There are many people that come to develop a love for certain foods that were hated in childhood. For me, this rings true for avocados, chilli foods, yoghurt, smoked salmon and more. Growing up I was resolved to never like these things. I was a dramatic child (no surprises there) so when faced with the prospect of eating foods I didn’t like, I would loudly protest my dislike with arms flung wide for lengthy periods of time. My parents would roll their eyes at me and then not force me to eat them just in the hopes that I would stop all the drama. It was win-win for me and them.
Since moving to Sydney I’ve come to love and eat almost everything, and those foods the I hated the most have become the foods that sit the highest on my favourites list (except some legumes… still don’t like ’em).
I was recently offered the opportunity to try any products from the Huon Aquaculture Reserve Selection range to create a recipe with. It didn’t take me long to accept the offer, it is common knowledge that Huon Aquaculture (#huonsalmon) produces exceptional quality salmon products from the Huon river in Tasmania. Also, despite its success it is still a family owned and run business, and that’s always a winner for me.
It didn’t take me long to decide which products I wanted to try and the recipe I wanted to develop.
Scotty’s mum has been serving up smoked salmon and crêpe stacks cut into canapé size for as long as I’ve known her. She uses gourmet store bought crêpes, sour cream, smoked salmon and dill. She knows that Scotty and I love them, so she makes them for us even though she herself doesn’t like smoked salmon. That’s love right there. In honour of her smoked salmon crêpe stacks, I have created this 10 layer Smoked Salmon Crêpe Cake with brown butter crêpes and crème fraîche.
I used Martha Holmberg’s brown butter crêpe recipe from Fine Cooking which is my absolutely go to crêpe recipe. Using brown butter in the batter adds a spectacular flavour to the crêpe and they can still be served sweet or savoury. To watch a great video on how to make these if you are a first time crêpe-maker visit Fine Cooking.
For the filling, I bought good quality crème fraîche and added lime zest and juice, and chopped dill. Then it is simply a matter of layering the crêpes with the filling and smoked salmon. The hardest part of the whole dish is the crêpes, but once they are made you are really only minutes away from a wonderful dish! Just top with salmon caviar and it all looks far more complicated than it actually is.
Smoked Salmon Crêpe Cake
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for the pan
1 3/4 cups full cream milk
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plain flour
500g Reserve Selection Huon Cold Smoked Salmon
170g Crème fraîche
2 table spoons finely chopped dill
1/2 lime, zested and juiced
100g Reserve Selection Huon Tasmanian Salmon Caviar
Cook butter over medium heat in a medium frypan until melted. Continue to cook until the butter turns golden brown then gently pour the brown butter into a small bowl and set aside until cool.
In a blender, combine milk, eggs and salt and pulse 2-3 times until combined. Add flour and blend for 30 seconds until extremely smooth. Then add the brown butter and pulse again until combined and smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and let rest in the fridge covered for between 10 minutes and up to 24 hours. The consistency you are looking for is that of heavy cream (not pancake batter)
To cook the crêpes, heat a 10 inch crêpe pan over medium-high heat till a drop of water sizzles. Using a piece of paper towel, wipe 1/4 teaspoon butter on the base of the pan. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the centre of the pan and working extremely quickly tilt and turn the pan until the batter spreads evenly across the bottom in a thin circle. Cook till the edges begin to dry and lift from the pan and the bottom is browned, then flip with a spatula or your fingers and cook until the second side is browned.
Transfer crêpe to a large plate and repeat with remaining batter, adjusting the heat and adding more butter to the pan for every three crêpes. Stack completed crêpes on top of each other when finished. They will soften as they cool.
It is likely that your first crêpe will be a disaster, this is normal so don’t worry. You can make the crêpes from three days in advance or even longer and freeze them.
In a small bowl combine crème fraîche, dill and lime zest and juice.
To assemble, start with a crêpe and add a thin spread of crème fraîche and a layer of smoked salmon. Top with another crêpe and then add a more generous spread of crème fraîche. Top with another crêpe and alternate between a crème fraîche and salmon layer and just a crème fraîche layer until you have 5 salmon layers and 10 crêpe layers.
You can leave the crêpe cake rustic, or take a knife and cut off the rough edges so you can see the layers.
To serve, top with the salmon caviar and some fresh dill sprigs.
Chew Town would like to thank Huon Aquaculture for providing the spectacular Reserve Selection Salmon products for the development of this recipe.