Strawberry-mochi crepe cake

Continuing on with my gluten-free desserts, I made this one actually out of curiosity. I used to love going to Harajuku Crepe in Beverly Hills(RIP, because they’ve been closed for years now), and they specialized in gluten-free crepes made with mochi. Now, I could NEVER get the same consistency, no matter how hard I tried, but I did want to experiment with using mochi in a crepe batter. And not just mochiko, which is the obvious way to go. I mean, make actual mochi, and blend that into the crepe batter. Lady and Pups had a similar technique with using mochi as a starter dough for her mochi doughnuts, a recipe that I love to use time and time again. So I figured I’d start with a crepe recipe, and adjust it from there. My friend, Justina, actually used to work in a gluten-free bakery, and she told me that compared to most baked goods and desserts, gluten-free desserts and items would need more egg white and more butter to offset the “dryness” that using gluten-free flours come with. So I actually adjusted both the quantity of egg and the quantity of butter to make up for this.

For the actual concept itself, in addition to being inspired by Harajuku Crepe, it was inspired obviously by Lady M, specifically, their strawberries and cream mille crepe. I wanted to do layers of cream, fresh berries, and the vanilla-mochi crepes. It is fairly simple in appearance, but I think that the layers are very satisfying and the actual flavors are great, just because vanilla, cream, and strawberries, you can’t go wrong there. For the crepe itself, texturally, it had a slight chew to it, but besides that, you wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s gluten-free or not traditionally French. So I’d like to count that as a bit of a win for me. Unlike a normal crepe, and this comes territory with the high fat content and the usage of mochi in the batter, these crepes do take longer to make, so you can expect to allot at least an hour and a half to baking crepes alone.

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Makes 1 six-inch crepe cake:
For the crepe batter:
3/4 cups mochiko
starter dough*
2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Combine everything in a blender, pureeing until smooth. Line a nonstick batter with a very thin layer of butter. Pour about 3 tablespoons of batter onto the pan, rotating the pan to spread it out. Cook on medium heat for the first side for about 3 minutes, before carefully peeling with a rubber spatula and flipping, allowing it to continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Repeat with all of your batter for another 19 times, just to get your 20 layers. The batter should be sufficient for getting at least 25 crepes.

For the starter dough:
3/4 cups mochiko
1/3 cup water

Mix together. Microwave for about 1 minute.

For the cream:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, whipped stiff
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt together your butter and cornstarch. Whisk in the milk and sugar, stirring until combined and thickened. Chill down first. Place in a stand mixer and paddle first for 2-3 minutes, then mix in the vanilla and fold in your heavy cream to finish.

For the elderflower syrup:
1 1/2 teaspoons elderflower liquor
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup hot water
a pinch of salt

Mix together until sugar is dissolved. Brush the lengthwise-sliced strawberries in this liquid before placing on the cake to guarantee that they won’t dry out.

For assembly:
4 strawberries, sliced lengthwise
1 cup diced strawberries

Spread about 2 tablespoons of the cream onto a crepe and sprinkle on about 3/4 tablespoons of strawberries. Repeat with almost every layer, except the last one, where you’ll just do the crepe and a ring of the sliced berries in simple syrup.

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