Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tea Time with Brandy: Berry Lemonade Crepe Cake with Nielsen Massey

Brandy spent the last weekend in doors, refusing to go outside.  "Have you seen what is happening out there?" she said in fright, "It's the bloody end of the world!  It's supposed to be spring, and yet its snowing one minute and 80 degrees the next!  How on earth is one supposed to prepare for that?"

Wanting to create some spring time in her own home, Brandy began going through her cabinets until she spotted a bottle of Neilsen-Massey Lemon Extract and was immediately inspired to use her favorite brand of flavorings to create a tea time masterpiece.  "I remember once having an unusual cake called a Mille, which was layers and layers of crepes with tasty filings.  I wonder if I could somehow give that classic tea time treat a spring time twist!"

She tried a few different versions of her brainstorm and each one turned out more delicious than the last, so Brandy has here decided to share her refined recipe!  Make sure to stop by our Instagram page for a special giveaway that will help you recreate this treat at home.

Neilsen-Massey provided the writers of this blog with products in order to facilitate the writing of this post.

Berry Lemonade Crepe Cake

For the Crepes:
3 cups of whole milk
6 eggs
6 tablespoons of melted butter (plus extra for cooking the crepes)
7 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/12 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of Nielsen-Massey Lemon Extract
(optional) 1-2 drops of yellow food coloring

For the pastry cream:
2 cups of whole milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
4 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
4 tablespoons of heavy cream, whipped

For the berry filling:
1 pound of fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries work well)
1/4-1/3 cup of sugar, depending on the natural sweetness of the berries
about 1/2 cup of cornstarch (will depend on the water content of the berries)

To make the berry filling: Place all of the clean berries into a medium sized sauce pan and add the sugar.  Turn the heat to medium and cook about five minutes or until the berries begin to release their juices.  Puree the berries with a stick blender until smooth and cook to reduce for ten minutes.  Slowly begin to whisk in the cornstarch a tablespoon at a time to make sure there are no clumps.  Keep adding cornstarch until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Take off the heat and refrigerate for at least one hour.

To make the pastry cream filling: Heat milk in a medium sauce pan on low heat.  Combine eggs and sugar in a medium bowl, then add the salt, flour, and cornstarch and mix until well combined.  Add the heated milk to the egg mixture one tablespoon at a time and whisk, then transfer the entire mixture back into the sauce pan and turn the heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes while continuing to stir.  Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and add the vanilla bean paste, then set aside to cool to room temperature.  Once cool, add in the whipped cream and gently fold to combine.  Add the mixture into a pastry bag (or a large plastic storage bag) and refrigerate for at least an hour.

To make the crepes: In a large bowl, combine the milk and butter, then add the eggs, sugar, and salt and stir to combine.  Whisk in the flour until there are little to no lumps in the batter.  Heat a large non stick frying pan to medium high heat, then add in a small amount of butter.  Add a little less than 1/4 cup of batter into the frying pan (may need to be adjusted to the size of your pan) and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin, even layer.  Cook the crepe until the edges are slightly browned, then flip and cook for about a minute, then remove from the pan.  This recipe should yield 15-20 crepes.

To assemble the cake: In a spring form pan roughly the same size as your frying pan, lay down a single crepe, then pipe a medium thin layer of pastry cream.  Add a second crepe and a second layer of pastry cream, then press gently to even out the layers.  Add a medium thick layer of berry filling and then another crepe and press again.  Continue adding crepes and filling in this manner: crepe, pastry cream, crepe, pastry cream, berry filling, crepe, and continue to press down between layers to keep the cake even.  Once all the crepes have been used up, refrigerate the cake for at least on hour to allow it to set.  Serve with fresh berries and whipped cream if desired.  Makes 8-12 servings.

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