Once you've made the Chocolate Browned Butter Crepes, this cake really isn't too difficult to make. The combination of flavors is amazing-- chocolate, cashews, lemon, vanilla, mascarpone, and ricotta. Are you drooling yet?
I made my own cashew butter, but after going through the effort of sourcing "safe" gluten-free cashews (thank you, Amazon), I think you could easily make this cake with store-bought cashew butter. Then again, there is something special about making the entire cake from scratch.
I loved this cake and it's very festive. Like I said, I made it for by brother and sister-in-law's wedding. It's not too sweet or too chocolatey-- despite a rich chocolate cashew nut butter. The mascarpone and ricotta mixed with lemon really lighten the cake up. And, bonus, you can make it in advance and simply remove from the fridge to warm up approx. 15-30 minutes before serving.
"No-tella" Cashew Crepe Cake, serves about 12
- 10 chocolate browned butter crepes
- 1 cup unsalted, raw cashews (150g)
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided (3g)
- 2 TBSP vegetable oil (28g)
- 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (113g)
- 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese (165g- I used BelGioioso)
- 1 TBSP honey (20g)
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds only
- 1 lemon, zest
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice (5g)
- 3/4 cup good ricotta cheese (185 g- I used BelGioioso)
- fresh raspberries for decorating
Want to make this cake? Begin by making your crepes.... you can find that recipe here. OK, if you've made your crepes, let's begin by making the cashew ("no-tella") butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silipat sheet and spread cashews out on tray. Roast cashews 10-15 minutes, shaking the tray occasionally and keeping a close eye on the nuts. It is very easy to over-roast and go from perfectly golden-browned and toasted to straight-up burnt. Remove cashews and let cool completely.
While toasted cashews are cooling, melt chocolate in a a double-boiler on your stovetop. Cashews cooled? Pull out your Cuisinart and puree roasted cashews with 1/2 tsp kosher salt. When mixture begins to clump together, drizzle in vegetable oil and continue to puree until cashews form a paste. Add melted chocolate and blend until combined. Move chocolate-cashew puree to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
In a separate bowl, combine mascarpone, honey, vanilla bean seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Mix by hand until fully-combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in ricotta.
And, voila, you're ready to build the cake! Take out your prettiest cake stand and place first crepe on the stand. Drop a spoonful of chocolate cashew butter onto the middle of the crepe and spread it around with a small offset spatula. Don't spread chocolate cashew butter all the way to the edge of the crepe. Leave about a 1/2" edge of the crepe clean. Using a second spoon, drop a dollop (approx. 2 TBSPs) of the mascarpone-ricotta mixture on top of crepe and, again using an offset spatula, spread mixture evenly over crepe and chocolate cashew butter, leaving a 1/2" edge of the crepe clean. Top with second crepe.
Continue assembling cake in this order-- crepe, chocolate cashew butter, mascarpone-ricotta, crepe, chocolate cashew butter, mascarpone-ricotta, crepe-- until you have used 10 crepes. Leave the 10th crepe clean on top and using a larger plate or baking tray, gently press down on cake to compress the layers together. If you have some random-shaped crepes, feel free to take a knife to the cakes edges to trim them into a more perfect circle. Cover cake and refrigerate for at least an hour. I let it sit overnight and Iuzzini says you can leave it in the fridge for up to 3 days even.
Remove cake from the fridge 15-30 minutes before serving and garnish with crumbled cashews and fresh raspberries.
"NO-TELLA CASHEW CREPE CAKE -- Recipe No. 8 (baking out-of-order)
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: easyish, just takes some planning
WOW FACTOR: there is nothing like cutting into a multi-layer cake and seeing neatly-defined layers. This cake is WOW because of how it looks and because of how it tastes. It's chocolatey, lemony, rich & light all at the same time.