I was going through my notebook of things to cook last week, collecting inspiration for the coming weekend cooking-and-blogging binge, when I realized that an opportunity had fallen into my lap. This week, I get to wish four people happy birthday in five days. I could make a real celebration cake…but only one of the celebrants would be around to eat it in person. Hmm. Well, I figured it would be best to look on the bright side since cake was involved. I would make the cake that I wanted to eat, knowing I would hardly have to share.
So, in order by date: Happy birthday, Dad! Happy birthday, Seth! Happy birthday, Ben! Happy birthday, Uncle Bri! I made you all this cake. I left off the candles because I didn’t think it could hold 169 of them. It was really, really good. I’m sorry most of you couldn’t try it, but I enjoyed your slice, I promise.
The cake I wanted turned out to be, primarily, a delivery vehicle for my new obsession, coconut caramel. I’d been saving this recipe for coconut dulce de leche from the New York Times and am happy to report that my instincts were right (also please appreciate that the serving suggestion is basically just to eat it with a spoon). It takes some time but very little effort to cook down cans of coconut milk with brown sugar until it turns into a dark, thick caramel. After I ate most of the first batch in a week, spooning it on everything I could think of, I was looking for a way to incorporate it into more formal desserts.
Turning the caramel into pudding and slathering it between crepes sounded like a good place to start. The final slathering of chocolate ganache and sprinkle of toasted coconut seemed fitting, since it reminded me of my favorite Girl Scout cookie.
Crepe cakes are inherently impressive. Each slice reveals a seemingly incredible number of crepes, held together by paper-thin layers of cream. It’s actually just about 20 crepes, which you’ll get the hang of making quite quickly. The first few always go in the trash and you’ll have more than enough batter to do sufficient quality control.
The crepe making and stacking are the most labor-intensive parts of this cake, but each goes fairly quickly as you master the technique. You’ll need to divide and conquer the recipe over a few days — or a lazy day at home — to allow for sufficient chilling of the crepe batter, cooked crepes, coconut caramel filling, and the assembled cake.
[easyrecipe id=”438″ n=”0″]