Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Daring Bakers July 2011 Challenge: Fresh Fraisiers!

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

This recipe looked intimidating. I was nervous to make it and I really thought it was going to be a flop. I amazed myself when it actually came out pretty delicious. The only thing that I didn't like was putting the raw layer of almond paste. It was very overpowering and I didn't want to eat it. I did try it with a cake and it in itty bitty pieces with the cake bites it wasn't so bad. To have the whole piece of almond paste wasn't that great and no one ate that layer. I'll leave the almond paste out next time. This cake would be really yummy frosted with a layer of whip cream and fresh fruit. I may even put some of the almond paste in the cake batter.

All in all this was a great cake and it was certainly didn't turn out to be as intimidating as I thought it was going to be. Le Fraisier is so versatile that you can put any fruit inside and along side. I used Strawberries and Bananas. I used my own custard recipe and didn't add the gelatin. My cream filling held up and the strawberries showed through around the edge of the cake. I used Maraschino Cherry syrup from the jar of cherries as my simple syrup. It provided a little of an Amaretto flavor.

I froze the cake once complete overnight. Then defrosted it in the fridge or you can leave it out because it will take overnight to defrost.

Another thing I recommend is to have lots of clean bowls. Big bowls and Medium bowls. I went through so many dishes. Expect to make a mess in your kitchen and table.

So here is the recipe for the Fresh Frasier...


Make the custard first, it gets it out of the way.


2 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup sugar
2 Egg Yolks
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Cornstarch or All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Lemon Peels from 1 Lemon
2 Tablespoons of Butter

Adding After Custard is Cooled is:
8oz. Heavy Whipping Cream

In a heavy saucepan, stir together the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and egg. Stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch; then stir them into the egg until smooth. When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle it into the bowl in a thin stream while mixing so that you do not cook the eggs. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the eggs don't curdle or scorch on the bottom. Add Lemon Peel if desired.

When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat and remove lemon peel.

Stir in the butter and vanilla, mixing until the butter is completely blended in.

Pour into a heat-proof container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled before using.

When Custard is cooled Whip Heavy Whipping Cream until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in little at a time to your custard until well incorporated. Then you will get a light cream filling.

Chiffon Cake:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 cups Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
3 large egg yolks
1/3 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Water
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4 teaspoon Freshly Grated Lemon Zest

Folded In Later to Batter, Whipped Egg Whites:
5 Large Egg Whites
1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F

Line the bottom of an 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add in all but 3 tablespoons of sugar, and all of the salt. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly.

Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth.

Put the egg whites into a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed using a whisk attachment on a medium speed, until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on a medium speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on a medium-high speed until the whites hold firm and form shiny peaks.

Using a grease free rubber spatula, scoop about ⅓ of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in gently. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I did mine for 45 minutes. It was Perfect.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack. To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring form sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Fraisier Assembly:

1 baked 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon cake
1 recipe pastry cream filling
⅓ cup (80 ml) simple syrup or flavored syrup
2 lbs (900 g) strawberries
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
½ cup (120 ml) (5 oz/140 gm) almond paste


Line the sides of a 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Cut the cake in half horizontally to form two layers. Fit the bottom layer into the prepared spring form pan. Moisten the layer evenly with the simple syrup. When the cake has absorbed enough syrup to resemble a squishy sponge, you have enough.

Hull and slice in half enough strawberries to arrange around the sides of the cake pan. Place the cut side of the strawberry against the sides of the pan, point side up forming a ring.

Pipe cream in-between strawberries and a thin layer across the top of the cake.
Hull and quarter your remaining strawberries and place them in the middle of the cake. Cover the strawberries and entirely with the all but 1 tbsp. of the pastry cream.

Place the second cake layer on top and moisten with the simple syrup.

Lightly dust a work surface with confectioners' sugar and roll out the almond paste to a 10-inch (25 cm) round 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) thick. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pastry cream on the top of the cake and cover with the round of almond paste.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
To serve release the sides of the spring form pan and peel away the plastic wrap.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

I molded a flower out of almond paste and cut a heart out to decorate the top. I could of been more creative but it was late and I was tired. LOL!

The perfect Slice...YUMMMM!

So my final thought is that you should at least make this once. Then you can rip up the recipe and make it your own version. I really loved the cake part and will use it again. I love my custard. It doesn't make that much so I double it just to eat custard. The filling is great for any type cake or pastry. Like I said before I didn't use gelatin because I don't like jello or the whole idea of gelatin and what it's made from. You can use Agar which is a non animal based gelatin. But you can eliminate the whole idea of gelatin in the recipe. I am sure there are many things that I eat that has gelatin in it but I prefer to leave it alone.

It was nice to make something from scratch and that I've never done before or haven't heard of and of a different culture. I guess that's what made it a good Challenge. Thank You!


Sweet Dreams,

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