This Matcha Mille Crepe Cake is based on a classic French pastry called Gâteau Mille Crêpes. ‘Mille’ literally means ‘thousands’ in French and even though the ‘cake’ is made of 10 to 20 layers, I promise you it feels like thousands when you’re making the crepes! It’s all worth it, though when you cut a slice to reveal all that instagrammable matcha prettiness!
If you’re not a matcha fan, then skip to these Brown Butter Pancakes with Chestnut Ice Cream (perfect for Autumn!) or these Milk Tart Pancakes with Cinnamon Crumble. Matcha fans, step this way!
What makes matcha tea so special (and expensive) is the fact that it’s made from the best green tea leaves. The leaves are usually grown in the shade to intensify the dark green colour (I won’t bore you with the chlorophyll sciencey stuff) and it also gives a serious boost to the theanine and caffeine.Only the finest tea buds are hand-picked, leaves de-veined and de-stemmed, and then stone-ground make the delicate, fine powder. It can take up to one hour to grind 30 grams of matcha! See, I told you making all those pancakes for this is worth it!
Also, note that matcha comes in different grades; if you’re cooking with it, don’t waste your cash by buying ‘ceremonial grade’. This is the highest quality and the most expensive (it’s supposed to be good enough to be used in temples) but will be wasted if heated to a high heat. Also don’t buy it in large quantities – use it quickly after opening as it oxidizes and loses its flavour quite quickly!
Matcha Mille Crepe Cake
Serves 8-10 A LITTLE EFFORT 1 hour 30 minutes
Recipe created for Food & Home Entertaining Magazine (March 2018 issue)
375g cake flour
1 tsp salt
6 large eggs
90g salted butter, melted
4 tbsp matcha powder, plus extra for dusting
3 large egg yolks
60g white sugar
375ml (1 1/2 cups) full cream milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp powdered gelatine bloomed in 1 tbsp water
375ml (1 1/2 cups) cream, whipped to stiff peaks
Icing sugar, for dusting
To make the pancakes, place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk and whisk into the dry ingredients with the melted butter and the matcha powder. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Heat a non-stick pan and ladle a small amount of batter into the pan. Swirl the pan around to evenly coat it with batter. When the edges begin to lift, flip over and cook the other side until brown. Repeat with the remaining batter. This will go faster if you work with two frying pans at a time.
To make the custard filling, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and 1/4 cup of the milk together in a large bowl to make a paste. Heat the remaining milk and bring to the boil. Gradually add the hot mixture to the paste while whisking. Return to the heat and whisk continuously over a medium heat until the custard thickens. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Soften the gelatin sheet in cold water, squeeze out any excess water and mix into the hot custard. Spread the custard out on a baking tray, cover the surface with clingfilm and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, whisk the custard until smooth, then fold in the whipped cream.
To assemble the Matcha Mille Crepe Cake, put a crêpe on a plate or cake stand then spread with a thin layer of custard cream. Lightly dust with icing sugar and matcha powder. Repeat and stack until the cream and crêpes are used up, finishing with a crepe layer. Chill for 2 hours, then dust with matcha and cut into wedges to serve.