Ever since I tried Lady M‘s mille crepe cake, I have always wanted to attempt making it. Lady M has the best Matcha mille crepe cake, IMO. I had it for two birthdays in a row, special thanks to my lovely friends for the cake surprise! I like how its layers are just the right amount of thickness and how the Matcha flavour is so pronounced. It is not overly sweet too. Simply divine.
So here goes my humble attempt of baking one. I used Matcha powder fresh from Japan (thanks for the bountiful supply, S!) and it certainly made all the difference. The cake requires so much work that I doubt I’d be making it again any time soon. However, be assured that your efforts will pay off! Still, I’d happily fork out $9 SGD for a slice of Lady M’s mille crepe cake from now on.
The challenging part was standing over the stove for nearly two hours, painstakingly cooking each crepe layer by layer, and having to redo some as they weren’t thin enough for my liking. And then the horror when I ran out of crepe batter. So there I went again – crack eggs, stir in some milk, sugar and butter – in a bid to make more batter. Hours later, all is done and I successfully made 20 perfect crepe layers. Time for assembly… and finally time for tasting… Mmm, all that hard work was worth it!
This recipe is extra special because it’s a collaboration with the talented Natalie from Natalie Studio. I love her work and am so glad that she is pursuing her passion. Her work is just amazing. Here, she did up the beautiful recipe card for this post. If you like her work, do check out her site (www.ilovenataliestudio.com) and Instagram (@nataliestudio) and the workshops that she organises. As of now, she offers watercolour and wall weaving tapestry classes.
Have you heard? Natalie is offering a Food Watercolour workshop on 15 August – hands up if you’re as excited as I am for this!
Illustration by Natalie Studio
20 crepe layers
Spreading on the Matcha pastry cream
Recipe for Matcha millecrepe cake (Mille Crêpes au thé vert matcha)
For the crepe batter (recipe from NY Times)
6 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
7 tablespoons sugar
For the Matcha pastry cream (adapted from ”Desserts,” by Pierre Herme and Dorie Greenspan)
2 cups milk
30g matcha powder, sifted
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 cups heavy cream
1. The day before, make the crepe batter and the pastry cream. Batter: In a small pan, cook the butter until dark brown. Set aside. In another pan, heat the milk until wisps of steam form; allow to cool for 10 minutes. In a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the eggs, flour, sugar and salt. Slowly add the hot milk and browned butter. Pour into a container, cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Pastry cream: Bring the milk, Matcha powder and vanilla extract to a boil, then set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Set up an ice bath for the finished pastry cream by filling a large bowl with ice and setting aside a small bowl that can hold the pastry cream.
3. In a medium heavy-bottomed pan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, then turn to high heat and bring to a boil, whisking continuously for 1 to 2 minutes. Press the pastry cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the small bowl (optional if mixture looks smooth) Set the bowl in the prepared ice bath and stir until the temperature reaches to about 70 degC. Stir in the butter to melt. When completely cool, cover and refrigerate.
4. Assemble the cake the next day: Bring the batter to room temperature. Place a 9-inch crepe pan over medium heat. Oil the surface lightly, and then add about 3 tablespoons batter and swirl evenly to cover the surface. Cook until the bottom just begins to brown, then carefully lift an edge and flip the crepe with your fingers. Cook on the other side for about 5 seconds. Place the cooked crepe onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat until you have 20 perfect crepes.
5. Whip the heavy cream. Fold it into the pastry cream.
6. Lay 1 crepe on a cake board. With a spatula, spread a thin layer of pastry cream (about 1/4 cup) over it. Layer on with another crepe and repeat to make a stack of 20, ending off with the nicest looking crepe on top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Sprinkle the top crepe with 2 tablespoons sugar and caramelize with a blowtorch or dust top with confectioners’ sugar.
I used a cutter to cut out my crepes to make a smaller 5-inch cake. This is optional.