This fabulous French fancy is made of layers of crepes with a delicate chocolatey filling. Mille literally means a thousand in French and while you don’t have to go to that extreme, it does represent the many layers of crepes.
For crepes (adapted from Lady M Mille Cake Boutique):
12 tbl cake flour
3 tbl sugar
6 tbl unsalted butter, melted
2 cups warm milk
For Chocolate meringue frosting (adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook):
6 large egg whites
1 ¼ cups sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
10 oz, bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 tsp of prepared espresso
For the cake:
15 to 20 crepes
Chocolate Meringue Frosting
2 tbl sugar
Making the cake:
Sift flour and 3 tablespoons of the sugar together into a mixing bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk eggs together, being careful not to overbeat. Gently stir in flour mixture until smooth. Stir in butter. Slowly stir in milk until just blended with the consistency of light cream – do not over mix. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rest for at least 1 hour.
Rub bottom of an 8-inch nonstick crepe pan with vegetable oil and wipe out excess with a paper towel. Place over medium heat. Ladle in about 4 tablespoons of batter into the center of the pan. Tilt and rotate pan immediately to make the batter run around the edge and cover the bottom evenly. Pour any excess batter back into the bowl. Cook until brown, about 20 seconds.
Lift crepe edge with your fingers or a spatula (you may want to do this off of the heat). Cook on the other side for about 10 seconds. Turn out onto a plate. Repeat process with remaining batter (pan will probably not need to be greased again). Stack crepes separated by between paper towels.
Crepes can be made ahead and kept for several hours, wrapped in plastic at room temperature, or refrigerated over night. Makes about 20 crepes.
Making the meringue frosting:
In a heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160?F).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium low speed, add the butter several tablespoons of butter at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and espresso. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.
Assembling the cake:
Place first crepe on a plate. Spread a thin layer of meringue evenly across the cake. Lay second crepe on top. Repeat frosting process until all but one crepe is left.
Place the last crepe on a separate plate. Evenly distribute remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Caramelize the sugar with a small handheld kitchen torch. Place the crepe on top of cake and let cool.
Once the caramelized sugar has cooled, frost the top and side of cake. Immediately, cool cake in the refrigerator to let frosting harden.
Let cake sit out at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving.
[picture and recipe courtesy www.nibbledish.com/people/CeramicCanvas]