A clever and sophisticated way to serve crepes, this show-stopping cake is rich and decadent due to the layers of crème pâtissiére and sweet vanilla syrup drizzled over before serving. It's perfect to make for a party as it must be prepared beforehand so there's time to chill it and firm up the layers.
940 g (2 lb 1 oz/3¾ cups) crème pâtissiére
16 cooked crepes, at room temperature
250 g (9 oz) strawberries, hulled, large berries halved
125 g (4½ oz) blueberries
125 g (4½ oz/1 cup) raspberries
Icing (confectioners') sugar, to dust
110 g (3¾ oz/½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
½ vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
3 wide strips lemon zest
1. Place the crème pâtissiére in a bowl and use a balloon whisk to stir until smooth and spreadable. Place a crepe in the centre of a large, flat serving platter. Use a palette knife to spread with 60 g (2¼ oz/¼ cup) of the crème pâtissiére. Top with another crepe and repeat, spreading each crepe layer with 60 g (2¼ oz/¼ cup) of crème pâtissiére and finishing with a crepe. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or until the crème pâtissiére is firm. (This is important as otherwise the crepe stack is hard to slice and serve.)
2. Meanwhile, to make the vanilla syrup, combine 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water with the sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly reduced and syrupy. Remove the vanilla bean and lemon zest. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Stir through the berries.
3. Remove the crepe cake from the refrigerator. Top with some of the berries, dust with icing sugar and drizzle with some of the vanilla syrup. Cut into wedges and serve accompanied by the remaining berries and syrup.