Today is a bit of a special day here on Vanilla & Spice - it's my 2nd Blogiversary!
I can't believe that this little space has been active for two whole years already, but I guess when you're doing something that you love like cooking, baking, photographing food, and sharing recipes with amazing readers, time flies by!
Rather than reflecting on the past year of blogging like I did last year, I think I'll just stick to writing about today's recipe this time (and with more photos than usual because I had a hard time choosing) - after all, that's why you come here in the first place!
To celebrate the occasion, I wanted to make a special treat, but since I'm not really much of a cake or cupcake person, I thought I would do something a bit different.
I'm actually really excited about this recipe because it's something I've been wanting to make for quite a while - my very own personal sized crepe cake!
I'm sure you've all seen at least one version of a crepe cake before, but if not, the idea is that you layer a batch of regular crepes with a thick filling or frosting in between the layers to help them stick together, and add whatever toppings you like - fruit, nuts, whipped cream, caramel sauce - basically whatever you could imagine for a cake!
For my version, I knew I wanted to do a chocolate-cherry combination, since I still had some amazing fresh cherries stored in my freezer that I had picked a couple of weeks ago.
I'm actually a novice when it comes to crepe making (especially vegan crepes), but I did some research and chose a recipe that uses part chickpea flour because crepes usually rely on eggs as a main ingredient, and chickpea flour is an ingredient that I know works well in other "eggy" vegan recipes, like vegan scrambled eggs.
I modified the original recipe to make it a bit more decadent by adding cinnamon and cocoa powder, a bit of maple syrup for a touch of sweetness, and using chocolate almond milk for more chocolatey flavour.
My first crepe was a bit of a disaster, but that's expected when you're making crepes for the first time! Luckily, I quickly got the hang of it and ended up with evenly thin, chewy crepes with just enough of a chocolate taste for my liking.
For the cake filling, I kept it pretty simple and used a combo of fresh cherry-blueberry sauce and coconut flavoured greek yogurt.
I loved each component on its own, but all came together to make an even tastier creation! The sauce was thick and fruity, with a nice balance of sweet and tart notes, and I thought it paired perfectly with the chocolate crepes and the creamy coconut yogurt.
Once you have all the components ready, it's pretty easy (and fun) to assemble the cake. First, you cut smaller circles out of each large crepe so that you have enough to stack into a tall enough miniature-sized crepe cake. Then a spoonful of yogurt and cherry sauce is spread in between each crepe layer as you build it, so that you end up with a mix of everything in each bite.
I assembled mine when everything was still a bit warm, but when I came back for the leftovers the next morning after it had been sitting in the fridge overnight, everything had firmed up more and it was a bit easier to slice and eat. But either way - warm or chilled - this makes a delicious dessert or even a special breakfast treat!
I'm so glad I finally got around to trying out a crepe cake, and a blog anniversary seems like the perfect occasion to try something new in the kitchen! I think I might be making this again for future celebrations - I'm already dreaming of new combinations that I could try for my next birthday cake!
I know this has been a long post, but I just wanted to end by saying thanks for reading and for all of your comments this past year - I wouldn't still be doing this without the support from all of you! And one last shout-out to my sister Natalie of Once Upon a Cutting Board, who is also celebrating her blogiversary!
Miniature Chocolate-Cherry Crepe Cake
Crepe recipe adapted from Vegan Eats World, everything else my own
Note: My crepes were vegan, but not the yogurt. Feel free to adapt the recipe by using your own favourite crepe recipe and whatever kind of greek yogurt you like (vegan or not)!
3/4 cup chocolate almond milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp + 2 tsp chickpea flour
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cherries (or a mix of cherries and blueberries, which is what I did because I didn't have enough cherries)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 100g container greek yogurt (I used Oikos fat-free coconut greek yogurt but vanilla would work too)
To make the crepe batter, add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer mixture to a container, cover, and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour.
When ready to make crepes, heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Working quickly, pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan, swirling the pan around so that the liquid coats the pan evenly all the way to the edges. Let cook for one and a half to two and a half minutes, until the surface looks dry and cooked, and the edges have started to crisp up. Run a spatula around the edges of the crepe and carefully flip it over. Cook the other side for about one minute. Carefully remove the crepe from the pan and transfer to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the batter (I got four 7" crepes out of mine, but it depends on the size of pan you use).
Use a circular cookie cutter or the lid of any jar about 3" in diameter to cut circles out of each crepe (I used a peanut butter jar lid). You should get one full circle plus two partial circles out of each crepe, but that's okay - they don't all need to be perfect circles. For the partial circles, just arrange some of the leftover pieces to fill in the gaps so that you have somewhat complete circles. You should end up with 11-12 3" crepe circles (see picture of mine below).
To make the sauce, place the berries, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a small saucepan and let cook on medium-high heat until the berries are broken down and the mixture has thickened a bit, stirring often (5-10 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.
To assemble the cake, lay one or two crepe circles on a plate. Top with a spoonful of the greek yogurt and a spoonful of the cherry sauce (don't use too much sauce, as you don't want to run out!). Follow with another layer of crepes (I found it easier to put two thin crepes together as one layer), and another layer of yogurt and cherry sauce. Repeat until you've layered all of the crepes, ending with a spoonful of yogurt and cherry sauce on top.
Serve at room temperature, or chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours to firm up a bit before serving.
Serves 1 (if you're hungry) or 2 people.