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1,000 Italian Recipes

Sunday, April 29, 2007

To My Dearest The Martha... I laugh in the face of your saggy ass crepes!

*Recipe caused severe stress, nail biting, and mysterious stains on my kitchen and dining room walls.. therefore there will be JILLIONS of photos. Prepare for thy computer crash...*

Chocolate Crepe Cake
Do not look at my messy table!!

Two weeks ago we had some friends coming up to our neck of the woods to join us at our favorite restaurant for dinner. After dinner, the plan was to come back to our house for dessert. I had planned on making this month's Daring Bakers' challenge, and I thought it'd be nice to share it with friends.

We were to meet them at the restaurant at 6:30. At 4:30 I called and asked for an hour's extension. I knew with two more hours to go that I wasn't even close.. no fakkin way. What looked like a beautiful and reasonably simple recipe, turned out to be the recipe from hell. At 5:30 I called them back and told them I didn't need that extra hour, but there wasn't going to be any dessert. "How about drinking though? Would you like to drink?", I asked her.

Chocolate Crepe Cake

That was my first attempt at The Martha's crepes. I've never made a crepe before so I wouldn't know if the batter was "crepe like" or not. I noticed it was kind of thick, but what the hell that meant, I had no idea. Amazingly my first crepe turned out quite nice. I was happy and figured the rest would be a breeze.. oh hells no. I couldn't have been more wrong. Every single crepe thereafter tore, ripped, got stuck to itself, was thrown across my kitchen into the dining room, etc. I had even bought a cute lil French crepe pan and a special crepe spatula (sucked in, yes I know) ALL FOR NAUGHT.

Chocolate Crepe Cake

I left my house in a sour mood.. but after a few glasses of wine and fun conversation with good friends, I felt better. It was a traumatizing experience though.. so much so that I didn't even think about trying this recipe again until this weekend.. nothing like waiting until the last minute!

The good thing about waiting so long was that I got lots of tips and advice from the gals who had already made theirs. I guess I learned from their mistakes? Bless each and every one of them! *smoochies* I also had a TON of help from Helene, my baking guru. Oh how I love thee..

Chocolate Crepe Cake

So I woke up early Saturday morning to take my mom to a couple appointments (she got her neck brace off WOOO!!) with full intentions of coming straight home and immediately starting on the crepes. Here's how my day went instead:

1:00 - home to see the husband off for the night.. yes, i told him he'd better find something to do far away from our house because I was attempting that "f*ckin' cake" again.
2:00 - multiple e-mails to Helene for support and advice before I dived in
2:30 - lunch of cold spags & balls, followed by watching DVR'd shows (Boston Legal [Alan Shore *swoon*] and Divine Design [Candice Olson *swoon*])
4:00 - Sister calls.. chit chat with her for an hour
5:00 - More e-mails to Helene
6:00 - Yet another search for something I can use for a filling..
6:30 - Burned a compilation music CD for the occasion. Lots of loud, funky, disco-y, pop-y, fun to dance to while alone with no one else watching music..
7:00 - Mise en place
7:10 - First crepe.. FABULOUS! Turned out perfectly.. followed by 22 equally perfect crepes. I couldn't believe it.. total shock they all came out. All thanks to Helene's suggestion of letting them sit for close to 2 min. before flipping.
8:30(ish) - Making of the curd for the mousse filling
9:00 - Beating the egg whites and cream, then awkwardly folding them together
9:10 - Folding eggs & cream into the curd
9:13 - Watching the whole mess coagulate and separate
9:15 - Smelling something reminiscent of ass
9:17 - Daring to stick my pinky in for a taste and promptly gagging because it tasted like ass.
9:17:20 - Pouring out filling down drain.
9:19 - 10:20 - Total daze, can't remember much - think I blacked out.
10:21 - Frantic email to Helene about WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO NOW??
10:25 - Back out in the living room, pouting on the sofa
10:30 - Passed the hell out.
1:00 - Woke up and dragged my dead tired ass to bed

Chocolate Crepe Cake

Need me to define "frantic"?

To: Helene
From: Lisa
Subject: WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO NOW?????

"The filling. Oh dear God I fucked up my filling. I decided to go with an orange mousse. So I dug out the key lime mousse recipe I found when searching for the perfect HHDD mousse. I followed it to a T other than I doubled the recipe and I subbed blood oranges for the key lime...

Before I knew what I was doing.. I realized that i was in the process of making curd again! ARGH!! I got very very scared. But 'lo it turned out beautifully this time. No scrambled eggs! WOO! Now here comes the part that I just don't understand.

The next step was to whip the egg whites until they formed soft peaks. And so I did.. and I thought I was doing it the correct way as I had to do it for both the chocolate AND the banana mousse last week.. nothing different with this recipe. When I stopped the kitchenaid, and lifted the whisk, I got nice soft peaks.

And then I did the cream.. whipped it until soft peaks - no problems.. added the sugar and beat it until it was stiff. No. Problem.

And then I folded my egg whites into my whipped cream like the recipe said to do.. I suck at folding, I always end up losing some fluff.. but it seemed to be going okay.. until I had to fold that into the curd. Holy hell. The first thing that struck me was that SOMETHING I don't know if it was the cream or the eggwhites, but SOMETHING separated. Or curdled. Or some other HORRIBLE thing. And then next I noticed the smell.. it did not smell like sweet oranges or sweet whipped cream.. it smelled like ass. BUT I was brave and I continued to fold and even took a small lil dip of the finger to taste... BLECH it tasted like ass too.

i dumped it down the drain.

I have no filling.

*sob*

What the hell am I going to do? I only have about 1 c. of cream left, 1/2 doz. eggs, no oranges left in the house although I've got orange juice.. If I wanted to do lemon I've only got 4 lemons - they certainly aren't going to give me enough juice to make enough filling for 23 layers.

I do have a small jar of Italian lemon marmalade.. and the same size jar of Italian plum jam.. thought maybe of spreading one of those every other layer.. but I still have the dilemma of the cream layer.. what the hell am I going to do??

Someone got into the Nutella.. there isn't even a 1/2 jar left. I'm thinking maybe about making the chocolate mousse I made last week for every other layer.. but you probably wouldn't even see layers once it was cut..

And it's 10. I have not ate anything, my feet are killing me and I'm in a whiney ass mood. Is it noticeable?"

Chocolate Crepe Cake

Yeah, and I thought I had it bad a couple weeks ago when my crepes didn't turn out.

Well, bless her cotton socks, Helene wrote back with many suggestions on how to use the ingredients I had on hand to whip up a fabulousss filling. I particularly liked the idea she had for a quick mousse made with the lemon marmalade, although I only had about 1/4 of a packet of gelatin left. So as I was writing down her instructions, I remembered how badly I've always wanted to try to make Italian meringue buttercream. Yanno the stuff.. you whip egg whites and then drizzle smokin' hot sugar syrup into them at the same time? I mean, how hard could it be?? It's not like I had already managed to scramble the eggs in the first curd I tried, or severly burned my hand the last time I attempted honeycomb candy. I mean, really this is a safe recipe, right? All you have to do is drizzle the molten sugar between the edge of the bowl and the whisk attachment that's whizzin' around at 40 mph. This is EXACTLY the thing I should attempt the morning of the Daring Baker Challenge Post deadline.

Well guess what all of you nay-sayers! You non-believers! You didn't think I could do it'ers! I not only made a perfect Italian meringue buttercream, but I made it even better than the author of the recipe, Jacques Torres! And do you want to know how I made it better?

Chocolate Crepe Cake

I should keep it to myself because you didn't believe in my stellar capabilities in the kitchen.

But, what the hell? I'll tell you already! The recipe called for unsalted butter. I do not have any unsalted butter in this house, so I said "FAKK IT!!" and I used salted butter. TWO AND ONE FOURTHS CUP + 1 TABLESPOON of SALTED butter.

making of (1)

Oh. My. God. The creaminess, the thickness, the saltiness and the sweetness.. all rolled up into one heavenly light and airy buttercream. I may or may not make this frosting again and serve it in a bowl to MYSELF for dinner one night. It's THAT good. Well.. it's that good if you are into the salty/sweet combo that I absolutely *swoon* over.

making of (5)

Holy Son of a Motherless Goat this is how damn good the buttercream turned out - behold the tracks of my finger licking. If I could have shoved my head in that bowl for quicker access, I would have.

making of (4)making of (2)
making of (3)making of

The rest of the components of this cake went pretty quickly - the chocolate glaze was a snap and the decoration was quite easy as well, thanks to a fantastic recipe from one of our Daring Bakers, Ilva of Lucullian Delights. She made these Ginger Candied Orange Wedges that about made me fall out of my chair with desire. Go look at her pictures, I'll wait.

Fell out of your damn chairs didn't you??? Mmm hmmm.. so I knew that when I decided to go with an orange flavored filling (I added Grand Marnier to the buttercream, forgot to mention that!) I had to make these candied oranges for my decoration. Slight problem though. I made 10 wedges. Only 6 made it to the cake. Whoops! Wonder where those other 4 disappeared to?? Hmm..

Chocolate Crepe Cake

Moving right along.. it was time to taste this monstrosity! I carefully sliced a relatively small slice - for photo purposes - and took many upon many photographs. Course I needed a photo of a bite taken out of the cake, it's only reasonable. WOW. I was expecting a "eh?" kind of reaction.. the live with it / live without it, not very impressive kind of reaction. Well since this cake is mostly that fantabulous buttercream (did I mention the super hazardous and deadly making of the Italian meringue buttercream that I not only attempted but KICKED ASS at?) the cake was amazing. I kinda think the crepes are more for the show-stopping appearance than any real added taste to the overall cake. I was happy to find out that they were not rubbery, which is what I really expected. And the bittersweet chocolate glaze was perfect with the sweeter buttercream.

Chocolate Crepe Cake

All in all - an amazing cake.

Will I ever make this cake again? NO. NO. AND NO. Not worth the 3 weeks of stressing over it. But I will cover anything and everything with that buttercream from now on. ;)

Chocolate Crepe Cake

Okay I'm done.. FINALLY. Dear God will she ever learn how to write short posts?? Now.. go click on the other Daring Bakers' blogs --> over there in my sidebar. Prepared to be awwed and amazed and I suggest a plastic sheathing for your keyboard, what with all the drooling that will ensue.

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Comments on "To My Dearest The Martha... I laugh in the face of your saggy ass crepes!"

 

Blogger Sher said ... (4/29/2007 5:25 PM) : 

LOL!! I'm still giggling after reading all that. The cake looks WONDERFUL! I love that candy crown! And isn't it impressive when you cut into the cake and see the layers? Makes it all worth it, in my opinion!

 

Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (4/29/2007 5:37 PM) : 

Wooo! I will never be a naysayer to you girl! Super Fantastic!
I'm beginning to think this cake is a little like giving birth. Don't think I'll be doing that again and the next thing you know you've signed up again. So I won't be surprized to find you making it again.
You are way out funny!
So glad you made it!

 

Blogger Elle said ... (4/29/2007 5:41 PM) : 

Way to go. Love your humor and the cake looks fantastic. the decoration on top looks like a butterfly that has landed on the cake. Hope you can take a nap. You deserve it!

 

Blogger Canadian Baker said ... (4/29/2007 5:53 PM) : 

Wow!! Lis it looks beautiful and the orange creme looks delicious. I wish my filling was as creamy. Kudos!

 

Blogger Helene said ... (4/29/2007 5:57 PM) : 

Ok, you can hit B. on the head with your crepe pan: he said it looked like Mickey Mouse....keep vaccuming is what I replied...hahah!!
he was also releived that "you" were my love affair this weekend!
Your post is brilliant and it made me laugh even more after our frantic email exchange.
Your my Daring idol!

 

Anonymous Ivonne said ... (4/29/2007 5:58 PM) : 

I join you in your laughter, Lis! And I think your crepe cake totally kicks the ass of Martha's crepe cake.

As always I just loved your post and your explanation of making this cake is priceless

It's a beauty!

 

Blogger Mary said ... (4/29/2007 6:11 PM) : 

You definitely get the prize for "laughter in the face of adversity". Your cake looks so tall and statuesque (unlike my sad stumpy cakes).

 

Blogger Laura said ... (4/29/2007 6:36 PM) : 

It is a joy to behold! But never say never, you'll get hooked on the memory of your gorgeous creation as the stress fades into the background!

 

Blogger Peabody said ... (4/29/2007 6:43 PM) : 

Helen to the rescue!
I will never make it again either.
Yes, buttercream on anything is good.

 

Anonymous Marce said ... (4/29/2007 6:45 PM) : 

yay! you made it! and you cracked me up with your post... disaster stories really do work with humor. Can´t wait to see what next month´s challenge will be.

 

Blogger valentina said ... (4/29/2007 6:46 PM) : 

you crack me up. Love reading your posts. congratulations!! you persevered. And your cake looks stunning. Absolutely fabulous! I did not have your persevering streak so my cake went to the dustbin.sniff, sniff..

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (4/29/2007 7:59 PM) : 

Oh. My. God.

Lady, you are a braver woman than I am. Actually, all you girls are - I can't believe you actually made something this crazy and time-consuming! And as difficult as it may have been, at least you gave it a shot, right? :)

 

Anonymous veron said ... (4/29/2007 8:09 PM) : 

I'm falling off my chair laughing as I read your adventures with the crepe. I should've picked a different filling, yours sounded so delicious, sis!

 

Blogger Brilynn said ... (4/29/2007 8:11 PM) : 

Your did an AMAZING job! Excellent addition of Grand Marnier.

And you still had time to watch Boston Legal, sweet.

 

Blogger Mercedes said ... (4/29/2007 8:12 PM) : 

haha- your cake looks beautiful, really stunning! I wish my glaze had turned out as shiny and dark as yours, perhaps had something to do with the chocolate I used? Anyway, well done!

 

Blogger tammy said ... (4/29/2007 8:14 PM) : 

The finger tracks in the bowl said it all. Great job!

 

Blogger breadchick said ... (4/29/2007 8:56 PM) : 

LISA!!! WHOA NELLY!!! Way to freakin' go. And I have no idea why I ever think it is safe to have a mouth full of wine when I start reading your posts (still wiping off the monitor where it splattered all over not once but 2X during my giggle fest). You rock lady!

 

Blogger Sara said ... (4/29/2007 9:07 PM) : 

Oh I'm so glad it came out ok for you! Please send me a batch of the filling and a spoon asap.

 

Blogger SimplePleasures said ... (4/29/2007 10:14 PM) : 

looks so gorgous! makes it look so worth all the effort!

 

Blogger Ilva said ... (4/30/2007 1:29 AM) : 

ojojojoj (that's Swedish) I'm really impressed, especially by your perseverance! You never give up and look how good it turned out! A beautiful cake!

 

Anonymous http://sassandveracity.typepad.com said ... (4/30/2007 1:49 AM) : 

Wow. Mouthwateringly delicious. Crepes. Mmmmm....Still can't get past the smells like ass, tastes like ass part. Definitely food porn.

 

Blogger Freya and Paul said ... (4/30/2007 2:45 AM) : 

What a hilarious post (again!) from you Lis! You pulled it right back from the abyss and made something ten times better than the original recipe - that is something to brag about! I love the idea of the orange flavouring - perfect with the dark chocolate!

 

Blogger Gattina said ... (4/30/2007 5:55 AM) : 

oh you Lis, I almost choked to death while reading your smell-like-ass cream *lol*
ok, your creative juice flows allover this gorgeous cake, seem you are the only darling... so far, I'm still reading... didn't curse, hehee.

 

Blogger Lis said ... (4/30/2007 7:07 AM) : 

Sher - If you were giggling only half as much as I was after reading your post, then that makes me happy =) And yeah! I was really afraid to cut it thinking it wouldn't be easy.. but I was amazed at how cool it looked and how easily it cut!

Tanna - hehe Thanks! And dear sweet jebus, if the making of this cake is like childbirth, then uhh.. kinda glad I won't be feeling the pain of childbirth in this lifetime. hahahaa!

Elle - Thanks! My mom said the exact same thing! Actually the sugar thingies weren't even suppose to go on, I was just playing with the left over sugar from the oranges - but umm when 4 of those wedges kinda disappeared into MY BELLAY, I decided to stick the weird things on. lol!

Jen - Thank you =) I thought your filling looked quite dreamy!

Helene - HAHAHAHAHAAA! I knew I loved him for a reason =) And what the hell is he doing looking at my Mickey Mouse cake when he's suppose to be vacuuming? teeee!
Yes, I'm going to do it again... THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your help, support and laughter this weekend - I couldn't of made this cake without you! xoxox

Ivonne - Thanks sweetie! Uh oh.. no one tell The Martha what Ivonne said.. she might come break my kneecaps. hee!

Mary - hehe thanks - but I didn't think your cakes looked stumpy at all, I thought they were gorgeous!

Laura - I suspect you are right - but I think I'm going to just freeze a few slices so if the urge comes on I can just defrost instead of going through the hell again. lol

Gracie - Yep, that it does. =)

Marce - Yay! I'm glad it made you laugh =) I can't wait either!

Valentina - Thank you sweetie =) And that's okay, next month you'll get it. =)

Ellie muh luv - Thanks! Yeah.. this almost made croissant baking sound easy. lol

Sis - Thanks! I loved your filling - and those cruncy nuts all over it.. *swoon*

Bril - I thought about you as I poured the booze in! hahaha! Do you watch BL too? Best! Show! Ever! I have had a crush on James Spader since he was on "Family" 100 years ago.. LOVE HIM. Oh and Denny Crane too... hahaha!

Mercedes - Thanks! I used 70% Callebaut chocolate. =)

Tammy - That they do, my friend. That they do. =) Thanks!

Mary - HAHAHAA! Sorry! Next time I'll remind you. teeee! Thanks and same to you! xoxo

Sara - I'll get it in the post today.. but I won't send a spoon, that'd be too time consuming.. I'll send a shovel, like the one I'm going to use when I make it again. har!

Simplepleasures - Why thank you! =)

Ilva - Thank you! And thanks again for the candied orange recipe.. I'll never eat a candied apple again, these are 5,000 times better! xoxo

Kelly - HAR! yeah that took a while to get over.

Freya - Aww thanks sweetie!

Gattina - You're so sweet! Thank you! I'm glad I made you laugh =)

 

Blogger Meeta said ... (4/30/2007 7:39 AM) : 

Never say nay to Lis! Actually I had faith in you all along! It looks fab and I think we should make 2 crepes for this cake the next time and simply fill the crepes with your filling. It sounds delish!

 

Anonymous gilly said ... (4/30/2007 8:30 AM) : 

LMAO! This is the most amazing post - it has everything... suspense, laughter, tears, swearing... CONFIDENCE. I'm SO PLEASED the you were able to come up with an amazing filling, and I'm such a huge sweet/salty fan that I must definately try your creation myself! Congrats on lowering the BOOM on this challenge!

 

Blogger Glenna said ... (4/30/2007 8:30 AM) : 

Pardon me but I'm laughing my ass off. I have a found a kindred spirit with the tongue of 14 year old boy. By your adventures in the kitchen, I think we must have been separated at birth!
Great job! It's really fantastic looking.

 

Anonymous Orchidea said ... (4/30/2007 8:41 AM) : 

Oh my God!!! I do not have any word... this looks absolutely delicious! Great!
Very good!
Ciao.

 

Blogger Quellia said ... (4/30/2007 8:52 AM) : 

Thank you I needed that! What a great laugh (sorry, with you, not at you!) And a great looking cake!

 

Blogger Mar-Argentina said ... (4/30/2007 11:07 AM) : 

Mil felicitaciones por esa torta espectacular y las fotos son una tentación!!!, me gustaría saber qué es el relleno, es una crema de manteca?, gracias!

 

Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (4/30/2007 2:00 PM) : 

Wow, Lis!! I'm sorry it caused you so much trouble but I must say IT'S AMAZING!!
And using citrus is such a twist - you won my heart with that! Give me a piece of this beauty and I'll be your slave forever!! I'll clean, and iron, and cross stitch your kitchen towels! ;)

 

Blogger Cheryl said ... (4/30/2007 2:29 PM) : 

This could be the funniest post I have ever read. Oh you poor woman.

But it looks awesome and now you are the Buttercream Queen, I crown you.

 

Blogger Columbus Foodie said ... (4/30/2007 3:40 PM) : 

Wow - only you would take a difficult recipe and step it up a notch! :) Great job!

 

Blogger Linda said ... (4/30/2007 5:14 PM) : 

HOLY MOLeY!

 

Blogger Kirsten said ... (5/01/2007 1:03 AM) : 

Oh Lis!! I am DYING laughing and wiping away tears from laughing so hard with your experience.

This is why I am *not* a daring baker, nor shall I be. :)

But, that said, your cake is DAMN good looking and looks just positively pass-out good.

Thanks for making me hungry and make me laugh.

xo - Kirsten

 

Blogger Lis said ... (5/01/2007 9:19 AM) : 

Meeta - Thanks

Gilly - Thanks sweetie!

Glenna - HA! I've always wanted a twin sister!

Orchidea - Aww, thank you =))

Jenny - My pleasure!

Mar - Thank you! I think? hehe I can't understand what you said so help is on the way! (as if you could understand this?)

Patricia - Oh heck, I'd give you a slice - I'd even make a whole one again for you, just because you're you! xoxo

Cheryl - Thanks! Does this tiara make my butt look fat?

Becke - Why thanks! =)

Linda - heee!

Kirsten - hahaha am so happy you got a giggle - thanks! :D

xoxo

 

Blogger Lis said ... (5/01/2007 9:19 AM) : 

Meeta - Thanks

Gilly - Thanks sweetie!

Glenna - HA! I've always wanted a twin sister!

Orchidea - Aww, thank you =))

Jenny - My pleasure!

Mar - Thank you! I think? hehe I can't understand what you said so help is on the way! (as if you could understand this?)

Patricia - Oh heck, I'd give you a slice - I'd even make a whole one again for you, just because you're you! xoxo

Cheryl - Thanks! Does this tiara make my butt look fat?

Becke - Why thanks! =)

Linda - heee!

Kirsten - hahaha am so happy you got a giggle - thanks! :D

xoxo

 

Anonymous Kristen said ... (5/01/2007 3:40 PM) : 

Oh you totally crack me up! This was a fantastic post... I felt your frustration completely. Now...if I could only have a slice of that delicious looking goodness. I'm salavating!

 

Blogger Callipygia said ... (5/01/2007 3:52 PM) : 

Lis you are an 80's head banging rock star and I bow down at your feet! This is unrestrained exuberance-

 

Blogger Kelly-Jane said ... (5/04/2007 4:48 AM) : 

Wow your cake looks spectacular! Love the extra oranges, and I feel I was there in the kitchen with you when you made it, great post.

 

Blogger Deborah Dowd said ... (5/05/2007 10:30 PM) : 

Great post! and what a beautiful result- the shiny chocolate and the cooked sugar medallions are a work of art!

 

Blogger Tracy said ... (1/28/2008 9:17 PM) : 

I know I'm leaving this comment months later but it made me laugh my head off. You are quite a writer.

 

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