One random Friday night somewhere during the time I began really baking, I decided to try my hand at a crêpe cake. It seemed like an awe-inspiring dessert to bring to a family dinner that night. Up until then, the extent of my from-scratch baking was cakes and cookies, hardly reaching a complex mastery level at all. But I’ve always been of the mindset that if you want to achieve something bad enough, with a little persistence, you can do it. Even now, I have not a shred of reason in my mind as to why I felt compelled to make such an attempt, nor why I decided to make it happen that particular night. My only assumption is: I found the recipe somewhere and, having watched my grandmother make crêpes my entire life, thought it would be simple. Easy, in fact.
This might be a good time to mention this was during when I was working full-time. Which means, more than likely, I arrived home from work at four and had, at most, three hours until the dinner.
Of course, I felt it was plenty of time to make dozens of crêpes…and a cream…and to perfectly stack them upon one another.
Disaster doesn’t seem quite a strong enough word. Calamity. Failure. Setback. Catastrophe. No, I’m certain even a thesaurus does not hold the right word for the situation which unfolded.
Despite not having proper crêpe equipment, like Gram, I used a regular frying pan and chugged out a decent batch of crêpes. The problem ensued when I tried to layer crêpe, cream, crêpe, cream, and so on.
Sometimes I wish I could visit myself all those years ago to see if the current version of me would be able to help my past self get it right. Was the cream the culprit? Was it the consistency of the crêpes? Was I rushing?* I’ll never know.
*Was it all of the above?
What I do know is each crêpe I tried to place on top of the cream thought they were on a slip and slide and instead of evenly layered crêpes, my crêpe cake had a baby belly bulging in the center, it’s edges looking like a kindergartner had gotten to them, purposefully pulling them this way and that. The less time I had, the faster I worked, until it was time for dinner and I had to make the decision to either give up all hope and toss it, or bring it along and stand proudly beside it.
I tossed it.
And the recipe.
Remember Jammin’ Crêpes?
When we first discovered them, I saw their daily crêpe cake sitting on display and shuddered at the memory of my poor attempt. The crêpes were double the size of mine. The cream was evenly spread from end to end. I could only stare at it, mouth gaping, knowing the skill and patience such a masterpiece required.
It took a few visits, but I finally tried a slice.
Lemon Orchard Meringue Cake
The cream, crêpes, and dollop of jam come together to create a refreshing dessert which is light and delicious. We also ordered some savory crepes for lunch, and though I intended to wait for them, I had to swoop in and start nibbling on the crêpe cake.
Part of me wants to go back and make another attempt at making my own crêpe cake, while another part of me is satisfied in knowing I can get a slice any time I want at Jammin’ Crêpes.
And another part of me is scarred from that first try so long ago.
Visit Jammin’ Crêpes’ Facebook page to see a video of two crêpe cakes been made side by side. If only it had been available to me way back when, maybe things would have gone differently.*
*Let’s be real. They probably would have turned out the same.