So, I’ve been away for almost two months now. Sad that couldn’t blog but then a digital detox of sorts helped me rejuvenate. More than thrilled to spring back in action now – for more reasons than one.
There is a another man in my life now — my brand new …..my little nephew ‘Arjun’. My sister delivered a baby boy and he was one of the main reason I was away. I flew down to my sister’s to help her during the delivery and post. Boy! I had no idea what to expect. A total rookie at this, ….totally underestimated the amount the ‘help’ I volunteered to do. But it was all worth while. I’m so thankful for these little people in our lives…they make life so beautiful.
My little man is the cutest thing on two legs.. Gosh! I’m hopelessly in love with him! I promise to love him, guide him and totally spoil him rot. Oh! How I miss him , as I write about him , sitting miles away from him. Sigh! 😦
Btw, I need to tell you all about a sweet weird co-incidence concerning the two men in my life. Both the men in life (my husband and my little nephew – Because I must clarify!) were born on the same date – 11th October How amazing is that?
Because I was with my sister during her delivery, I couldn’t be with my husband for his birthday this year. After being away for a month, I wanted to whip up something special for him when I return. And the wonderful thing was I timed my return around our anniversary (10th Nov)- couldn’t have missed being together on that day!
10th November the day that changed my life, 6 years ago – changed it for good. The day that marked the beginning of our journey of togetherness; filled with love, happiness and support till the end. There is no feeling as comforting as the belief that I have him in my life. A beautiful journey filled with new discoveries about each other, loving each other more, communicating , giving each other space and trust – These 6 years of togetherness has been blissful and cannot wait for the next.
To celebrate this togetherness, there needs to be a special cake. A cake that echoes how relationships are built and are strengthened over time. A cake that can be built – A Mille Crepe Cake (French for a Layered Crepe Cake) perfectly resonates the illusion of complexity similar to that of a marriage.
A cake that I can ‘make’ and not ‘bake’ – A Mille Crepe Cake layered chocolate hazelnut ganache…with some fresh strawberries. And it is all french…and so it’s perfectly romantic … you get the drift, right?
Chocolate…strawberries are both symbolic of love – it would perfectly complement for the humble crepes.Plump tart fresh Strawberries (and some frozen blueberries stashed in my freezer) would be just want I need to cut through the sweetness of the ganache. There, I had it all figured out!
So the night before, I whipped up some sexy silky dark chocolate ganache. Added nutella to it and turned into more sinful… My chocolate hazelnut ganache. It was nearly impossible to keep away from that devil of a bowl ! But I had to , because I had some crepes to flip. Got on with my batter for the crepes – planned to make some 18-20 crepes. Batter was made in no time … but making the crepes took a bit of time. Patience is a good virtue to have, learning from my crepe-making-experience. Confession – Between flipping crepes, I made some quick (multiple ) dashes to bowl of ganache,…because when your sweet tooth beckons, you just have to give in 😛
Took me about 45 minutes to make some 20 crepes. They were not all of the same dimensions ( although I tried), but it didn’t matter because I knew I could still stack them in a lovely way. I decided to have them rest over night and assemble them early next morning, before my husband woke up. (On the hind side, that was not a good idea. I’ll let you know in a little while)
Then the next morning, I carefully stacked up the crepes , smeared the ganache between each layers, threw in some chopped strawberries in between and, because I wanted a rustic crepe cake so no ganache over the top most crepe. I must admit, putting this cake together was so much fun! There I got my cake standing reasonably tall…. and naked. I still had an hour to go before he woke up, so I put the cake in the fridge. But he decided to get up early!! I couldn’t give the cake enough time in the fridge for the ganache to set. ( That is when I realized I should have assembled the cake before going to bed – so could have let the cake sit the fridge overnight… ) barely 20 minutes and had to take the cake out and get it all dressed up. So I got the plump strawberries to sit pretty on the top, snuggling each other and some dainty little frozen blueberries. Completed the look of the cake by dusting some icing sugar on it. My rustic Mille Crepe Cake was ready for the show.
If were any other regular bake, I would have cut the cake and shot. But not this time! Because this was different…this was special. Diving into this cake was just what we wanted to kick-start our celebrations for the rest of the day. Obviously, the photos had to wait….a little.
We savored a slice of this decadent cake… and thought how could something so simple taste so amazing! We loved it… a tad messy because the ganache was still a little gooey, but it was such fun and sexy to eat. The burst of light tangy from the berries were such lovely hidden tart surprise between the sweet chocolate hazelnut ganache. How can you possibly stop on something like that…. but I had to… because I had to photograph this cake.
Styling was fun all over again… Cake was rustic so had to make sure the settings complement that….really happy with what I did and how it turned out. 🙂
So there… a rather personal post…shared a lot of things close to my heart.
RECIPE – Mille Crepe Cake layered chocolate hazelnut ganache.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 200 grams dark chocolate ( you can use semi-sweet/milk)
- 200 grams fresh cream
- Nutella ( I used 3-4 tbsp – heaps )
- 3 eggs
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup of milk
- 2 tbsp sugar (you can add more based on the type of chocolate you use for your ganache & also depends on if you are sweet or savory crepes)
- pinch of tsp salt
- 1- 2 tbsp vanilla extract (skip this for savory crepe)
- Strawberries & Blueberries ( optional / you can use any other fruit you wish)
Directions to make basic crepes ( because you can turn these crepes into something sweet or savory)
- Whisk together flour, sugar (skip this for savory crepe), and salt in a bowl.
- Whisk together butter, eggs, milk and vanilla (skip this for savory crepe) in another medium bowl.
- Add milk mixture to flour mixture, mix them well.
- Heat a non-stick pan and lightly butter it. Pour one ladle of the batter into pan, swirling around to make sure it of your desired size/ diameter.
- Give it 1 minute on one side and flip to the other side carefully. Golden , curled up edges would be a good sign to look out before you flip the crepe.
- Once cooked, take the crepe off the pan and let it cool off on the rack. Once it is cooled off, transfer it to a plate – and let it wait for its fate (sweet/savory)
Directions to make the Ganache
- Grate and melt the chocolate in the microwave (you can use a double boiler too)
- Gently heat the cream and blend it into melted chocolate mix
- Add nutella (as much as you want)
- Let it rest in the fridge or at a cool place till it is put to use.
Directions to get the cake up
- Place a crepe on cake stand and smear 1-2 spoonful (as much you desire) of the ganache.
- Top with another crepe. Continue layering with the ganache filling and crepes, until you have used up all the crepes you had for this. Make sure you end with a crepe on top, without any ganache spread.
- Between every 2 layers I threw in some chopped berries over the ganache.
- Refrigerate until firm, min of an 45 mins to even overnight. Because once set, and cut.. the layers look so prominent and beautiful. Plus it is not messy at all as opposed to digging into fresh crepes smeared with gooey chocolate ganache.
- You can get creative with the cake. I used berries and dusted with icing sugar to give a wintery feel to this.