by Mabel Suen
Welcome to Sugar High, a series devoted solely to spotlighting the best ways to sate a sweet tooth in St. Louis. We'll sample the best the city has to offer at restaurants, bakeries and holes-in-the-wall, and provide some insight on how these confections are made along the way.
It should be no surprise that Crepes Etc. (52 Maryland Plaza; 314-367-220) excels at dessert -- its sweet specialty displays itself prominently in the business' name, after all. Outside of the cafe's made-to-order menu, the French take on the pancake comes readily available at the pastry case in the form of a carefully assembled crepe cake.
This delicate dessert begins at the griddles, where twenty-or-so tender, thin-as-can-be crepes get cooked up behind the line. Afterwards, it's up to pastry chef Julie Weldele to determine the cake's fate. From chocolate hazelnut and white chocolate pistachio to creme brulee and peanut butter and jelly, the flavors rotate on her whim.
With mousse, mousseline buttercream, curd or jam in hand, Weldele assembles each crepe cake layer by layer. She lines a ten-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and builds it from the bottom up, a process that keeps the crepe-to-filling ratio consistent and maximizes the amount of bang in each bite. After that, a short trip to the freezer sets it up so she can unmold and garnish it however she likes.
When we stopped by to try a slice, the featured flavor of the week was a take on tiramisu. Lightly sweet and creamy mascarpone filling awaited between each crepe, with a dusting of cocoa powder on top and a garnish of ladyfingers around the sides. A couple of fresh berries garnished the plate -- fans of fruit can look forward to a more prominent role from nature's candy this spring and summer with featured flavors including lemon blackberry and strawberry cheesecake.
Try this treat with any of the cafe's hot drinks, including tea, espresso or our favorite: hot chocolate topped with a housemade marshmallow.
Previously on Sugar High: - Cafe Ventana's Beignets - Frida's Raspberry-Chocolate Avocado Mousse - India Palace's Gulab Jamun - Melt's "Violet Beauregarde" Waffle - Brevan's Patisserie's "Brendan" - Winslow's Home's Chocolate Cake with Espresso Meringue - La Patisserie Chouquette's Eclair - Black Bear Bakery's Raspberry Oat Bar - Gelateria's London Fog Gelato - 4 Seasons Bakery's German Cheesecake - Libertine's "Candy Bar" - Cleveland-Heath's Old Fashioned Cherry Pie - Schlafly Tap Room and Bottleworks' Sticky Toffee Pudding
We're always looking for some sweet ideas. E-mail the author at email@example.com.