Sunday, August 14, 2011

Valrhona Chocolate Crepe Layer Cake with Hazelnut Cream—Happy Birthday to My Hubby

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It was my hubby’s birthday and I wanted to make him something special.  Since he’s a chocolate lover, it’s just very natural that I made him a chocolate cake.  This is no ordinary chocolate cake.  I make this cake with Valrhona Chocolate, Valrhona cocoa powder, and Valrhona chocolate pearls, my choice of chocolate!  (It might sounds like an advertising, but NO, Valrhona didn’t sponsor my post nor send me free chocolate to say this, although I secretly wished they did! LOL)  I just love the deep and rich chocolate flavor from Valrhona products. 

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I originally saw the crepe layer cake from Martha’s site.  I know I have to make it someday.  Even though I didn't exactly use Martha’s recipe, this cake was definitely inspired by her. 

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I promise not to reveal my hubby’s age. But the answer is in the picture above. If you can count, his age is exactly the number of crepes I used for this cake. Winking smile Cool, huh?

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Since it was a surprise cake for my hubby, I made the cake when he was at work. So, how did I get the picture above? I was pouring melted chocolate with my left hand and holding my camera and shooting with my right hand. Not an easy task because my camera is quite heavy. I almost dropped the whole pot of chocolate onto the cake, I mean, the chocolate and the pot!!! hahahaha….it was kind of fun though and I’m happy I’ve captured this image.

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I just love the melted chocolate drizzle down the layers of crepes that are filled with hazelnut cream. So luscious and beautiful.

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After the cake was chilled in the fridge and decorated with candied hazelnut and chocolate pearls, it’s all ready for the candle and cake cutting ceremony.

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It was definitely a fun cake to make, and it’s almost too beautiful to cut into, almost. For those who do not know what to expect from the inside of the cake, it will certainly come as a surprise once the cake is sliced open.  I definitely love the gorgeous layers of this cake.

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Although the candied hazelnut didn’t come out as I expected because the candy “tail” chipped a little when I pick them up from the parchment paper, they still tasted wonderful. I love the crunch and the toasted nutty flavor from the "candied" hazelnut. 

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Here’s how the inside looks like, with all the layers of crepes and cream, and love. 

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If you have a special birthday celebration, I strongly suggest you to make this cake.  It’s a lot easier to make than it looks.  Plus, you can (and you should) make this cake a day, or two, ahead of time, without having to worry that the cake will get 'dried out' when sitting inside the fridge.  I’m sure the person who receives this cake will be very pleased and be very surprised!

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Happy Birthday, My Love!  Wish you good health, love and happiness.  May all your birthday wishes come true.  I look forward to celebrate many many more “layers” and birthdays with you.





Valrhona Chocolate Crepe Layer Cake with Hazelnut Cream:
Printable Recipe



For the Chocolate Crepes:

  • 4 large eggs
    5 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup cake flour
    1/2 cup Valrhona cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • Butter, for coating the pan

  • In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend for 10 to 15 seconds, or until all ingredients are well combined. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  I let it rest in the fridge overnight.  Thus, allows the bubbles in the batter to subside and the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. 

  • Heat a crepe pan or a small non-stick pan on low heat. Grease the pan with butter and wipe off any excess with a clean paper towel. Pour 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of batter onto the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds on the first side and flip. Cook the other side for another 10 seconds and remove to a cutting board lined with parchment paper. I separate each cooked crepes with parchment paper until they are cool before I stack them together. Continue until all batter is cooked. 

  • For the Hazelnut Cream:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup Nutella Chocolate Spread

    In a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment or with your hand held mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  Add Nutella and blend until well incorporated.  Refrigerate until ready to use.


Chocolate Glaze:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon of instant coffee granulate
8 ounces Valrhona 68% Bittersweet Dark chocolate, finely chopped

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring cream, corn syrup, and salt to a boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and instant coffee.  Stir with a wooden spoon until all chocolate is melted and the glaze is glossy.  Let cool completely.


  • Candied Hazelnut (adopted from Martha Stewart):
    • 12 hazelnuts
    • 1 cup sugar

    • Thread each hazelnut onto tip of a long wooden skewer; set aside. Place a cutting board along the edge of a counter top; set a baking sheet on floor next to the edge.

    • In a heavy saucepan, cook sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil.  With a wet pastry brush, brush the sides of the sugar mixture to prevent crystals from forming. Let it boil until syrup turns light amber, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. Let stand until slightly cooled, 6 to 8 minutes.

    • Dip 1 skewered hazelnut into syrup, coating completely and letting excess syrup drip back into pan. When dripping syrup becomes a thin string, secure end of skewer under cutting board.  Let caramel string drip over edge onto prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining hazelnuts. Let stand until caramel has hardened, about 5 minutes. Break strings to about 4 inches. Carefully remove skewers.

    To Assemble:  

    Set a wire rack over a baking sheet, place a crepe in the middle of the rack.  Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of hazelnut cream evenly on the crepe.  Top with another crepe.  Continue to layer the hazelnut cream and crepes until all cream are used up.  Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

    Drizzle 1/2 of the Chocolate glaze on top of the cake and let it dripped to the sides.  Spread remaining glaze around the sides of the cake and make sure all crepes are covered completely.  Refrigerate until glaze is firm, about 30 minutes.  Garnish with Candied hazelnuts and Valrhona Chocolate pearls.




60 comments:

  1. Amy, this is fantastic! You must have a lot of patience but oh my, so worth it. It is just a gorgeous cake and so different ~ which I love. I'm glad you shared!

    Happy Birthday to your hubby ~
    xo
    Pat

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  2. Oh my Amy is that beautiful! This will be on my "to make" list. We love crepes and in a cake pushes it over the top! I hope your husband had a wonderful birthday :)

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  3. I am blown away! This is a gorgeous cake - I can only imagine those layers. Valrhona is THE chocolate! Happy birthday!

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  4. Very special cake with lots of LOVE! Happy Birthday.

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  5. I've been dying to make a crepe cake for a while -- now I'm really inspired to! Yours is gorgeous...and Happy Birthday to your hubby!

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  6. This is from Grandmereb Lovestobake Amy (RWoP)--what a wonderful looking cake you've made! It is soooooooooooo pretty! I bet it tasted wonderful too! Your hubby must have been very pleased and felt special.

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  7. What a beautiful choco cake! I have never tried making a crepe cake but it looks really good. Happy birthday to your hubby....Christine

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  8. Wow! This is a fabulous looking cake! I cannot wait to try making a crepe cake! Happy birthday to your husband.

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  9. wow wow wow - a true masterpiece! you have outdone yourself amy, this is gorgeous

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  10. Beautiful! I can't wait to make this cake!

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  11. Beautiful! I recently made and posted a 24-Layer Crêpe Cake and now I want to make yours too. Again, beautiful.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

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  12. What a wonderful idea! This cake looks amazing. Nutella is my all time favorite dessert and with crepes, well you can't go wrong. Happy Birthday to your hubby!

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  13. Oh Gosh!!!! This is a very unique and beautiful Birthday Cake. You are really amazing!!!! Love the combi :)

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  14. OMG this cake is amazing!! Your hubs is one lucky guy :) LOVE Valrhona & they should love you.
    Happy birthday to him!

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  15. Oh WOW! That is amazing! I have never heard of that chocolate before. Now I am going to be on the look out for it. I want a piece of this cake right now!! YUM!!

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  16. Oh how you inspire me. Your husband is one lucky man.

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  17. Gorgeous, mouth-watering photos! The hazelnut spread with nutella and cream is a simple, smart idea. I will definitely try this recipe, but with a higher end hazelnut spread to limit sweetness.

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  18. This is STUNNING! My birthday is later this month and I usually make my own cake. This one just become a front runner.

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  19. Wowza! Beatufiul! I've been wanting to make an orange version for many months now. You knocked it out of the park!

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  20. Wow - this is gorgeous (not to mention drool-worthy)! I love how the layers look all filled in at the end.

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  21. What a stunner of a cake! I've been going crazy for crepe cakes on menus in SF lately. Haven't come across a chocolate one -- nor one this glam looking -- yet. Your hubby is very lucky to have someone who can make a cake like that. ;)

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  22. If I counted right, your hubby is only 22 although in the finished version I counted 31 layers. Whatever his age, happy birhtday to the lucky man with that a glorious cake! I want this for my next birthday. I think mine will be a lot taller :)

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  23. Ive bookmarked this, it's gorgeous! Happy birthday to your husband, lucky chap!!

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  25. This cake is beautiful and very impressive. Will bookmark this recipe for any forthcoming birthdays...

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  26. What a GREAT recipe! That looks so cool! I'd love it if you came by Cast Party Wednesday and shared this recipe with us.
    Thanks,
    I hope to see you there!
    http://ladybehindthecurtain.com

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  27. OMG and WOW! So many layers means so many pancakes - so much time it had to take to cook them all! Incredible and amazing and jaw dropping! I wish I were one of those who had the opportunity to eat a slice of your fabulous cake. Yum!

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  28. Your husband's birthday cake looked visually stunning and I'm CERTAIN it tasted absolutely incredible. Gorgeous!

    -Aryen
    www.thishouseiscooking.com

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  29. Oh how I love this bog post! I've wanted to make a crepe cake forever.... love, love, love your take. Lovely candied hazelnuts too. Fantastic photos!!

    :)
    ButterYum

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  30. Oh so Yummy! Looks perfectly done.
    I wish I have that baking skill like you do :)

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  31. Luscious & beautiful is right~ what a stunning cake! Happy Birthday to your hubby :-)

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  32. Hi Amy,
    What an elegant tribute and gift of love to your husband on his birthday! I am always in awe of your talent and your ability to present your work. Hope you have a great week end and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come back soon,
    Miz Helen

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  33. Gorgeous to the max! As a chocoholic I'm needing to try this sooner rather than later!

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  34. Holy moly! This crepe cake is incredible looking! I love hazelnut spread and chocolate. I know I will love this. I can't wait to eat it!

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  35. Amy!!!!!! Wow! This masterpiece leaves me speechless! I'm not a cake person....I love pie and while cake is pretty, it's not my favorite dessert....but girl - you've just converted me! I think this cake just might surpass even the best slice of pie I've ever enjoyed. You are amazing! And Happy Birthday to your husband...what a lucky guy! :)

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  36. That is an impressive cake! The inside cut piece looks just as impressive as the outside too. Well done!

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  37. Oh, my! This would put me in a comma for sure! Awesome job though! I'll bet your hubby loved it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my pesto! And Happy One Year Anniversary, Amy!!

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  38. Wow!! This cake is absolutely amazing! I bet it was delicious!

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  39. Your cake is amazing!!! It's so fancy looking. You did a fantastic job!!!

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  40. Oh my goodness, your patience knows no bounds!!! I've never seen a more beautiful cake. You did such a perfect job with it too, very pretty!

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  41. How gorgeous is this?! WOW! Very impressive looking and it sounds divine, too.

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  42. I'm in awe. Your cake is AMAZING! You have one lucky hubby.

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  43. Oh my goodness! How divine! Thanks for linking up with me. I just pinned this!

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  44. Frist of all... a bleated Happy Birthday! and Oh my goodness! That looks A.maz.ing! Once again, how I wish that you lived nearby! :o)

    Lovely, lovely, lovely layers!
    Blessings & Aloha!

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  45. Absolutely exquisite, Amy! I LOVE that last photo...amazing!

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  46. Congratulations,
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week and enjoy your Red Plate.
    Miz Helen

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  47. Oh wow! you made me drool. Wish I could have a taste of that! I so love it. I could tell by the photos, that cake is so yummy!

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  48. Tweeted and pinned on pinterest so I don't forget! This looks AMAZING!

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  49. I make crepes all the time but never thought to make it into a cake.... I am saving this recipe and pulling it back out for Christmas.

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  50. Its my birthday this weekend! Happy Birthday to me! I am not always a fan of the traditional cake but this one looks so taste and

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  51. OMG that looks like chocolate heaven! I know what I'm making for my next birthday!

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  52. Your husband is one lucky man, that cake looks absolutely amazing! So much chocolate lol thanks for sharing!

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  53. How have I never heard of this before?!? I'm an admitted chocoholic, and I'm getting serious cravings just looking at this cake. I must have it lol

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  54. How did you move it from the rack to a cake plate and still have it looking so beautiful? I have always had the hardest time doing that!! Also, where do you get that kind of chocolate?

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    Replies
    1. Hi April, Thank you for your questions. Yeah, I have to agree, it's the trickiest part to transfer a cake, especially a delicate one like this multi-layer crepe cake. This is the tool I used to transfer the cake. It's called a cake lifter.(http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000237LPC/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000237LPC&linkCode=as2&tag=a0464-20)

      It helps a lot if you refrigerate the filled cake to let the cream and chocolate set first before transferring. And really, practice makes perfect. Just gotta try it a few times.

      I got the Valrhona Chocolate and Cocoa powder from Whole Foods market. If you don't have one near you, the chocolate are also available online. Hope the infomation helps. :)

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  55. This looks amazing found the image on pinterest and needed to find the recipe, looks and sounds delicious!!!!!!!!

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    1. Oh, it was delicious. :) A very decadent cake to make and serve. I'm glad you like the cake.

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  57. Hi Amy,

    What is the difference between whipping cream and heavy cream?

    For the Hazelnut Cream:
    1 cup whipping cream
    Chocolate Glaze:
    1 cup heavy cream

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tran, thanks for your question. :) Actually, the whipping cream and heavy cream are the same thing. Sorry that confused you. I should use the same name in both session of the recipe.

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