Recipe courtesy of Sara Brown-Heigel and Tricia Clark

Mille Crepe Cake with Grapefruit Cream and Candied Oranges

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 15 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 to 12 servings
One thousand crepes may seem over the top, but there's no exaggeration when it comes to the luxurious taste and texture of this layered dessert. Inspired by the creations of pastry chef Emy Wada at her cake boutique, Lady M, here's a way to enjoy traditional French crepes by stacking about 20 of them between fluffy cream and light fruit curd to create an airy, elegant cake.



Filling and Garnish:

Candied Oranges:


Special equipment:
a nonstick crepe pan
  1. For the crepes: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
  2. Using an immersion blender, mix the batter until silky smooth and very thin, 2 to 3 minutes, to break up all egg proteins and fully blend the flour. (You may also use a regular blender.) Refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour before use.
  3. Heat a nonstick crepe pan over medium heat. Add a small bit of butter to grease the pan. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the center of the pan. Use a ladle or the back of a large spoon to spread the batter out as thinly as possible, using a circular motion.
  4. Cook the crepe until air bubbles on the top are formed and starting to pop, and the bottom is light brown, about 1 minute. Flip the crepe with an offset spatula or pancake turner and allow to cook on second side until golden brown, 1 minute. Transfer the crepe to a plate or baking sheet to cool.
  5. Continue this process with the rest of the batter. It may not be necessary to butter the pan every time, as long as the crepes continue to freely release. You should have about 18 crepes.
  6. Allow the crepes to completely cool to room temperature.
  7. For the filling: Bring the grapefruit and lemon juice to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Whisk the eggs, egg yolk and sugar together in a medium bowl. When the grapefruit juice begins to simmer, temper the egg mixture by adding a small amount of hot liquid to the eggs while constantly whisking. Add the warmed egg mixture back to the pot and continue to cook over medium heat, continuously whisking. When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, transfer to a medium bowl (strain through a fine-mesh strainer if necessary). Finish by whisking in the butter. Cool completely in the refrigerator.
  8. Add the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until soft peaks form.
  9. Once the curd has completely cooled, fold about 1/4 of the whipped cream into it, then add all of the curd mixture to the bowl of remaining whipped cream and gently fold it in, taking care not to deflate the whipped cream. This will be your filling for the crepe cake.
  10. One layer at a time, add a heaping scoop of grapefruit cream and spread out to the edges of the crepe. Top with another crepe and repeat process until the last layer of crepe is placed on top. Spread the remaining grapefruit cream on top and decorate with candied oranges.

Candied Oranges:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat. Slice the orange crosswise into very thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick. Bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the orange slices, lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain the orange slices and spread them out on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the orange slices from the pan and allow to cool and harden on a wire rack.
  2. To create an ombre pattern of citrus slices, candy 2 slices from each type of citrus: 
  3. Meyer lemon, navel orange, tangerine, Cara Cara orange, ruby grapefruit and blood orange.