After a long hard winter, we finally had perfect weather last weekend, which catapult us into a welcoming spring. With the shedding of heavy coats, comes a sense of lightness.
Now, I understand why no one bakes gingerbread or pumpkin pie in April. A few months back, I thought I would go try a time shift and make that happen, but it just doesn’t feel right.
Instead, I eased myself into the season with an ingredient that signals the planting of vegetable gardens—the carrot. I’m a fan of traditional carrot cake, but I thought the format of this Carrot Crêpe Cake is even more suitable for spring and even the Easter table.
Carrot Crêpe Cake w Pineapple Cream
6 large eggs
2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups cornstarch
1/4 cup (1-1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
8 tablespoons carrot puree, recipe to follow
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing pan
1. Mix all ingredients (except extra melted butter) in a blender until batter is smooth and combined. Refrigerate batter in the blender for 30 minutes.
2. Gentle stir batter if separated. Spray a 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat pan over medium heat. Brush pan with melted butter and pour 1/4 cup batter into pan, twirling the pan as you pour to evenly coat the pan with the batter. Once the batter is even, set the pan down and allow the crepe to get mottled brown on bottom. Then carefully lift up the edges with a spatula and flip the crepe. Cook until spotty brown on the other side, about 30 seconds longer.
3. Place cooked crepe on plate and repeat cooking process with remaining batter, brush pan as necessary. (You can stack the crepes on top of each other, they won’t stick together). Crêpes can be tightly wrap crepes with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days.
10 ounces (about 2 small carrots) carrots , cut into chunks
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add carrots and salt and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drained carrots in a colander and let cool and dry for 20 minutes.
2. In a mini food processor, add dry carrots and puree until smooth. set aside.
16 ounces frozen pineapple chunks, thawed
1/2 cup pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 fine sea salt
8 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
1. Process pineapple chunks and concentrate in food processor until smooth. Transfer to medium saucepan and whisk in cornstarch and salt until smooth. Bring to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sugar and extract on medium speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add pineapple mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Add rum and beat to combine.
Carrot shavings (optional)
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Confectioners’ sugar for serving
1. Lay one crêpe on a cake stand or serving platter. Spread a thin layer of pineapple cream evenly over the crêpe, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Lay a second crêpe on top and spread another thin layer of pineapple cream evenly over the crêpe. Repeat process and finish with crêpe with one tablespoon of pineapple cream in the center. Decorated with carrot shavings and walnuts (if use). Serve.