Crème brûlée crêpe cake

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For this super easy showstopper, paper-thin French crêpes are stacked with creamy custard in-between.

Makes 1 x 20cm cake


• 4 eggs

• 500ml flour

• 125ml oil

• 30ml brandy

• 600ml full-cream milk

• 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

• a pinch of salt


• 750ml full-cream milk

• 1cinnamon stick

• 4 egg yolks

• 125ml brown sugar

• 25ml cornflour

• a few drops of vanilla essence

• a pinch of salt


There are many variations when it comes to a classic crêpe batter but I usually stick to my mom’s recipe, which includes a tablespoon of brandy. When I asked her why, she simply said my grandmother Jonni used to make it that way! Although I have occasionally been forced to replace the prescribed dash of brandy with whiskey (once even sherry), I stick to it as far as possible. If you need to replace it, add a spoonful of vanilla essence or fresh lemon juice to the batter.

Make the crêpes

1 Beat all the ingredients for the crêpe batter together until smooth, pour through a sieve and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2 Heat a pan, about 20cm in diameter, and coat well with non-stick cooking spray or smear with a little oil. Spoon just enough batter into the pan to cover the bottom; tilt the pan to spread the batter over the bottom and put the pan back on the heat. Fry for about a minute or until the batter starts to bubble and pulls away from the sides. Turn the pancake over and fry for another 30 seconds. Turn out and repeat with the rest of the batter.

Tip For a crispy crème brûlée top on your crêpe cake: sprinkle 5ml brown sugar over the surface of the last pancake before turning it over. The sugar will caramelise in the pan without you needing a blowtorch! Set the crêpes aside.

Make the crème pâtissière and stack the cake

3 Heat the milk and cinnamon together to just below boiling point, remove from the heat and leave for a few minutes to infuse. Meanwhile, beat the rest of the ingredients together until blended. Then gradually beat the hot milk into the egg mixture, wipe the milk saucepan with kitchen paper and pour the custard back into the saucepan.

4 Slowly bring the custard to the boil while you whisk with a balloon whisk first and then stir with a wooden spoon. Boil until the custard is ‘cooked’ (about two minutes); custard that hasn’t been boiled for long enough has a floury taste. Test as follows: if the custard coats the back of a spoon and you can draw a line through it with your finger, it is done.

5 Remove the cinnamon stick and immediately pour the custard into a bowl (if left in the saucepan, the residual heat may cause it to split). Place a sheet of cling film directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming, and allow to cool.

6 Spread a spoonful of custard on the first pancake then follow with another pancake and more custard. Repeat until all the custard and pancakes have been used. Lastly, place the brûlée pancake on top and garnish with berries. Serve in slices.

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April 2023

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