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Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake

The decorative nuts are dipped in caramelized sugar and hung in bat fashion -- upside down -- so the sugar streams and hardens into the best candy on the block.

  • Servings: 16
Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2006

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus melted for pan
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Hazelnut Filling
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • Candied Hazelnuts

Directions

  1. Bring 1/4 cup water to a rolling boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate until completely melted. Set aside.

  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla in another medium bowl. Gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Add chocolate-butter mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour through a fine sieve into an airtight container; discard lumps. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

  3. Lightly coat an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet with melted butter. Heat over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Remove pan from heat; pour about 2 tablespoons batter into pan, swirling to cover bottom. Reduce heat to medium-low; return pan to heat. Cook, flipping once, until edges are golden and center is dry, about 30 seconds per side.

  4. Slide crepe onto a plate. Repeat process with remaining batter, coating pan with butter as needed. Crepes can be refrigerated, covered, up to 1 day.

  5. Place a crepe on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Spread with about 3 tablespoons hazelnut filling. Top with another crepe. Continue layering with hazelnut filling and crepes, using about 32 crepes and ending with a crepe on top. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

  6. Spoon 1/2 cup glaze on top of the cake, spreading to edges. Spread remaining glaze around sides of cake, coating completely. Refrigerate until glaze is firm and set, about 20 minutes. Cake can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Garnish with toasted and candied hazelnuts.

Reviews (42)

  • Daniel Whosoever 14 Feb, 2014

    The cake was much richer than I like but it went over well with everyone else. I had issues making my hazelnut cream and it was a little thinner than I had planned so as the 30+ crepes took shape it did begin to slowly slide so I put wooden skewers in it to hold it while it set in the refrigerator. Keep in mind this is not a big cake, it will be about 8 inches wide (given an 8in crepe pan and probably about 6 inches tall. I took two days making it, 1 for prep and chilling and 1 for finishing.

  • mindia 30 Jan, 2014

    Also, when I look at the picture it seems like there is probably twice as much cream between the layers as what mine looked like (I used the 3 Tablespoons called for). For it to look like that cake I would probably have to have doubled the cream.

  • mindia 30 Jan, 2014

    I had no problems with the recipe- thank you previous commentors for your tips!- I have to say though that the cake wasn't nearly as high as the one pictured. I did use an 8" pan, so it's unclear to me why this would be.

  • Kitty Bea 5 Oct, 2013

    I made this for a dessert contest and won overall. For awhile though while making it I was ready to give up--it takes a long time to make and crepes aren't easy. I like to make the chocolate crepe recipe by itself... it'd be good with strawberries.
    Couple things.... I didn't have the hazelnut cream -whatever that is exactly- but I used part hazelnut coffee creamer and part ground-up hazelnuts. It worked really well; I food-processed the hazelnuts very fine. I halved the chocolate glaze recipe.

  • Jennifer Shea1 11 Mar, 2013

    P.S. there is also a recipe for hazelnut cream here, that I think would work. http://www.marthastewart.com/355331/hazelnut-cream-tuiles The hazelnut cream that I found was simply sweetened nut butter. Be sure you are not using hazelnut coffee creamer, that is not what they are talking about.

  • Jennifer Shea1 11 Mar, 2013

    This cake is epic, but it truly does take forever. I had no problems with stability, I am guessing those who did, did not whip the filling long enough after adding the butter. It is Swiss meringue buttercream, so after adding butter, it will get soupy, so whip the heck out of it until it's thick and fluffy again...it will be perfectly stable between the crepes if you do this. I also chilled my crepes before assembling. I made my own hazelnut cream in the food processor. It's just nut butter.

  • Gaeliceyes 10 Dec, 2012

    My third attempt to make this cake was this weekend, and it finally turned out perfect! I've had stability problems in the past as well, but this time I refrigerated the crepes until they were cold. Also, since we don't like hazelnut much, I used nutella chocolate creme or raspberry chocolate creme (found in the peanut butter aisle) instead and raspberry extract instead of vanilla (to cover up the faint hazelnut taste in the nutella) in the filling. It turns out amazing.

  • amyeskimo2 28 Oct, 2012

    This was obnoxiously delicious!!!! Pure food pornography. ;-)
    I was a little nervous starting out as I read all the reviews about the stability of the cake but we had no trouble whatsoever. It did take about 8.5 hours of labor to pull it off however, so plan ahead!
    I think the most important part is to use actual hazelnut creme. I found it at Williams and Sonoma. I wasn't familiar with it prior, but it is basically the equivalent of the filling you find in a hazelnut creme filled chocolate.

  • so-cal 29 May, 2012

    I also had trouble with this cake's stability. Next time I will: whip the cream more to make it firmer, refrigerate the filling before using, and assembling the crepes in 4 stacks, then refigerating overnight, combine the stacks, and refigerate 30 min. That should do it, else just make a cake base and rod in the center to stack them on! Would also double the recipe of filling if you want to look like the pic. Instead of hazelnut cream/butter I used ground hazelnuts.

  • kak2173 23 Apr, 2011

    True, this cake takes a lot of time and some effort, but it tasted amazing and turned out great! Give yourself enough time between steps (i made the crepes the night before assembling the cake) and you'll be fine.

    I had trouble with Hazelnut creme too. I used "hazelnut praline" from whole foods instead, which was just like peanut butter, but with hazelnuts. worked great and tasted delicious! I was thinking of subbing vanilla for hazelnut extract next time-- any thoughts?

  • Deliuta 9 Feb, 2011

    Hazelnut creme? I even tried to buy it online but can't find it. I don't think Nutella was what the recipe called for. I was going to try it but after reading the rest of the comments I'm discouraged from lack of wanting to clean up a huge mess.

  • connecticutcook 8 Feb, 2011

    This cake was an unbelievable disaster (although it tasted great). Followed the recipe exactly, but as we neared the end of the assembly the entire thing gave way and crepes spilled all over the counter, every which way. We even tried to firm it up in the freezer - use. We ended up sitting around the counter, nibbling at the mess and drying our tears.

  • connecticutcook 8 Feb, 2011

    This cake was an unbelievable disaster (although it tasted great). Followed the recipe exactly, but as we neared the end of the assembly the entire thing gave way and crepes spilled all over the counter, every which way. We even tried to firm it up in the freezer - use. We ended up sitting around the counter, nibbling at the mess and drying our tears.

  • tcarrollsmit 17 Dec, 2010

    this cake. oh lord. i used a nutella whipped cream as suggested below and have zero success. it was awful. delicious, but awful. i'm not sure how martha did it. i'm quite impressed yet again. obviously it's important that your crepes are equal. and to not use a lot of filling between crepes. only use a very thin amount just to secure it. i know the recipe calls to refrigerate, but i couldn't get my cake to not slip and slide all over the place enough to place it in a refrigerator. be brave!

  • scmacri 29 Oct, 2010

    I have not tried this yet - but I'm wondering if a solution to the "mess" people are having is to make your own whipped cream and whip in nutella? Have everything cooled/refrigerated overnight when doing?

  • kparise 25 Sep, 2010

    worst idea ever, sounds easy.. i know how to make crepes, i bought nutella, and the chocolate glaze came out perfect. but the end result was disgusting. nutella started liquefying even though the crepes cooled completely, and they started sliding around the more crepes i put on. end result? a mound of mess covered in chocolate, and something happened to make the crepes harden. COMPLETE WASTE OF $ AND TIME!!!!!!

  • slosh8715 10 Jul, 2010

    I would say to the last reviewer that something must be wrong with your stove or your refrigerator. It took me a few hours at most with the longest being the fridge time. It took me a bit over an hour for the crepes. If it took you 11 hours i would invest in new appliances. That would probably explain the 'runny' filling. I didnt have that problem either.

  • zenon13 1 Jul, 2010

    I also had the hardest time finding hazelnut cream. This recipe did not work for me. The filling between the crepes was much too runny and the chocolate crepes weren't my favorite either. They should really adjust the total time it takes to make this cake, it took me nearly from noon to eleven at night!

  • sweetcaitlin 23 Feb, 2010

    I couldn't find hazelnut cream so i took 2 tbs almond paste and added 1/4 cup of heavy cream to make it creamy. A VERY pleasant taste and a big hit - not too strong a flavour either - could even add more next time!

  • harcindy 13 Feb, 2010

    The problem I am having is not enough cream filling I am going to have to make another batch as not to waste crepes and my hazelnut creme ended up costing $24. online Also using 2 TBS of batter seemed to make awful thin crepes and I ended up with more than 32. And what do you use if you dont have a paddle attachment for stand alone mixer. Help on the filling would be appreciated.

  • Kristen_Aiken 8 Dec, 2009

    You can watch the video by clicking on the "Watch Video" text and arrow on the photo of the cake.

  • Rosaryo 20 Mar, 2009

    I would like to know how I could be able to watch the video. For your help. Thank you.

  • JessicaGallagher 24 Feb, 2009

    I made this cake for my boyfriend's birthday last year/first time meeting his parents. It was a hit! The entire table was completely silent and everyone said it was the best cake they've ever had. It took me 7 hours to make, but it was a definite show stopper!

  • ainee 18 Jul, 2008

    yeahh,,
    where is the rest??
    its look intresting..
    i want to make it 4 my voyfriend's bday...

  • katie1980 18 Mar, 2008

    Where is the rest of the video? Anyone know where I can find it. I would to make this for Easter. Thanks!!!

  • jamdaejee 26 Feb, 2008

    thanks for everyone's response. i ended up taking a wild guess and using hazelnut coffee cream from the dairy isle. and it was correct. the only problem was that i think i over mixed it so it start to look like how it should then became lumpy and sort of cottage cheese texture. next time i'll definitely try the Praline Paste. besides being my first time and extremely labor intensive it was fun and a big hit for my friend's birthday.

  • kayenne 24 Feb, 2008

    if you use nutella, try making plain non-chocolate crepes to achieve a similar(dark-light layers) effect as in the picture. i think it would work just as well.

  • daisy_san 24 Feb, 2008

    Anyone know how to see the other half of the video?

  • swissmiss2584 3 Feb, 2008

    I used hazelnut butter instead if the cream and it was so good. I just made it for a friend and used almond butter and that was so tasty.

  • ELMegs 1 Feb, 2008

    I used Nutella (hazelnut and chocolate spread like peanut butter) and mixed in a 12 oz. tub of whipped topping for me hazelnut spread. It didn't turn out like the picture, but it was DIVINE! Also, I was thinking of using dark chocolate pudding next time to same time and money.

  • msachitano 30 Jan, 2008

    I too am having trouble finding Hazelnut Cream. Does anyone know if Hazelnut spread by Loacker will work. This is the color of chocolate and looks like creamy peanut butter. Thanks for any help.

  • REV 26 Jan, 2008

    i have made this cake twice, and it is awesome.
    It took me a while to figure out the hazelnut cream as well, but make sure you keep this is in the fridge for a while before you glaze it or it will slide.
    I put mine in the freezer the second time for an hour, and it didn't slide a bit while being glazed

    Make sure you don't cook the caramel for too long, or it will crystalize after about 2-3 minutes of making the hazelnut topping..

  • REV 26 Jan, 2008

    i have made this cake twice, and it is awesome.
    It took me a while to figure out the hazelnut cream as well, but make sure you keep this is in the fridge for a while before you glaze it or it will slide.
    I put mine in the freezer the second time for an hour, and it didn't slide a bit while being glazed

    Make sure you don't cook the caramel for too long, or it will crystalize after about 2-3 minutes of making the hazelnut topping..

  • staceyforster 24 Jan, 2008

    The Hazelnut cream is just hazelnut coffee cream found in any dairy section. It took a while of research, but I figured it out!

  • kellystella714 17 Jan, 2008

    I loved making this cake. But, it was very hot in my kitchen and I should have refrigerated it longer than 15 minutes prior to glazing because in the middle of spreading the glaze, the layers started to slide off of each other! To keep it together I grabbed a bar-b-que skewer and stuck it straight down the middle and quickly put it in the freezer. Thankfully, I did get it glazed, but it was a quite uneven

  • pchurch 16 Jan, 2008

    i would love to make this cake but can't find hazelnut cream, what exactly should i be looking for

  • aprilk6220 14 Jan, 2008

    This cake was very impressive. BUT, it was SO MUCH WORK that I'll never make it again - I told everyone to enjoy while they could! The crepes were really finicky... I've done crepes before but these were hard to cook without being over or under done. And the filling wasn't too hard but covering this cake in chocolate was a mess! There was more on me and my kitchen than on the cake! I dubbed it Gloppy the Chocolate Monster (from Candyland). Overall a 6hr investment, so make sure you plan ahead!

  • Akrautter 12 Jan, 2008

    I too used the Hazelnut Praline from whole foods and it was perfect. This cake was an absolute showstopper. Finally a dessert everyone loved! From 3 year-olds to seventy year-olds, it got rave reviews.

  • LinLaLiLa 5 Dec, 2007

    Re: I am sure I am way to late for ;jamdaejee's' birthday cake... sorry about that, but I do want to mention I went to Whole Foods and purchased a "Praline Paste" from the baking isle. It has since become one of my absolute favorite ingredients. It is made mostly from hazelnuts and since I made this recipe, about a year and a half ago, I have since put it in many other this like frostings, batters, etc. If you like hazelnuts-- you will LOVE praline paste. Good luck :)

  • cranberry0 30 Nov, 2007

    Re. Hazelnut cream. Used hazelnut paste recipe on recipegoldmine.com and it worked just fine. FYO-as a guide, walnut cream is 100g softened butter, 200g walnuts, 200g sugar and 2 eggs. 1 pound = 454 grams. Hope this is not too late.

  • jamdaejee 23 Nov, 2007

    Hazelnut Filling calls for Hazelnut Cream and I've looked at whole foods as stated and online but cant find it. Can someone tell me where I can get this or do I have to make this from scratch? I really would like to make this for a birthday next weekend.

  • swissmiss2584 16 Nov, 2007

    I made this for my friends and they still can't stop talking about it. They were surprised to see all of the layers of crepes. It wasn't too sweet and it was pretty easy to make.

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