Demon Oven – Caramel Banana Brûlée Crêpe Cake

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What do you do when your best friend explodes in occasional bouts of brief yet unjustified rage? Keep your distance, wait for it to blow over, and pretend that nothing has happened. What if, then, your friend’s mental health takes a turn for the worse and she embarks on these tirades with greater frequency?  Keep your distance, watch warily, and begin reconsidering your choice in companionship. But then it blows over and she seemingly returns to normal, bolstering your hopes and lulling you into a sense of complacency. What do you do, then, when that fated day finally arrives and she loses all reason? I’m talking about a complete breakdown resplendent with incoherent gibberish, sudden and repeated about-faces, and an absolute refusal to calm down and shut up.

Well then, it’s about time you sought professional help.

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To be fair, I can’t entirely blame the last two months of blog silence on Demon Oven. Demon Oven suffered her beeping, error message-flashing meltdown a week ago after months long of faux tranquility. I’m finally getting her some professional help. Meanwhile, I’ve been hobbled by Toaster Oven’s diminutive size and 30 minute maximum timer. I’m also supposed to be dieting to to shrink my jello arms and whittle down the enlarged muffin tops added to my girth by a December filled with unrestrained eating look amazing in my wedding dress but Demon Oven really put a damper on my meal planning. Oh and I haven’t done enough cake tasting yet so maybe I should just put off my diet for now???

Decisions, decisions.

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You know I was going to go a whole 30 days without eating sugar and processed carbs, but that plan hasn’t quite come to fruition yet. I was also supposed to be working out by now but this blog post is taking much longer than anticipated and I have to constantly monitor Toaster Oven because my rack of ribs needs over 2 hours at 250˚F but I have to turn the timer knob every 30 minutes to keep the heat going oh and did I mention the only reason I’m still roasting ribs over a week after I defrosted them is because Toaster Oven is too small to take them all at once so I had to bake three different batches of ribs over the course of a week? Look, I’m even writing run-on sentences now. Third grade me would be aghast.

I blame Demon Oven.

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Has your oven too been on the fritz? Are you beginning to question its once unwavering loyalty? Find yourself a new friend, I say! Or stage an intervention. The earlier the better. While your friend is in therapy, consider making this cake instead. No oven needed!

Caramel Banana Brûlée Crêpe Cake

Crêpes

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup water
2 cups flour
6 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Caramel Banana Whipped Cream

3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 overripe bananas
pinch of salt
2 tbsp rum (optional)
3 cups heavy whipping cream
4-5 tbsp powdered sugar (to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
extra granulated sugar for sprinkling

There are three major components to this recipe: (1) making the crepes, (2) making the caramel banana whipped cream, and (3) assembling the cake. Steps 1 and 2 can be completed in either order, though I find it most expedient to do both at the same time so that the entire process doesn’t take much longer than 1.5-2 hours.

Step 1: Crepes

  1. To make the crepes, whisk together the flour and granulated sugar and create an indentation in the center.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and combine with milk, water, vanilla extract, and melted butter. Make sure to whisk in the melted butter (if hot) slowly to avoid scrambling the eggs.
  3. Slowly whisk the wet mixture into the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter through a wire sieve to strain out any lumps.
  4. Heat an 8″ pan over medium heat. I find that my crepes don’t stick to the pan (I’ve used both copper-bottom stainless steel as well as non-stick) and come out better without a greasy sheen of butter but if your crepes stick, melt a little butter in your pan.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into the heated pan and swirl quickly to coat the pan evenly.
  6. Cook until the edges brown slightly and peel away from the pan, about 30-45 seconds. Using any combination of spatula, fingers, and/or chopsticks to flip the crepe over and cook for another 10-20 seconds longer. Remove from pan and lay out flat on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 until you have finished the batter. You should end up with 20-25 crepes or so, give or take. Stack the cooled crepes on a plate and set aside.

Step 2: Caramel Banana Whipped Cream

  1. To make the caramel banana whipped cream, first melt the butter and granulated sugar in a small pan over medium-low heat. Do not stir – allow the sugar to caramelize and come to a dark brown color.
  2. Slice the bananas and add to the caramel along with a pinch of salt. Cook the bananas, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and fall apart as you stir. If your bananas aren’t ripe enough, you may want to add an additional tablespoon or two of sugar.
  3. Optionally, splash in some rum at this point and allow to boil a few minutes longer. Your bananas should now resemble lumpy baby food.
  4. Set aside to cool. I like to speed up this process by moving the bananas into the refrigerator.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine heavy cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Beat with the whisk attachment until you have a stiff whipped cream.
  6. Using a spatula or a spoon, combine the cooled caramel banana mixture with the whipped cream. The resulting mixture will be unflatteringly lumpy and discolored, but I promise you it will taste good.

Step 3: Build your crepe tower

  1. On a 8 or 9″ plate or cake stand, begin building your crepe cake. Lay out a crepe and spread evenly with 3-4 tbsp of banana caramel cream. Continue until all the crepes have been stacked, making sure to save a photogenic crepe for the top and final layer.
  2. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until ready to serve.
  3. Before serving, sprinkle a layer of granulated sugar evenly over the top crepe. Using a blowtorch, brûlée the sugar to form a crunchy sugar crust. In the course of the blowtorch action, you may inadvertently set the edge of a crepe on fire. Do not panic, simply blow it out and soldier on.
  4. Slice and enjoy.
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