I am wholeheartedly hoping that this blog will be a creatively freeing space. A place to soothe my sense of restlessness through constant creativity and travel. They say that when a writer is faced with writers block, that unavoidable component of the creative process, the best way to combat it is to simply write. Write about anything. Let your mind wander, put forth every broken fragment of thought, and don’t hold back. Feel the creative juices start to flow and you won’t be able to look back and regret not starting yesterday. Start now. It may not bear fruitful results, but you were true to your craft and you made a start. I am here to grant myself the permission to make a start, to experiment, and to pursue opportunities I may have been too demure to follow through with in the past.
I recently traveled to Vancouver, Canada and was perpetually inspired by the local makers, creatives, and businesses. On a particularly lovely morning spent at Le Marché St. George, I spotted a few jars of small batch artisan preserves I felt I could not leave the country without. Instantly, visions of the sweet spreads filling layers of delectable cake recipes I’ve been meaning to try flooded my brain. One such jam was Saltspring Kitchen Co.’s Pink Grapefruit & Rhubarb Jam-a-lade. That’s right. My mind immediately cooked up (or baked, as it were) the idea for this Grapefruit Poppy Seed Crepe Cake. I mean, naturally.
My thought process was this, “Who doesn’t like lemon poppy seed? Why not try it with a different but equally delicious citrus fruit? Besides, lemon poppy seed is so overdone.” Or so I thought at the time. Turns out, it’s a classic flavor combo for a reason, folks. Maybe my crepes were too thick, maybe the balance between sour and sweet just didn’t come together the way I pictured, maybe I just needed to be humbled. For whatever reason, this cake was definitely not all I imagined it to be. But you know what? That’s okay. I am still so glad I tried it.
This blog is a place for me to be creative, to inspire and be inspired. I still have so much to learn and experience in the kitchen. I am most proud when I am dreaming up recipes and flavor combinations that I simply must try. Even if they don’t work out quite like I thought they would.
Now on to more lovely things…
This jam-a-lade (aside from being fun to say/type) is amazing. It’s the bees knees, its where its at, its So Raven. However you want to say it, it is simply delicious. It’s the perfect texture, the perfect balance, all around the perfect tart cake filling.
The Grapefruit Whipped Cream was the perfect compliment, I would only suggest substituting the crepe layers (really not a fan of the recipe I used, which just means that I get to test and tweak and I’m pretty happy with that) with simple sponge cakes or even pancakes for a super special Sunday breakfast in bed.
The star of this recipe, however, would have to be the amazing photographs it produced. Chelsea of Hazel + Scout was kind enough to shoot these for me and I am so excited to announce that I will be a reoccurring contributor to her blog! I am so honored and feel so blessed to have so much support as I delve into the blogosphere.
Scroll on through to see how I whipped up (pun intended) this Grapefruit Poppyseed Crepe Cake!
Hope this message finds you well...!
Grapefruit Whipped Cream
1/2 fresh grapefruit (juice)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
16 ounces heavy whipping cream
zest of half a grapefruit (optional, to taste)
Place the bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer in the refridgerator for at least 20 minutes to make sure it's nice and cold prior to whipping. *I find this trick especially useful in trickier frostings like Swiss Meringue Buttercream. A little bit of lemon juice rubbed on the whisk and inside of the bowl does wonders as well.*
Beat heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar on medium speed for 5-6 minutes.
Add the juice of half of a grapefruit and zest, then continue beating for another 2-3 minutes.
Crepe Cake Assembly
Start with a crepe recipe you are comfortable with. I myself am still tinkering with my recipe but I look forward to perfecting it and sharing it with you all in the future!
Add 2-4 tablespoons poppy seeds and citrus zest of your choosing to your favorite crepe recipe. I ended up making about 60 crepes for this cake, 30 for each tier.
Allow your crepe batter to rest for at least 30 minutes. Lightly coat the bottom of a buttered pan on medium (not high!) heat. You'll want to start off with the larger crepes for your first tier. Completely coat the bottom of the pan. For the second tier, you'll want your crepes to be significantly smaller in circumference.
Cook for 1-2 minutes until the edges are crisp and the surface of the crepe is set. Using an offset spatula, or a long wooden crepe spatula, gently flip the crepe and cook for another 20-30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer onto parchment paper. Cook and stack remaining crepes with squares of parchment paper between each one.
Once cool, place one of your larger crepes on your cake plate of choice. Spread a dollop of whipped cream and place the same size crepe on top. I quite like the perfectly imperfect aesthetic of cream and filling showing through layers, so don't worry about leveling too much. Resist the urge to gobble it up straight from the jar and distribute a spoonful of Saltspring Kitchen Co.’s Pink Grapefruit & Rhubarb Jam-a-lade on your next crepe layer.
Continue to alternate in this manner and don't be afraid to make it your own! To garnish I chose a rather generous dusting of powdered sugar and fresh slices of grapefruit. I would love to try adding sugared or even broiled grapefruit slices on top for even more interest.