, and that i need help. Sure, i’m obsessed with eating them but unfortunately my insurance company doesn’t reimburse this kind of therapy yet. While this mille crêpes looks similar to the last one i made, each version is quite unique and this might be my favorite of the two with its chocolate crêpes layered with orange pastry cream and the drizzle of orange caramel. It’s a pretty incredible dessert, if i dare to say so myself. And i think it deserves a little post.

I like to trick people into thinking mille crêpes are a lot of work to make while in fact, they’re quite easy. Apparently, i’m not the only one. Some well-known bakeries are not afraid to charge up to $85 for a cake like this. I wonder if that makes me a big doofus for revealing the recipe? Just give me 25¢ on the slice and a hug if you decide to open your own bakery featuring this recipe. I’m easy.

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Let me give you a little background story on how this mille crêpes came to be. Once again this is a ‘recycled’ recipe that i created with the leftover batter from the chocolate crêpes suzette with pistachios i made at work last week. If you haven’t seen the recipe i posted almost 2 years ago, click on the link, take a look and be prepared to get hypnotized (i also updated the photography on that post). I lost a few people in the wilderness that day so be careful it doesn’t happen to you.

I found myself with quite a bit of chocolate crêpe batter left and improvised this mille crêpes the next day. It requires a bit of obsessive-compulsiveness to neatly assemble this cake but i have plenty of that in store. That’s what happen when you train with fancy French chefs. Besides that, there’s nothing complicated here. Try it for yourself.

  • Chocolate Mille-Crêpes with Orange Pastry Cream, Orange Caramel & Candied Zest

  • serves 8
  • chocolate-mille-crepe-7
    • Chocolate Crêpes & Orange zest:
    • 1 large orange: 1/2 zest removed and julienned; 1/2 zest finely grated
    • 1/3 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
    • 1/2 cup hazelnut (or almond) flour, sifted
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
    • 1/8 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon dark rum
    • 2 cups milk
    • Orange Pastry Cream:
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
    • 6 large egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup cornstarch
    • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temp
    • zest of 1 orange
    • Orange Caramel & finish:
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 2/3 cup heavy cream
    • pinch of salt
    • 1/3 cup pistachios, for garnish
    • Chocolate crêpes & Orange zest:
    • Bring a small saucepan of cold water and the julienned orange zest to a boil. Drain. Return the orange zest to the saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes. Cool the zest in the syrup.
    • Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter. Whisk together the flour, hazelnut flour, cocoa, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and the eggs until combined. Whisk in the melted butter, followed by the rum, grated orange zest, and milk, just until each ingredient is incorporated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
    • Make the crêpes in a non-stick 8-inch pan over medium high heat, brushing the pan with melted butter in between each crêpe. As the crepes are made, stack them on a plate (you will need 12 to 14 crêpes for a cake). When the crêpes are cool, place a crepe on a serving platter (or cake board) put an equal amount of the orange pastry cream in the center and spread evenly all around with an offset spatula. Top with another crêpe and repeat the operation 12 to 14 times. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
    • Orange pastry cream:
    • In a small saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla bean (pulp and pod) to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cover the pan and let it infuse for 10 min.
    • Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a bowl. Drizzle a quarter of the hot milk and whisk vigorously. Pour the rest of the milk and keep whisking. Discard the vanilla pod and pour the mixture back in the pan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil while whisking energetically for 1 or 2 minutes.
    • Set the bottom of the pot in a ice-water bath to cool, stirring frequently so that the mixture remains smooth. Cool to 140’F (warm to the touch) and stir in the butter and the orange zest until completely incorporated. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
    • Orange caramel & Finish:
    • Warm a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle the remaining cup of sugar into the saucepan a little at the time, and as the sugar melts, add more while stirring. When the caramel has turned a dark-amber color, add the orange juice, heavy cream and a pinch of salt. Continue to cook, stirring, until the caramel has dissolved. Bring to a boil for 4 minutes.
    • Pour some orange caramel over the mille crêpes and serve with candied zest and pistachios.
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  • Les Casseroles de Nawal

    Tes Photos sont Superbes, à la hauteur de cet Alléchant dessert !

  • shirley@kokken69

    Oh yes, I have envisioned myself making this especially after seeing a rich decadent version in Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Dessert Cookbook. He had sandwich each crepe layer with decadent dark chococlate ganache….

  • Stacey Snacks

    Gorgeous photos Stephane.
    This is really a gorgeous dessert.

  • Ginny

    haha! somehow you managed to make something I wouldn’t eat… it looks beautiful but as much as I love chocolate… I can’t stand orange chocolate… one of my odd quirks… haha!

  • Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf

    A typical Zen Chef post – gorgeous photography, fun text and the reader (moi) gazing longingly at the screen. Gorgeous dessert, and hey – glad to hear you’ve got lots of sweet posts in stock :)

  • claudia @ ceF

    absolutely incredible. i would love to give this a go at some point. but you french guys… so many steps…

    still. just gorgeous. GORGEOUS!

  • Jessica Lee Binder

    I hope I don’t get booted off your site but I’m not a big fan of chocolate and orange together. If you made this for me, I would certainly try it but if I have to do the work, I think I’ll check out the chestnut one. It’s just tearing me apart though that you favor this one.

  • jen

    25 cents?? I’d pay you $5 if you’d send me a slice…it looks wonderful!!

  • Pingback: Chocolate Mille-Crêpes with Orange Cream, Orange Caramel & Candied …()

  • Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks

    My first time to your site. Gorgeous photos! Love all the different angles of the cake.

  • Marc @ NoRecipes

    Stephane, you could post crêpes every day and I would never grown tired of them. I really think it’s my favourite cake ever. I keep saying I’m going to make this, but next week it’s gonna happen.

  • Robin

    This is a kind of traditional childrens birthday cake in sweden, called pancake-tarte. (Swedish pancakes are the same as crepes). We usually have strawberryjam between layers and whipped cream and berries on top.

  • Cherine

    This dessert is wonderful!! yummyyyyy :)

  • Su-yin

    Oooh these was what I was drooling over at 3am last week mid night shift! 😛 They still look just as good, if not better now (in full size photos and all…)

    Will definitely have to try making this one day, it looks absolutely delicious.

  • Dawn (KitchenTravels)

    I am so in love with your blog, and your food. Absolutely beautiful, this one.

  • amy

    i have eaten quite a few flavrs of crepe cake and i have never really come across one like yours and i must say, it looks fantastic:)

  • Miriam/The Winter Guest

    Your crepe tart looks amazing! I found your blog via Foodgawker and I’ll definitely be visiting again. Cheers.

  • Jeremy

    How do you get an invite to dinner??

  • Oui, Chef

    Zen – Your work is of such a high level, and so distinctive, that when I saw this photo on Foodgawker, I knew it was yours before I even saw your name in the corner of the picture. Absolutely beautiful!

  • nakedbeet

    Did someone say a stack of crepes? I’ll be right here.

  • Mia King

    God, this is gorgeous. Mwah!

  • Kitchen M

    Maybe it is worth $85. This looks pretty labor intense! mmm… Yummy!

  • Abby

    ughh– I would love to have that. I do say, I was in love with the chestnut mille crepe, because chestnuts are the best, but orange and chocolate is an unbeatable classic combination. Always inspiring

  • _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver

    Beautiful, as always. I do have a weakness for crêpes myself. Maybe you can send over that mille-crêpes to me! =D

  • Manggy

    A gorgeous dessert like this deserves a *big* post 😉

  • Divina

    This is fantastic and so elegantly delicious.

  • Sean

    Haha I’m glad you brought up how expensive these things are! I saw an 6″ one for $35 the other day.

    Great looking crepes Zen!

  • Morta Di Fame

    i book marked the chestnut one. I neeeeeed to make one!

  • Azura

    Intermarriage of citrus and heavenly chocolate , over and over again my beloved friend here is teasing my tastebud with his kick ass creation(sorry zen for my language), I have to confess …, one more chocolatey entry I ‘ll propose to you :) hope you’re well hunny xoxo

  • we are never full

    hazelnut flour. whoa. i would love to try many things utilizing this. again, your ridiculous pictures of a ridiculous looking dessert makes me feel like a fucking food loser! this looks like you measured in between every freaking layer – that’s how perfect it looks. beautiful.

  • Joy

    I’m mesmerized! You are quite the perfectionist, I am pretty sure my mille crepes stack wouldn’t look anything like this hahaha. It’s so beautiful I would almost hesitate to eat it, but the minute everyone turned their heads I am pretty sure I would devour all of the crepes (perhaps plate and all) in one swift gargantuan bite. Yum yum yum!!

  • pigpigscorner

    This is gorgeous! This reminds me of the layered cake I made recently, which failed miserably.

  • Pei-Lin

    Great, great combo of flavors in such delicate dessert!! Great work, as always, from the Zen Master!!

  • LaSpicyVita

    oh em gee.

  • Colloquial Cook

    -M’sieur, M’sieur!
    -Oui petit fenouil?
    -heu, chpeux avoir une tranche de gâteau sivouplé?
    -Nan. Les vilains petits fenouils sont privés de dessert. Hop.

  • my spatula

    OMG…prettiest crepes ever!

  • Dovilyte

    Wonderful pictures! Dessert looks absolutely delicious :)

  • Kathleen Jorgensen

    Hi. I am in a Gourmet Cooking Club with my girlfriends here in CA. I made your Choc. Mille-Crepes w/ Orange Cream and they turned out delicious. I plan on serving it for my dessert at my 7 course dinner on Wed. 3/24. I am listing all the Chefs names that who’s recipes I use. CAN YOU PLEASE EMAIL ME YOUR FULL NAME so that I can credit you as the Chef and do a small bio (I can use the info. on your website for that.) Thanks for sharing your delicious recipes with world! Kathleen

  • Büyü

    Wonderful pictures! Dessert looks absolutely delicious :)

  • Pei

    Hi, thanks for sharing! I did classic vanilla crepe twice before but ended up with thick crepes. your crepes look paper thin, do you mind sharing your technique or tips? Thanks!! Great website, I gotta say :)

  • vmkw

    this is an absolutely beautiful dessert.

  • Cat

    there is a store online that been selling it for year..just chocolate mile high creaps cake. Yours has more flavors!

  • Jets jerseys

    Perhaps this is one of the most interesting blogs that I have ever seen. Interesting article, Funny comment. Keep it up!

  • Packers jerseys

    Couldn’t agree more…Had a post already written about this too, (good job i checked around first)never mind.It is a really good tune though. Here’s hoping more labels wise up and do this.

  • louboutin heels

    Are you guys seeing short sales just dominate your market?

  • Cindy

    This looks amazingly good,
    Too bad my pastry skill it not quite there yet, otherwise I’ll definitely give it a try right now!
    (don’t wanna turn mille crepes into a mushy mess!)