Happy Birthday/Graduation Cake to my wonderful Hubby

I saw a recipe for Darkest Chocolate Crape Cake and thought it would be perfect for my husband's combo birthday/graduation party. And man was it delicious what most people said was it was the perfect amount of sweet, not overly sweet or rich like it looked to be.


I even made the candy covered hazelnuts which were a challenge. I had to make the sugar solution twice because the first one crystalized out. I had to make the hazelnuts the day before because I worked the day of the party so they kind of clouded up by the time the party occurred but they were still delicious so if you decide to make them try to make them the day of the event.


Here they are drying, I used fondue sticks and wooden skewers to hold the hazelnuts on and placed a plastic bag on top of a cookie sheet on the floor. I also did this during naptime so no molden hot sugar dripped onto the kid or dogs.

I have an electric crape maker which was perfect for this task. I tried to make them in a small pan as the direction say but got frustrated and used the machine instead. After trial and error on a few crapes they started coming out perfectly and the best part about the machine is you just dip the hot surface into the batter and let the crape cook then peel it off. You don't have to flip it over or anything. I used a three plate system-I would allow the crapes to cool on one of two plates and then after a few minutes stack them up onto a third plate to make room for the one coming off the crape machine this prevented the crapes from sticking together. The crapes must be completely cooled prior to stacking with the cream in between each layer or the cream will melt and ooze out the sides.

Chocolate Crapes:
By Martha Stewart
Ingredients
·         3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus melted for pan
·         8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
·         1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1/3 cup sugar
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         2 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
·         6 large eggs, room temperature
·         1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    
Directions
1.     Bring 1/4 cup water to a rolling boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate until completely melted. Set aside.
2.     Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla in another medium bowl. Gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Add chocolate-butter mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour through a fine sieve into an airtight container; discard lumps. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
3.     Lightly coat an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet with melted butter. Heat over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Remove pan from heat; pour about 2 tablespoons batter into pan, swirling to cover bottom. Reduce heat to medium-low; return pan to heat. Cook, flipping once, until edges are golden and center is dry, about 30 seconds per side.
4.     Slide crepe onto a plate. Repeat process with remaining batter, coating pan with butter as needed. Crepes can be refrigerated, covered, up to 1 day.


Hazelnut Filling

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut cream
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Put cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. Whisk egg whites and sugar in the clean bowl of mixer set over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved and mixture registers 160 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment; beat on high speed until slightly cooled and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  4. Fit mixer with paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter, several pieces at a time, mixing well after each addition (meringue will deflate slightly as butter is added). Add vanilla, hazelnut cream, and salt; mix until mixture comes together, 3 to 5 minutes. Fold in whipped cream with a rubber spatula. Use immediately by spooning about 3 tablespoons of filling between each layer of crape.







Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Bring cream, corn syrup, and salt to a boil in a medium-heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; swirl pan to cover completely with cream. Let stand about 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let cool completely.


Candied Hazelnuts

Ingredients

  • 9 hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4c water

Directions

  1. Thread each hazelnut onto tip of a long wooden skewer; set aside. Place a cutting board along the edge of a countertop; set a baking sheet on floor next to edge.
  2. Cook sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides with a wet brush to prevent crystals from forming. Let boil until syrup turns light amber, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. Let stand until slightly cooled, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Dip 1 skewered hazelnut into syrup, coating completely and letting excess syrup drip back into pan. When dripping syrup becomes a thin string, secure end of skewer under cutting board, letting caramel string drip over edge onto sheet. Repeat with remaining hazelnuts. Let stand until caramel has hardened, about 5 minutes. Break strings to about 4 inches. Carefully remove skewers.



Photo by Martha Stewart

Here is what the inside of the cake looked like. We cut thin slices since it was really tall and it served about 20 people.

Congrats and happy birthday honey!


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