BABY CAKE #5: DRAGONFRUIT CREPE CAKE
I took Lucy James to Australia to visit family a few weeks ago, and somewhere in the flurry of travel, sleep deprivation and wedding season in full swing, her five month milestone came (and went). Meanwhile this dragon fruit crepe cake recipe sat in the back in my head waiting and waiting for naptime or bedtime (or both!) so I could pull it together for the latest in my baby cake series. (See months one, two, three and four of my little passion project, along with some cute pics of my little baking muse).
I'll try to expand on that Australia trip one of these days here, but in short, it was pure family time. One of my sisters lives down there with her four children, so my trips to visit are less about exploring new towns and trekking through the Outback, and more about simply being together in their day-to-day routines. We cheered on my nephew and niece in their respective rugby and netball matches, we did homework, went to the beach maybe twice, ran errands, and shocker, we cooked and we baked. And there, in my sister's kitchen, is where we adventured and made my favorite memories.
One such adventure involved two new ingredients I picked up during my visit:
- activated charcoal powder
- dried pitaya (AKA dragon fruit) powder
I'm not sure when or how that charcoal powder is going to work its way into my Sonoma baking again, but the black crepes we made were pretty chic, don't you think?
The dragon fruit crepes, on the other hand, literally took the cake. Never mind that these nutrient-rich "superfruits" are full of magnesium, fiber, iron and antioxidants, that magenta-hued flesh paired with some brightly-colored green kiwi slices seemed like the perfect preppy combo for my next baby cake.
Since I couldn't bring the powder home due to customs issues, I found frozen PitayaPlus dragon fruit puree at Whole Foods, which worked perfectly well. Since then, I've also found Pitaya powder at local bulk foods stores and online.
DRAGON FRUIT CREPE CAKE
makes ~ 20-25 6" crepes
- 1 pack (100 grams) dragonfruit/pitaya puree, thawed or 3 Tablespoons dried pitaya powder or 1 cup fresh dragon fruit puree
- 1 1/2 C AP flour
- 1/4 C plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 C milk
- 4 large eggs
- 4-5 kiwis
- 150 mls heavy whipping cream
- edible flowers to garnish
- Combine flour, 1/4 C sugar and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine eggs, 1 1/2 cup milk and dragon fruit puree or powder.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients, then add to a blender and pulse until smooth. Batter consistency should feel a bit thinner than pancake batter, like heavy cream; if too thick, add a few more tablespoons milk.
- Let batter rest in refrigerator or overnight before cooking.
- To cook, heat a non-stick crepe pan or skillet over medium heat. I used an 8" skillet to keep my crepes baby cake size:)
- Lightly coat with butter and once a few drops of water sizzles on pan, add 1/4 cup of batter and swirl to coat base of pan.
- Cook until batter is cooked through about 1-2 minutes, flip and cook another 30 seconds - 1 minute on back side before gently sliding off pan. Repeat, adding more butter to grease pan as needed, stacking cooked crepes on top of each other.
- Let crepes cool before assembling cake.
- Meanwhile, using a stand mixer with whisk attachment or by hand in a chilled metal bowl, whisk heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Next, peel and slice kiwis as thinly as possible.
- When you're ready to assemble, lay one crepe on a cake board, spread about 1 tablespoon whipped cream over the top, add kiwi, then repeat with your next crepe until you reach desired height or all of your crepes are used up. I made an 18-layer crepe cake because we ate a few along the way.
- Garnish with fresh edible flowers like white cornflower (aka Bachelor's Buttons), fresh kiwi slices and chill for 2 hours before serving.