This week, Kitchen Overlord is all about giving you impressive Whovian recipes that cost less than a bag of fish fingers and your favorite custard substitute. We kicked it off with the cheap and easy 10 Minute, 10 Dollar TARDIS Pie. Then, we brought you a fancy looking $10 Dalek Army that took about an hour (though most of that time was baking.)
Today’s recipe is still easy to make and only $10, but you’ll need to put on a couple of your favorite episodes as background noise, because it’ll take a couple hours. That’s right – we’re making a crepe cake.
Capaldi’s Chocolate Crepe Cake (From “Flatline”)
Series 8, Episode 9, Story 249
From Futurama’s 2-D Drag Racing to Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon declaring Flatland one of his favorite places to visit, I’m always a sucker for a fun homage to Edwin Abbot’s 1884 classic novel. As soon as I saw the flattened people and stretched out nervous system, I knew this was my chance to create a minimalist 12th Doctor to explore Abbot’s iconic two dimensional world.
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk (no low fat here!)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 cubes – or nonstick spray
Filling and Decorations:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 cup cherry or strawberry jam
- Black icing pen (for buttons)
When I was an undergrad, I picked up an electric crepe maker on the clearance aisle at Wal-Greens on a whim. Alton Brown taught me a healthy distrust of unitaskers, but honestly, this was the best $15 I ever spent. I use the heck out of this thing. If you have any excuse to make crepes more than twice a year, get one of these suckers instead of a crepe pan. You’ll thank me for it later. Years later. My cheap one gets a ton of use and shows no sign of wearing out.
WHO NEEDS BOWLS?
Whether you’re using an electric object of magnificent perfection, a classic crepe pan, or your trusty skillet, first you need to make the batter.
Unceremoniously dump the eggs, milk, flour, ½ cup sugar, and kosher salt into a blender. No need to dirty a bowl or a whisk here. Just let it spin for a minute or so, like you’re making a flesh colored smoothie.
Pour out ¼ cup of the batter and set it aside. This will be the white “shirt” on the second to last layer. Save the batter for last. That way, you’ll have plenty of practice making crepes before you make the ones that’ll be seen the most.
Once your shirt is taken care of, add your cocoa powder to the blender and let it whizz away for another minute or so, until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. It’ll be all bubbly and frothy, so if you’re a good person, you’ll put the batter in the fridge for half an hour to settle down in order to create smoother crepes.
I know you, though. Deep down, you’re a bad wolf. And right there on the surface, you recognize that no one is ever going to see the crepes in the middle of this cake. You’re so right. Let’s start cooking.
If you own an electric crepe maker, pour ½ cup of the batter into your deepest plate, lightly dip the surface of your gadget into the batter, and stand around waiting for it to cook. In about 60 seconds, a little red light will go off informing you it’s time to remove your perfectly cooked, perfectly round crepe the thickness of decent linen. Have I mentioned how much I love this thing?
Most of you are probably using a crepe pan or a 10 inch skillet, though. That takes a little more attention, but once you’ve made the first few, you’ll get the hang of it. If your pan is prone to sticking, melt a ¼ tbsp cube of butter in it. If it has a reliable non-stick coating, you can just spritz it with an extra dab of nonstick spray.
Either way, keep the pan over a medium-low heat and pour in ¼ cup of batter. Quickly tilt the pan to spread the batter around until it stretches to cover as much of the base as possible. Put it back over the heat as quickly as possible. Don’t stress when your first few are awkward rhomboids. You’re going to make a couple dozen of these, and no one is checking the bottom layer for exact precision. You’ll get the hang of it by the time you’re done.
Let each crepe cook for about 1 minute before carefully lifting the edge with a spatula. If your nonstick coating and/or butter is working, it should release with no effort. If it resists, let it cook for another 15 seconds or so.
I should say to carefully use the spatula to flip the crepe, but honestly, I just use the spatula to get the edges loose then pull it the rest of the way up with my fingers before flipping it over. Do whatever is easiest for you.
However you flip them, cook each crepe for 60-90 seconds on the first side and around 30 on the second side. As you finish, just stack them on a nearby plate.
WHIP IT GOOD
When you run out of batter, it’s time to make the whipped cream. Don’t waste your time buying pre-made Cool Whip. You just went to a ton of hassle making a stack of crepes! Five more minutes for whipped cream is totally worth it.
Fresh whipped cream is just dairy plus friction. Pour 1 cup of whipping cream, ¼ cup of sugar, and ½ tsp vanilla into a bowl (or, if you have a stand mixer, into your giant motorized appliance’s bowl.) Attack it with beaters set to high until it magically transforms from a liquid into a fluffy solid with stiff peaks. You’ll know it’s ready when you can turn the bowl upside down without anything sliding out.
Taste it. That creamy flavor explosion cost less than the frozen substitute and only took five half assed minutes. You’re welcome. Try not to eat the whole bowl while finishing up your cake.
The thing that makes crepe cakes really special is the way all the thin layers and contrasting textures combine in your mouth to form something so much greater than the sum of its parts.
Start by picking out your three prettiest chocolate crepes. Set them aside, since they’re going on top of the cake.
Pick whatever plate you’re going to serve this on. Put down one nice, round crepe as the base and top it with two of your ugliest mishaps. Now spread on a thin layer of whipped cream.
Before you add another crepe, spread about ½ tbsp of cherry or strawberry jam on top Neatly arrange your jam coated crepe on top of the whipped cream. Now repeat the process until you’re almost out of crepes. Whipped cream, jam coated crepe, more whipped cream.
When you’re down to your last 4 chocolate crepes, don’t coat the last one with jam. Just put it on top of the whipped cream beautifully naked.
Remember the plain white crepe you made from that reserved batter? Neatly arrange it on top of the cake.
Fold your last two chocolate crepes in half down the middle. They’re going to become the sides of The Doctor’s jacket. Carefully lay them on top of the plain white crepe, leaving a neat but narrow V so his shirt is still exposed.
He likes to flash the red lining of his jacket, so fold up the right edge of the top crepe and add a generous coating of jam.
Finish it off by adding a neat line of dots down the center of the exposed white V. You now have a white shirt with black buttons and a dark jacket with a red lining. Minimalist 2-D Doctor achieved!
Need More Whovian Goodness in your life?
Pre-order Dining With the Doctor: Regenerated now for 1 recipe from every episode of series 1-8 plus chapters for fish fingers and custard, cocktails, and special surprises for the 50th anniversary – over 180 original Doctor Who recipes!
Preview these tasty morsels from Dining With the Doctor: Regenerated – now available for pre-order – and come back every week between now and the winter holiday season for a new preview recipe.
- Do You Want (to make) A Jelly Baby?
- Capaldi’s Coat Crepe Cake
- Deviled Ood with Horseradish and Bacon
- Dalek Caprese Salad
- Dalek Beet and Goat Cheese Stacks
- 10 Minute TARDIS Pie
- Exploding TARDIS Cookies
- Slitheen Pretzel Buns