Like a mille feuille, a mille crêpe cake features many layers coming together for a unique textural experience. Each layer of crêpe wraps a thick layer of pastry cream flavored with matcha (Japanese green tea). This is a very simple cake to make and in just a couple of hours, you can have something incredible.
There are different grades of matcha. You'll often see the green tea powder labelled as "ceremonial" or "culinary" quality. For pastry, culinary quality is just what you need (usually under $10/ounce). The nuances and mildness of a high quality tea will be lost in the cream. But anything going into a teacup should be of the "ceremonial" quality ($20+/ounce).
Makes one 9-inch cake
The batter should be completely liquid and smooth at this point. If it still has lumps, process with an immersion blender and pass through a sieve.
Now set the batter in the fridge for at least an hour to rest.
optional 2 tbsp of cognac, rum, or brandy
1 cup (240 ml) of heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
Whisking the egg yolks with the sugar vigorously should make them ligher and triple in volume. When the yolks drawn up fall gently back onto the batter before dissolving in, it's called "ribbon stage."
Scald the milk by heating it until it just starts to bubble, then turn off the heat. Stir in the vanilla and cognac.
Return the yolks and milk to the saucepan used to heat the milk and set the heat to medium high.
Sift the matcha powder and whisk it into the cream.
Set this aside until ready to spread in between the crêpe layers. Just before using, bloom 1 teaspoon of gelatin in about 2 tablespoons of cold water by quickly whisking them together and letting it gel. Microwave this for about 10 seconds until melted and quickly whisk into the pastry cream.
Finally whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks (peaks should form and hold their shape as you draw them up).
Your choice of pan is important. Use a surface that will not allow the batter to stick; teflon or well seasoned cast iron or stainless steel will work well. Be sure to use a paper towel to rub down the pan with oil before each time you pour in the batter.
Set your burner to medium and let your pan heat. For a 10-inch pan, use about 1/4 cup of batter. For a 12-inch pan, use about 1/2 cup of batter (your cake will not be as tall).
Stacking the crêpes will help them retain moisture and soften while cooling. It will take at least 30 minutes for them to come to room temperature. Do not start spreading the pastry cream until they are cool to the touch.
Measure out about 6 tablespoons of the pastry cream and spread evenly across the crêpe.
Cut a piece of parchment paper and very carefully place it halfway across the cake. Any unevenness will show, so try to perfectly hit the halfway point.
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