3 Days in Paris's Crepe Cake Puts Us on Cloud 9

The perennially popular shop whips up a dreamy 20-layer confection.
French housewives may have been making light, airy cakes out of crepes for decades, but Colleen Dobbs’s version took more than a year of tinkering to get right. The owner of the perennially popular 3 Days in Paris at City Market—named for her now-famous three-day visit to France, where she fell in love with Parisian street food—knew she had to start by making crepes that were substantially finer than the sturdy, well-browned version her staff layers with the likes of mushrooms or Nutella.
First, she abandoned her sizzling griddles for a nine-inch crepe pan and reformulated her batter with more eggs and butter. Then there was the matter of lightening the pastry cream that mortars a full stack of 20 crepes, so the cake itself was not too heavy. The result is an ethereally rich confection, whether topped with a bright lemon curd flecked with zest or a sweet raspberry puree atop layers of chocolate, a dessert that has all the delicacy of traditional crepes with the rich texture of an actual cake.
Dobbs started serving her Cloud 9 Cake last October, with an earthy pumpkin version appropriate for the season. The cakes have been a hit, whether by the slice at the market or as whole cakes that customers buy for $30. Dobbs has even received tips from some celebrated French visitors. “We got to serve our cake to IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud’s mother, Sylvie, and she was very helpful with sharing her ratios,” Dobbs says. “Our ingredients are so different here, from the flour for the crepes to our cream. But with enough trial and error, I think I finally got it right.” 222 E. Market St., 674-5602, marketfreshcrepes.com
This article appeared in the July 2014 issue.