Towel Roll Cake – Crepe Roll Cake
One of the best options for a Sunday breakfast, without a doubt, are homemade pancakes or crepes. Both recipes are incredibly easy to make, versatile and allow us to combine them with both sweet and savory. Especially the latter. Today I show you how to make a Towel Roll Cake – Crepe Roll Cake.
The name is quite particular, it is not my invention, and refers to the technique to roll a towel. I found these crepe cakes on Pinterest and, as you might guess, they fascinated me. I think it’s a wonderful idea to enjoy an elaboration that, for sure, almost everyone likes. It is different, eye-catching and very, very easy to make, something that I consider very important. Especially if we prepare it first thing in the morning. With this preparation you can enjoy a cake, very attractive visually, in a few minutes. Not to mention that the result is wonderful.
Towel Roll Cake.
We can also find it as Crepe Roll Cake. About this recipe I have not found much information, only that it is a fairly recent creation (a couple of years) and, surely, has been an evolution of the famous crepe cakes that became fashionable about ten years ago together with the way of eating a crepe, stuffed and rolled. It is still the same recipe, only with a different presentation format.
To make this crepe cake we only need to mix the ingredients and cook them in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Afterwards, we will only have to choose the filling with which we want to enjoy them, roll them and decorate them, if we wish. We may want to simplify the presentation a little more, in that case we can sprinkle them with powdered sugar or cocoa powder, and accompany them with fresh fruit, for example.
Recipes that share origin.
Despite having left in the blog several recipes made with crepes, until now I had never talked about their origin. I suppose that since I did not elaborate a traditional recipe of crepes, but they were always modified elaborations, or combined to make another recipe, I had never thought of telling you about it.
In different cultures, we can find different types of pancakes, crepes or liquid batters cooked on hot surfaces, among the traditional elaborations of their gastronomy. For example, dosas in Indian culture, Dutch poffertjes, Russian blini, Japanese hirayachi, Chinese jianbing or the famous French crêpes, among many others.
The etymology of most Western pancakes, both thick and thin, comes from one of the two main conduits. The Greek tiganos, meaning “frying pan“, finds its way into several languages with similar elaborations that literally translate as “pan cakes“. Following this example, we find the American pancakes, the Norwegian pannekake, the Argentinean pancakes and the South African pannekoek.
Its name comes from the Old French “crespe“, which goes back to the Latin “crispa” or “crispus“, meaning curly. It is quite possible that this term refers to their edges, which after cooking have a slightly wavy appearance.
As fine crepes we can find French crêpes, along with Mexican crepes and Turkish krep.
In French folklore it is said that crepes were born from a small mistake or mishap in Brittany. A 13th century housewife accidentally spilled some buckwheat porridge from a teapot in the fireplace onto a flat cooking stone, although other sources place the origin of crêpes much earlier in chronology.
Crêpes Day, February 2, is believed to have begun in 472, when Pope Gelasius I offered crêpes to French Catholic pilgrims visiting Rome for Candlemas. Now, Crêpes Day and Candlemas are synonymous occasions in France and Belgium, where they take on additional significance, as their circular nature symbolizes a coin or the sun.
Brittany could claim the origin of crêpes with some credibility since savory crêpes are still traditionally made with buckwheat flour. This crop works well in the humid climate of Brittany where, by contrast, normal wheat does not.
Traditionally, French crepes are made with flour, eggs and milk or water, with butter, sugar and salt. In this case, we do not use leavening agents, baking powder, since our purpose is to achieve a thin crepe and not spongy, like pancakes. In some recipes, butter can be replaced by beurre noisette, so that a formidable flavor and aroma is achieved. Then we only need to beat, strain and let it rest.
Crêpes became very popular in the United States in 2001 thanks to Emy Wada, a Japanese pastry chef who had studied in France. She created a mille crêpe cake at her New York bakery, Lady M Boutique. Mille crêpe literally translates as “a thousand crêpes”, although the cake contains a maximum of 20 crêpes alternating with a pastry cream filling.
Recipe Towel Roll Cake - Crepe Roll Cake
Ingredients for 2 roll cakes
- 2 large eggs
- 200 g whole milk
- 65 g cake flour
- 15 g sugar
- 15 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 g salt
- 12 g unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
- In the notes section I leave options for making them gluten-free
- 400 g heavy cream
- 35-40 g powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- fresh fruit
- whipped cream
- fresh fruit
- caramelized nuts
- freeze-dried raspberry
- caramel cookies
- any ingredient of your choice
- 24 cm diameter crepe pan or another iron pan
- pastry spatula
- pastry bag
- Saint Honoré nozzle
- In a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar and salt. Mix with a whisk until homogenized.
- Pour melted butter and mix again until it is completely integrated. Incorporate sifted flour and mix.
- Add the milk and whisk until a homogeneous mixture is obtained.If desired, we can strain the mixture again to ensure that it will be fine and without lumps.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 20-30 minutes.
- NOTE: If we want to make crepes of two colors, natural and cocoa for example, divide the mixture in two and to one of them we add the sieved cocoa powder. Mix until homogenized.
- Place a crepe pan over medium heat and allow it to warm up.
- Spread a thin layer of olive oil over the entire surface of the pan.
- Once the pan is hot, with the help of a ladle, pour the batter. We will turn the frying pan while we pour the mixture, in that way we will manage to extend it for the whole surface in addition to obtaining thin crepes.
- Cook until the surface of the crepe is cooked.
- Turn the crepe over and finish cooking.
- Remove and place on a plate.
- Repeat the same process until the batter is finished. As we take them out, we will pile them up. In this way we will achieve a soft and manageable consistency.
- We will get about 8-9 crepes. For each cake we need 3 units, but it is good to have a margin in case one goes wrong.
Assemble towel roll cake.
- Place 3 crepes in a row, overlapping part of them so that they are joined when rolling. Place the first crepe far from us and overlap the next two so that the last crepe we place is close to us. This side, the one closest to us, will be the side on which we start rolling the cake.
- Spread a generous layer of whipped cream in a rectangular shape. Smooth the surface of the cream with the help of a spatula.
- Place fresh fruit on the end that is next to us. In my case I used raspberries and blackberries, but you can use whatever you prefer.
- Fold the sides of the crepes over the cream and make sure they stick together.
- Fold the crepe that is close to us over the fruit and start rolling. Do it calmly and without haste, making sure that no crepe is loose.
- Once rolled, store in the refrigerator so that the filling does not fall while rolling the other crepe cake.
Decorating crepe roll.
- Decoration is entirely up to you. In my case I used a Saint Honoré nozzle to pipe the cream on top of the roll cakes.
- The decoration consists of fresh fruit, caramelized nuts, freeze-dried raspberry, caramelized hazelnut nibs, Lotus caramel cookie and cocoa powder for sprinkling. You can use whatever you like, including caramel, chocolate or strawberry syrup, chocolate pieces, sprinkles, natural flowers...
- Serve with a good coffee, hot chocolate or even a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
- Crepes can be made with other flavors if you prefer. In my case I have made them with cocoa powder, but they can be made with matcha tea, beet powder, strawberry.... We can use any ingredient that adds flavor and color.
- Crepes batter can be made without gluten and, thus, adapt it. On the blog I have two recipes for gluten-free crepes (they are savory, of course) that maybe you can use to adapt them. This is one recipe and this is another.
- Crepes batter should rest for a while to eliminate possible bubbles in it.
- It is important that the pan where we cook them is hot, but not too hot, to prevent the batter from sticking.
- Filling can be made with whipped cream or a mixture of cream and mascarpone cream. In this post you can see how to do it.
- In addition to this filling, you can vary it and use jams, ganache, pastry cream or other types of pastry creams such as chocolate, pumpkin spice cream... Nutella, dulce de leche or combine some of them.
- We can place fruit not only in the part that we roll, but also along the whole cake so we can find pieces in each layer.
- It can keep it refrigerated for 24-48 hours, depending mainly on the filling.
At home, this breakfast, Towel Roll Cake has been very successful, in fact they are already thinking about new fillings. Because of course, this is already a regular breakfast.
What I like the most, apart from its simplicity in the process, is that every time we make them they can be different. Both the crepes, which we can flavor and aromatize, even giving color, and the fillings. And we don't only have to use one filling, in fact we can combine a couple of them, for example, jam or dulce de leche with whipped cream.
I hope you will tell me very soon what you have prepared them with and what you thought of them!
I wish you a great Sunday!
Lots of love,