From the restaurants in Paris, France to the stylish cafes along Harajuku District in Tokyo, Japan, crepes have shown themselves to be incredibly versatile. We made at least 150 crepe layers while developing the recipe for these Orange Dark Chocolate Mini Crepe Cakes - and now we break down 10 essential tips to making restaurant-quality crepes using the Christmas kit.
Flat and thin layers of crepe pancakes, stacked to a towering height, held together with delicious whipped cream; mille crepe cakes have a longstanding reputation for being a tedious dessert to whip up.
But is it worth it?
You bet. Mille crepe cakes, made famous by Lady M, exudes elegance with its many layers of crepes and cream, but there’s just something decidedly rustic about whipping a cake up using a stove and pan at home.
10 Essential Tips For Making Restaurant-Quality Mille Crepe Cakes At Home
Here are our top tips for making crepe cakes this Christmas:
1. Let Your Batter Chill
When making crepes, it’s important to let your batter rest. We recommend chilling it in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.
The resting period allows the flour in the batter to fully absorb the liquid and give the gluten a chance to relax. This helps you achieve really tender crepe cakes!
2. Prep Your Station
You don’t need much equipment to make crepes, but there are a few must-haves. We’re talking about three things here - a non-stick pan (we used the Bruno Compact, a regular soup ladle, and a rubber or silicone spatula to flip the pancakes with. Since crepes are essentially paper-thin pancakes, it’s important to keep a close watch on them at all times, which is why you can’t afford to run around opening drawers when you’re making them!
3. Tough Crepes = Tough Cake
What makes a tough crepe? Overcooking does! Use a low - medium heat for your crepes, and test drive with one or two crepes. If you find that it’s browning too quickly, lower the heat. You want the crepes to be tender and light.
4. Use A Non-Stick Pan
We used a Bruno Compact to make our crepes, without adding any extra butter to the pan at all. If you do not have a non-stick pan, simply butter generously for your first crepe, then just enough for the subsequent crepes.
Pro-Tip: Over-buttering your pan will result in your crepe layers becoming overly brown!
5. Be Flexible With Cooking Time
In an ideal situation, we would set a timer for cooking each crepe and flip accordingly once they're done. However, the pan usually increases in temperature until it plateaus, and so, the first few crepes usually cook slower than the subsequent crepes. Both sides of the same crepe will also cook at a different rate (cook the second side for a shorter time).
6. Focus On Flipping Technique At First
Focus on practising your flipping technique with the first few crepes so you can do it perfectly for the rest - wait until the centre looks drier and the edges start to crisp up before you attempt to flip. It’s always good measure to slide your spatula underneath until its at least ½ - ¾ way through the bottom of crepe before you attempt a clean flip.
7. Don’t Stack Them Immediately
Let your crepes cool separately (ideally on a cooling rack, or anything that allows air flow) before stacking them. This helps to prevent the crepes from getting soggy from any steam build-up.
8. Too Tedious? Break It Up
If you find that making a crepe cake from start to scratch is too tedious, break up the process - you can make the crepes and store in the refrigerator overnight before assembling the next day. Just make sure you wrap them in plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out!
9. You Don’t Have To Chase Perfection
Don’t worry if the crepes don’t turn out perfectly round. To create nice and uniform crepes - place any round glass or mug on top of the stacked crepes and trim off the excess edges.
10. If You Must Chill, Don’t Overdo It
We like to serve our crepe cakes when it's freshly assembled - we find that this produces the best results. However, if you'd like them to be slightly colder, chill the crepe cakes for no more than half-hour to keep the firmness of the crepe layers at an optimum level. Make sure they are covered with plastic wrap!
Watch the video tutorial:
A Pan For Sweet & Savoury Treats
The Bruno Hotplate serves as an easy, convenient and safe option for anyone to use, especially curious tots who want in on all the action in the kitchen. Designed for cooking right at the dining table, the Bruno Hotplate is compact and heats up quickly, making it ideal for recipes that take a little more time, like this one! The flat and sturdy die-cast non-stick plate is perfect for making desserts like crepes and pancakes, and also gives steaks the perfect sear. The cool touch side handles also makes it extra safe to use around excited young ones who can’t wait to help out.
Each Bruno set comes with a flat hotplate, Takoyaki plate and wooden spatula to get you started on your cooking journey! If you’re interested to see how to use other attachments like the Bruno Multiplate, check out our recipe for The One-Pan Ultimate Breakfast Set!
This post and Bakestarters' kit were developed specially for Bruno.
Get the complete crepe kit with the full recipe and all the ingredients you will need here.
Shop our full Christmas baking kit collection here.