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.
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 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.