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Chocolate-coffee crêpe cake

Fluffy crêpe and whipped truffle cream alternate with crunchy praline in this stunner of a dessert.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking plus resting, cooling, chilling
  • Serves 8 - 10
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Delicate vanilla-scented crêpes layer beautifully with a whipped coffee-spiked truffle filling, while crème fraîche cuts the richness. We've opted for a cacao nib and coffee bean praline in place of a more traditional nut praline, which adds excellent texture.


  • 60 gm plain flour
  • 35 gm caster sugar
  • Scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans
  • 170 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 25 gm melted butter, plus extra for brushing
  • 70 ml beer
  • 800 gm crème fraîche
  • 70 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 40 ml coffee liqueur
  • For dusting: cocoa (optional)
Cacao-coffee praline
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 30 gm cacao nibs
  • 1 tbsp coarsely crushed coffee beans
Chocolate-coffee truffle cream
  • 600 ml pouring cream
  • 20 ml espresso
  • 450 gm dark chocolate (54% cocoa solids), melted
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp coffee liqueur


  • 1
    For cacao-coffee praline, stir sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar, bring to the boil and cook without stirring until dark caramel (6-7 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in cacao nibs and coffee beans, tip onto a lightly oiled baking tray and stand until set. Coarsely break up and store in an airtight container until required.
  • 2
    Combine flour, sugar, half the vanilla and a pinch of salt in a bowl, and make a well in the centre. Whisk milk, egg and butter in a separate bowl to combine, gradually add to flour mixture, whisking until very smooth, then whisk in beer. Transfer to a jug, cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to rest.
  • 3
    Heat a 21cm crêpe pan over medium-high heat, brush with melted butter, then pour in 60ml crêpe batter, swirling to spread evenly over base of pan. Cook until golden on the base (1-2 minutes) and bubbles appear on the surface, then turn to cook other side (30 seconds). Transfer to a tray lined with baking paper, wipe out pan with paper towels and repeat with remaining batter, stacking crêpes as you go. Set aside to cool. You'll need 7 crêpes.
  • 4
    For chocolate-coffee truffle cream, bring cream and coffee to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat, remove from heat, add chocolate and stand for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Whisk yolks, sugar and liqueur in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water until thick and pale (2-3 minutes), then transfer to an electric mixer, add chocolate mixture and whisk until thick and cooled to room temperature (6-8 minutes). Refrigerate, whisking occasionally, until mixture is a thick spreadable consistency (2-3 hours). Truffle cream can be made ahead; soften at room temperature before using.
  • 5
    Whisk crème fraîche, icing sugar, liqueur and remaining vanilla in a bowl to firm peaks.
  • 6
    To assemble, place a crêpe on a serving plate and spread with a little chocolate-coffee truffle cream, then spread with a little crème fraîche and scatter with a little praline. Repeat this layering with all crêpes, finishing with a layer of chocolate-coffee truffle cream. Refrigerate until just firm (30 minutes), then serve scattered with praline and dusted lightly with cocoa.