Monday, June 14, 2010

Spring/Summer to Busy to Sit Still

Sitting down in front of the computer to post a wonderful recipe, thoughts and ideas, or special events is so much harder to do when the sun is out, beckoning to us. Ashley, my daughter, had her 19th birthday yesterday. I definitely enjoyed decorating her chocolate on chocolate birthday cake and shaped cupcakes. Someone comes into the kitchen and asks you why you are smiling and there are a thousand memories swirling through your mind at that very moment, causing the smile. How do you answer? I think the love you feel is the answer.Then, there is the gardens. Flowers poking out everywhere among the weeds. A person would think the flowers would go into rebellion from lack of care but Washington coast has been swamped with rain. The flower buds have been turning brown before even opening from to much rain. Always makes me feel so sad inside. The sun popped out and so did the petals! Of course I couldn't wait to dig in some dirt.The kitchen always calls to me. Thank goodness I have a large window to look out over nature and my garden while I cook or people in my home might be going hungry. I have long admired recipes involving layers of delicate crepes with light mousse or custard fillings.
Discovery of a recipe called Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake was all I needed to see. I knew we needed to make this dessert. Martha Stewart magazine was the culprit and my family was happy for the inspiration. So was I!
Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake
Time: 90
Serves: 10
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 1/4 c. whole milk, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 T. pure vanilla extract
6 T. cold unsalted butter, melted plus more, melted for crepe pan
1/4 c. heavy cream to be whipped at the end for topping cake
1 t. unflavored gelatin (from one 1/4 ounce envelope)
1 T. cold water
4 large eggs plus 6 large egg yolks
1 c. sugar
1 T. plus 2 t. finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from 2 lemons), plus
3/4 c. fresh Meyer lemon juice (5 to 6 lemons)
6 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 c. heavy cream, whipped
1. Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually pour milk mixture into flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Whisk in butter. Pour through a fine sieve into an airtight container; discard lumps. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Lightly coat a 6-inch or 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet with butter. Heat over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Remove from heat; pour about 2 Tablespoons batter into center. Swirl to cover bottom. Reduce heat to medium-low; return pan to heat. Cook until edges are golden and center is dry, about 30 seconds per side.

3. Slide crepe onto an overturned plate. Repeat with remaining batter, coating pan with butter as needed, and stacking crepes. Let cool.
4. Place 1 crepe on a flat serving dish. Spread about 1/4 cup lemon curd mousse onto crepe. Top with 1 crepe.

Continue layering crepes and mousse. (use about 15 crepes, ending with a crepe on top.) Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
5. Top crepe cake with whipped cream and if you can find them, candied lemon peel. DIRECTIONS FOR LEMON CURD MOUSSE:
1. Sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Whisk together eggs and yolks in a heavy small saucepan. Whisk in sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 10-12 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat; add gelatin, stirring constantly, until gelatin dissolves and mixture is slightly cool. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, stirring after each addition, until smooth.
4. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to remove as much curd as possible; discard any undissolved bits of gelatin and egg. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until set. at least 2 hours or overnight. Stir curd, and gently fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Stir before using. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine.


Hanaâ said...

Happy 19th birthday, Ashley!!! And what a beautiful cake, Shandy!! Who can resist chocolate? The layered crepes with the lemon custard look finger licking good too.

Btw, in case you haven't noticed, I'm back from vacation :o) I just have to get my act together and start baking. This weekend included lots of grocery shopping and cleaning (it's amazing how dusty the house gets after a long vacation).

Sherry G said...

That crepe cake is amazing! The combination of that mousse and those crepes just make my mouth water.

Eliana said...

Beautiful - you are amazingly talented.