Make this fabulous crêpe cake for a show stopping dessert by stacking layers of homemade crêpes, fluffy whipped mascarpone and a good dose of Bonne Maman apricot preserves [or your favorite jam] and topping the lot with roughly chopped pistachios. The recipe from Honest Cooking makes about 15 thin crêpes so you will end up with a fairly tall tower so I recommend freezing the cake after every 3-4 layers to make assembly easy, or rather, less messy. If you do not want the hassle of making a crêpe cake, you can always serve the crêpes rolled up with the mascarpone and apricot filling or with a assortment of gourmet jams on the side for your guests to have their pick.

MASCARPONE APRICOT CREPES

Ingredients:

For the Crêpe Batter

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup full cream milk

3/4 cup cold water

3 large eggs, room temperature

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Mascarpone Filling

2 cups mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

13oz Jar of apricot preserves

1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped

Method:

  • For the crêpes, combine all ingredients in a blender. Process until combined. Do not over mix.
  • Rest the crêpe batter for at least 1 hour at room temperature or for up to 24 hours in the fridge.

  • For the filling, whisk chilled cream over high speed for about 1 1/2 minutes until soft peaks form.
  • Add mascarpone, sugar and salt to bowl. Whip for about 1-2 minutes over medium-high speed.

  • Fold the whipped cream into mascarpone mixture. Cover and refrigerate until it is ready to use.
  • For apricot topping, add 1/2 cup preserves to a small sauce pan with salt and 1 teaspoon of water.

  • Bring to a simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Add additional water, as needed, if it becomes too thick.
  • Lightly grease a 10-inch nonstick crêpe pan with butter and pour 1/4 cup crêpe batter into the pan.

  • Rotate pan in a circular motion to coat the bottom evenly. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on one side.
  • The top should be dry and bottom side is lightly brown. Flip it and cook for about 30-60 seconds.

  • Repeat with remaining batter. To serve, spread about 1 tablespoon of apricot preserves on crêpe.
  • Top with about 3 tablespoons of the mascarpone filling. Spread evenly, do not blend the layers.

  • Continue to stack crêpes with alternating layers of apricot and mascarpone, ending with crepê.
  • Drizzle with apricot topping and scatter chopped pistachios on top of cake. Serve immediately.

Mascarpone and Apricot Crêpes

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Pasta makes dinner so much simpler. Simply toss cooked pasta into any sauce of your choice, top with any combination of veggies or meat [leftovers work well here] and you have your evening meal under control within minutes. This holds true especially when you are too tired/lazy to cook yourself a proper meal and you’re also too tired/lazy to go out and buy food. Taken from BBC Good Food Everyday Pasta and Noodle Dishes, this cheat’s version of egg noodle pasta can be made as spicy as you like by adjusting the amount of chili to your taste or tolerance level.

SPICY PRAWN EGG NOODLE PASTA

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 heaped tablespoon coriander purée

Pinch of crushed dried chilies, to taste

400g can chopped tomatoes with garlic

1 heaped tablespoon tomato purée

1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon powder

Half a 250g pack Chinese egg noodles

400g prawns, peeled and deveined

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan. Toss in the onion, squeeze in the coriander purée.

  • Sprinkle over the crushed chilies to taste. Stir fry for 5 minutes until the onion is softened.

  • Pour in tomatoes and 1 1/2 cans water, add tomato purée and sprinkle over bouillon powder.

  • Season well. Bring to a bubble, stirring, then lower the heat a little and let the sauce simmer.

  • Cook for about 15 minutes until slightly reduced but still sloppy. Break noodles into a bowl.

  • Pour in enough boiling water to cover. Stir and set aside. When sauce is ready, drain noodles.

  • Tip them into the sauce with uncooked prawns. Stir well and heat through for 2 minutes only.

  • Taste for seasoning and add more chilli flakes and a little sugar if you like. Makes 2 servings.

Spicy Prawn Egg Noodle Pasta

Now that I have got somewhat more comfortable with the process of making scones, I feel I have come a long way from the scone ‘phobia’ I suffered from my Home Eco days. At time, I find myself looking up for basic scones and on few occasions, even succumbing to trying out one for breakfast. The simple vanilla scone, from King Arthur Flour, may well be fabulous on its own but I wanted to see what the addition of coarsely chopped dark chocolate would do to the scone batter. After painstakingly chopping an entire bar of Lindt’s 70% cocoa, do not forget to set a few chunks aside that you can melt and drizzle over your baked scones for a bakery style finish.

DARK CHOCOLATE CHUNK SCONES

For the Dough

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter

1 cup dark chocolate, chopped

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup to 2/3 cup milk

For the Topping

2 teaspoons liquid milk

2 tablespoons sparkling sugar

Method:

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  • Work in butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly. Stir in dark chocolate.

  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and fresh milk.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir it until all is moistened.

  • Dough should hold together. Line baking sheet with parchment without greasing.
  • Sprinkle a bit of flour atop parchment and scrape dough onto floured parchment.

  • Divide the dough into halves and round each half into a 6″ circle, about 3/4″ thick.
  • Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle them with coarse white sparkling sugar.

  • Using a knife that you have run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.
  • Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them about 1/2″ apart.

  • Place scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown; the edges should not look unbaked.

  • Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve scones warm.
  • When completely cool, wrap in plastic. Store at room temperature for several days.

  • To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil.
  • Warm in preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes and serve them immediately.

Dark Chocolate Scones

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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