When people hear that I’ve studied forestry, they usually think I either spend my days in a fire tower (looking for smoke signals), or practicing my crosscut saw technique. While I normally do neither of these things, I have crossed paths with the latter on several occasions.
Last weekend I spectated at a timbersports competition at the University of Maine, and it prompted me to memorialize the event in a cake. Hence, the Lumberjack Pancake Cake was born.
Actually, this is a Lumberjack Crêpe Cake. However, the words lumberjack and crêpe run together in a rather uncomfortable way, and besides, who has ever heard of a lumberjack eating crêpes? No one.
I made two kinds of crêpes: vanilla & cinnamon sugar, and chocolate. I alternated layers, topping each chocolate layer with a salted caramel sauce, and each vanilla layer with melted chocolate ganache. You’d probably never catch lumberjacks eating this, either.
The cake topper is made out of rolled marshmallow fondant, which is incredibly easy to make, and much tastier than regular, more time-consuming rolled fondant. I used colored mini marshmallows for this, separating them by color and creating small individual batches.
Now to the fun part: showing off the lumberjacks and jills that I had the pleasure of photographing this past Saturday. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what many forestry students get up to in their spare time, have a look – there’s nothing quite as fun as watching as a fierce timbersports competition.
Lots of axes, lots of saws, and lots of hardworking chaps who might not have turned down a slice of this cake if I had made it in time to bring down to them.
Lumberjack Pancake Cake
Original crêpes recipes
I started off with a basic crêpe recipe of 3 cups flour, 3 cups milk, 3 eggs. I made two batches of crêpes with significant additions, so that the cake was aesthetically lovely and tall, but one batch would be plenty to create a substantial dessert.
I won’t provide recipes for salted caramel sauce or chocolate ganache here, as there are plenty of those out there and all are equally delicious, but I will mention that I didn’t let my caramel sauce truly ‘caramelize’ so that it would look more like melted butter and syrup.
For marshmallow fondant, see Wilton’s recipe and tutorial.
Vanilla Cinnamon Custard Crêpes
2 1/2 c. cake flour
3 c. milk
1/2 c. custard powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c. cinnamon-sugar mixture
3 c. flour
3 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Directions for both recipes:
Combine all ingredients, let sit at least 5 minutes. Heat a nonstick pan over medium, grease lightly with oil. When hot, spoon a ladle of batter onto pan, and spread it around evenly. After one to two minutes, flip and cook for up to one minute more.
Remove from pan, repeat until batter is gone.