If you follow this blog for a while you probably noticed that I’m a little bit obsessed with crêpe cakes. It started sometime last year with a chestnut crêpe cake or mille-crêpes (a thousand crêpes) as they are sometimes called. I liked it the first time so I made another one, a chocolate mille-crêpes with an orange cream and orange caramel. I liked that too. Very much. So I said heck, never two without three.
I complete the trilogy today with this Green Tea Mille-Crêpes, but who knows, I might pull a Georges Lucas on you and decide to make three more in the future.
I’m not too sure what the obsession is about, the components are pretty simple and consist only of flavored crêpes and lightened pastry cream, but I think it’s the way it’s constructed that turns it into something more than the sum of its parts.
Even if you don’t want to make a crêpe cake the green tea crêpes are delicious on their own. And they look good. It’s a pretty straightforward crêpes batter recipe, although I like to add beer and a touch of Grand-Marnier to mine, along with matcha powder.
I also added Grand-Marnier and some orange zest to the filling, because I believe green tea has an affinity for anything citrusy. And I served the crêpe cake with candied orange zest.
For the complete trilogy check out:
Green Tea Crêpe Cake
- Serves 6
For the green tea crêpes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water or beer
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons matcha powder
- 1 tablespoon Cointreau or Grand-Marnier
For the pastry cream:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temp’
- zest of 1/2 orange
- 1 tablespoon Grand-Marnier (optional)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped (optional)
- Candied orange zest (optional)
For the crêpes:
- Combine all the ingredients by hand or in the bowl of a blender. Mix until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Place a 6-inch nonstick or seasoned crepe pan over medium heat. Using a paper towel, coat the pan with a little butter.
- Pour about 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the pan. Lift, tilt and rotate the pan so that the batter forms an even, very thin layer. Cook until golden. Turn the crêpe over and cook a little longer. Remove the crêpe to a piece of wax paper. Continue cooking the rest of the crêpes.
Orange pastry cream:
- In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat.
- 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. Return the custard to the pan and add the vanilla extract and orange zest. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil while whisking energetically for 1 or 2 minutes. The mixture will be thick. Stir in the Grand-Marnier if using.
- 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.
- When ready to use, place the put the pastry cream in a food processor and process for 10 seconds for the best consistency. Fold in the whipped cream if using.
To assemble the Mille Crêpes:
- Lay 1 crêpe on a cake plate. Using an icing spatula, completely cover with a thin layer of pastry cream. Cover with a crêpe and repeat to make a stack of 15 to 20.
- Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve cold. If you have a blowtorch for crème brûlée, sprinkle the top crêpe with 2 tablespoons sugar and caramelize with the torch. Slice like a cake. Serve with candied orange zest.