hazelnut-crepe-cake3Martha Stewart’s Darkest Chocolate Crêpe Cake

Last week I was browsing through some food blogs when I came across the archives of a project gone terribly wrong. Two years ago, the Daring Bakers attacked a recipe that left most of them thoroughly frustrated. Some of them may even have burned the January 2006 issue of “Living,” which happens to be among the magazines that sit in my magazine basket.

Printed on page 105 was a stunning photo of a dark chocolate crêpe cake with contrasting layers of chocolate crêpes and hazelnut cream. There was a recipe. And in the crêpe batter, there was melted chocolate…

About a month ago I tested the recipe that had long haunted my dessert plans, a dark chocolate crêpe cake. The post hadn’t yet made it online as I’ve been exhausted and sick lately, so I’ve had my head stuck in the Swedish series “Millenium” for the moments that I’m not cooking.


Besides the fact that making crêpes is time consuming unless you have at least 2 crêpe pans to divide the cooking time, these guys were très très délicat… impossible to flip with a spatula or even in the air. You must take your sweet little fingers and grab hold of the burning hot crêpes, delicately, and flip ever so gently while trying to ignore your screaming sensory receptors.  I could be wrong, but I think the terribly delicate texture of these crêpes is due the the melted chocolate in them… While your eggs and flour are cooking, your chocolate is melting, so you have a very unstable mixture of ingredients. If I ever make this cake again, I would try using cocoa powder in the crêpe batter, rather than melted chocolate.

It was a pretty cake, but quite rich. Not my first choice for an after-dinner cake. Photos can be so seductive! If you are tempted even after the warning, you can find the recipe on Martha Stewart’s website. I would serve it for a tea party in the future.



  1. I must say, for as much work as this cake was, it certainly turned out beautifully! Hope your fingers start to cool soon!

  2. I found you via a series of food blogs, and I’m thrilled. This post alone has me mesmerized! While you may be missing some of your identity, the effort was not lost on me, though I can only admire from a distance! And such cute narrative!

  3. Oh My God, that’s a gorgeous mille feuille crepe cake! I’ve attempted it myself a few times, but I never had the patience to keep making more and crepes, so mine were never as high and grand as yours! The interior is stunning, and the exterior is gorgeous. Love the caramelized sugar dipped, spiked nuts – so dramatic! Next time I’m going to persevere and keep making loads of crepes – thanks to your amazing creation 😀

  4. Katie Moss

    Between your post and the one I’ve recently read on Bakerella’s website (http://bakerella.blogspot.com/2009/02/fourteen-for-fourteenth.html), I think I may have to try one of these beauties out!

  5. Oh…it looks just lovely…I like to make crêpe cake, I usually just make the filling/icing with butter, sugar, lemon/orange zest and Cointreau or grappa (quite a lot of of it, actually….) and it tastes amazing…but it is not very photogenic.

    Yours looks beautiful, but if you tell me that the taste was…’too much’ (?) I believe you.

    … the fine art of compromising between taste and look…

    BDW, thank you for your site, is great!

    • Monica

      It’s true that taste and look are sometimes difficult to balance in a recipe! I hate slaving away at something to make it beautiful when in the end it’s not as good as it looks. But I learn all of the time, so even my less-than-fabulous dishes are not lost. 🙂

  6. Kelly Lindsey

    I’m not sure if I’m laughing or crying but I wish I would have read this blog before attempting this lovely but painfully difficult cake. I just attempted my first crepe and it didn’t go well. I stopped and googled the cake and found you post. I believe your right that the chocolate is making the batter to thin. I think I will make the ones I have and add some crepes with no chocolate as well. Wish me luck, I’ll need it. Damm, Martha Stewart!!!

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