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.
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.
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. Cool, huh?
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.
I just love the melted chocolate drizzle down the layers of crepes that are filled with hazelnut cream. So luscious and beautiful.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s how the inside looks like, with all the layers of crepes and cream, and love.
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!
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:
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.
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.