A delicately flavored layer cake made with thin crêpes and honeyed whipped cream.
For the Chamomile Crêpes:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 chamomile tea bags
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon dry chamomile tea (take from the tea bag)
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus more for the pan
For the Honey Filling:
- 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
- 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons honey, plus more for topping
- Fresh chamomile flowers for decoration (optional but lovely)
- To start the crêpes, in a small saucepan, steam milk. That is – heat it over medium-low heat until stream starts to rise from the top of the milk, just before it begins to boil around the edges. Remove from heat, sink in the three tea bags and cover for 15 minutes to steep. After steeping, squeeze the tea bags into the milk mixture before discarding. Stir in the honey.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, dried chamomile tea, and lemon zest. Place eggs, chamomile milk, heavy cream, and vanilla in a blender and whirl until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add flour mixture to the egg mixture; process until smooth and frothy, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides of blender as needed. Transfer batter to a container with a tight-fitting lid. Seal and chill at least 4 hours, though I think overnight is best.
- When you’re ready to make the crepes, remove batter from refrigerator and gently whisk to combine any separated layers.
- Brush an 8-inch nonstick skillet with some of the melted butter, evenly coating bottom of skillet. Warm melted butter over medium or medium-low until butter is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, immediately add a scant 1/4 cup batter to one side of skillet for the 8-inch cake. Swirl skillet to spread batter in a thin, even layer.
- Return skillet to heat; cook over medium until crêpe edges are light golden and set, about 1 minute. Using a small offset spatula, gently lift one edge of the crêpe; using your fingertips, quickly flip crêpe. Cook until other side of crêpe is pale golden and a few spots begin to appear on bottom, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer crêpe to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to cool; cover with a clean, dry lightweight towel.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining butter and batter, wiping skillet clean and lightly brushing with butter every few crêpes, or as needed. (You should have 20 crêpes to use for cake.) Chill crêpes, covered, until ready to use.
- To make the mascarpone filling, combine mascarpone, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, and honey in bowl; gently whisk by hand until incorporated.
- In a medium bowl place remaining 2 cups heavy cream and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and use an electric hand beater to start to whip into soft but stiff peaks. Stir 2/3rds of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined but still fluffy. Reserve the remaining whipped cream to top the cake.
- To assemble, remove crêpes from refrigerator. Place 1 crêpe on a cake platter or flat serving dish. Using a small offset spatula, gently spread a thin layer of mascarpone filling. Top with 1 crêpe and again spread with mascarpone filling. Repeat process with remaining 18 crêpes. Cover and chill cake at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. Refrigerate the remaining whipped cream as well. Just before serving, dollop the remaining whipped cream over the top of the cake, drizzle lightly with honey, and dot with fresh chamomile flowers and greens.
Keywords: crepe cake, whipped cream, chamomile, honey, birthday cake, layer cake