23-Layer Crepe Cake (Rakott Palacsinta)
(Please note that measurements are given in European and American system, because in baking accurate measurement is critical)
For a smoother consistency and shinier appearance you may add butter to the ganache in a ratio of 2:1 chocolate to butter (e.g. for 8 ounces of chocolate add 4 ounces of butter)
Tip – if the temperature of the cream does not match the temperature of the chocolate, the resulting mix may separate or curdle. Do not panic. Just add a few drops of warm cream until the ganache appears to be smooth again.
Take the cake out of the refrigerator and decorate it; I used piped whipped cream and raspberries (see photo, above). How you decorate is up to you: let loose your inner child and use your imagination!
Yield: 1 cake
  • 1½ cups (12 oz, 350 mL) whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups (7.5 oz, 200 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (15 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sweet butter, (2 oz, 60 g) melted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla extract
  • Zest from 1 whole orange
Chocolate Ganache
  • 10 ounces (300 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped in even pieces (I used Valrhona Guanaja 70% chocolate)
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 250 mL) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) light corn syrup
For the Crepes:
  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or a blender and process until thoroughly blended. If you don’t own either piece of equipment, you can use a whisk, or even a fork. Strain the batter.
  2. Transfer the strained batter into the refrigerator covered with a plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the solution, and let it rest for 1 hour.
  3. Put a pinch of butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat and lightly brush it as melts. (I like the 8 inch size, but you can use either 10- or 7-inch.) After the pan is hot, take skillet off heat, pour ¼ cup (dry measure; 80g) of the batter into the skillet, and immediately start tilting and rotating it in order to coat the entire bottom. (If the batter sets before the entire skillet is coated, reduce the heat slightly for the next crêpe.)
  4. Return the skillet to the burner and cook the crêpe until just set, when little bubbles appear on the surface and it appears golden around the edges, about 20 seconds. Loosen the edge of crêpe with a heatproof spatula, and then flip the crêpe over carefully with your fingertips. Cook until the underside is set, about 25 seconds.
  5. Transfer the crêpe to a plate. Brush the skillet with more butter and make another crêpe in the same manner and continue until you finish the entire batter. Separate crepes with sheets of parchment, wax paper, or foil. (Crêpes can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container, separated by sheets of parchment, wax paper, or foil for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or at least 1 month in the freezer.)
Fillings (choose from 3 options)
  1. tablespoons cocoa powder (0.5 oz, 15 g) mixed with 4 tablespoons (2 oz, 60 g) baking/superfine sugar (it is a very fine sugar); if you cannot find baking sugar, place granulated sugar in the food processor and grind it for 10 minutes. You could also use granulated sugar if you don’t mind a somewhat grittier texture.
  2. tablespoons (60 g) finely ground almonds mixed with 4 tablespoons (60 g) baking sugar.
  3. Jam – your preference. I used apricot, because I find it to be a great match with the other ingredients and it is the classic choice.
Assemble the Crepe Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F (165 C). Prepare an ovenproof dish by brushing it with melted butter. (I used a 9 inch, round Pyrex dish that I use for pie baking.) Place the crepes one by one in the baking dish, alternating the fillings on top of each crepe. I place a dash of butter on those crepes that are topped with either the cocoa powder or the ground nuts (not on the one brushed with a jam) to assure that the cake will not be dry.
  2. Cover the crepe cake with aluminum foil and place it in oven. Bake for 30 minutes. While the crepe cake is baking prepare the chocolate ganache to be used as a glaze or frosting (recipe below).
  3. Put the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl (not plastic). Bring the cream to a simmer with the corn syrup in a saucepan. Pour the cream over the evenly chopped chocolate and let it stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the chocolate from the middle of the dish in circles that get larger and larger outward. Continue to stir until all the chocolate is blended into the cream.
To Assemble and Serve:
  1. Option 1: Pour warm ganache over the warm crepe cake and let it run on the sides of the cake until the entire cake is covered with the ganache. Place the crepe cake in the refrigerator for the glaze to settle.
  2. Option 2: Alternatively, you could cool the ganache prior to placing it on the crepe cake and use it as a frosting. If you want to create a thinner ganache, use 8 ounces of chocolate instead of 10.
Recipe by Katherine Martinelli at http://www.katherinemartinelli.com/blog/2011/guest-post-the-secret-of-the-hungarian-surprise-cake/