At least 20 layers of whisper-thin crepes, caramelized on top to form a crisp sugar roof, bonded together by a creamy custard, make up this cake that has become one of my favorite (and rare) treats. It tastes like crème brulee, but with the buttery, airy texture of a crepe.
At $40 for a 6” cake, it’s no bargain. My first bite was at a fashion event, where they offered me a tiny slice on a napkin. Why do you have such a lovely cake?, I asked the publicist. She leaned in close and whispered, “a fashion editor requested it in exchange for attending this event.” Now that might be a perfect and slightly off-putting example of high-maintenance, but I must admit that editor has impeccable taste.
Lady M Boutique, 41 E. 78th St between Madison and Park Visit the Lady M website here.
On another crepe note, I found this recipe today on Saveur for those who want a more affordable crepe alternative.
This recipe was adapted from Henri Charpentier’s own version of crêpes suzette.
FOR THE CRÊPES:
6 tbsp. flour
6 tbsp. milk
3 tbsp. heavy cream
FOR THE SAUCE:
10 tbsp. sugar
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp. kirsch
1 tsp. orange flower water
7 tbsp. Cointreau
5 tbsp. cognac
1. For the crêpes: Beat together eggs and flour in a medium bowl. Add milk and cream, beating constantly until smooth. Strain through a sieve, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
2. For the sauce: Use a vegetable peeler to remove rind from 2 of the oranges, avoiding pith. Mix rind with 8 tbsp. of the sugar, then chop to a fine paste. Juice all the oranges and set juice aside. Beat butter in medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add rind to butter and beat for 1 minute. Gradually drizzle in juice, kirsch, orange flower water, and 2 tbsp. of the Cointreau, beating constantly until very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes more.
3. Heat a seasoned crêpe pan or small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Grease pan with a little butter, then pour in 1/4 cup batter. Working quickly, swirl batter to just coat pan, pouring any excess batter back into bowl (trim off pour mark). Cook until edges brown, about 1 minute. Turn with a spatula and brown other side for about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter, greasing pan only as needed.
4. Melt orange butter in a large skillet or crêpe finishing pan over medium heat until bubbling. Dip both sides of 1 crêpe in sauce, then, with best side facing down, fold in half, then in half again. Repeat process with remaining crêpes, arranging them around pan. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp. sugar. Pour cognac and remaining 5 tbsp. Cointreau over crêpes and carefully ignite with a match. Spoon sauce over crêpes, then serve.
This recipe was first published in Saveur in Issue #40