My birthday cake! or, Adventures in gateau de crepes

So my birthday is on Wednesday, but we were going to have friends over tonight for gaming* so I decided I'd have my birthday cake today. I was trying to figure out what sort of cake I wanted this year, so I perused my new favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen, and came up with this: gateau de crepes. Now, a gateau de crepes is just what it sounds like -- a cake made of crepes, layered with pastry cream. I have nothing against traditional cakes, but my birthday is an opportunity to try something new in desserts, and I like crepes, and I really like pastry cream, and so what the heck! Gateau de crepes it is.

So, the first thing I learned about gateau de crepe is that this is not a one day cake. Like many things in French cooking, nothing is hard, but there's a lot of little steps. In this case, I started on Saturday making the crepe batter and the pastry cream (as both have to sit overnight). On Sunday, with my friend Cheyenne's help, we moved to assembly.

So, the idea of this is that you make 20 crepes, and stack them, with about a quarter cup of pastry cream on top of each one (the pastry cream itself being lightened with whipped sweetened cream to be fluffy). Off to the right you can see one of the crepes being made. Cheyenne actually knows how to make crepes decently, so she offered to work that station while I handled cream and cake assembly.

What you see off to the left is me spreading cream on what I think is about the sixth crepe in the stack.

And then we have something like the 12th crepe -- it's starting to look like a cake! The crepe on the plate by itself was a contender for Prettiest Crepe, which is the one you put on top.

And then getting close to done! It's a little lopsided here, but it's squishy so you can gentle push it back to vertical and it will stay. 

Et voila! The finished cake!

Now, what you do with it, since that seems a bit simplistic if delicious, is it has to sit in the fridge overnight and firm up and sort of meld, and then you sprinkle sugar on the top crepe and brulee it, and then you slice it like a cake. I am very excited about this. So excited, in fact, that I needed to share it with all of you! Hooray birthday cake! 

*Of course, Snowpocalypse means no gaming tonight, so argh. 


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