One week away from graduation as a Culinary Chef, I have a crazy passion for french pastries. I mean there are two realms of cakes in the US.One – those that use fondant and regular butter creams ideal for making themed cakes.The other being mousse cakes/Entremets or french pastries.I definitely love the latter better and have this constant urge to be making them. Can I call it OCD(obsessive cooking disorder) 😛

Coming to this recipe, A Fraisier is a french pastry with a Genoise cake(An italian sponge cake) soaked in syrup and layered with fresh strawberries, Creme Diplomat (pastry cream+whipped cream) and Strawberry compote and Gelee. I assembled this cake purely from the principles learnt at culinary school.This is a fairly advanced level cake and I wouldn’t recommend it to a beginner,but for those who are up for the challenge can give it a try.Oh the joy of pastry making!!

I made this for my aunts birthday and she didnt have the heart to cut it because it looked so pretty!

Preparation time 120 minutes
Serves 12
Serving Size 1/12 recipe
Calories Per Serving Approximately 400 per serving
Difficulty Advanced

4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tablespoons butter melted and cooled

Pastry Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Whipped Cream
1 packet gelatin
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar(adjust to your sweetness)

Strawberry compote
10 strawberries diced
1/4 cup strawberry puree
1/2 teaspoon pectin
1/4 teaspoon corn starch
1/3 cup powdered sugar(adjust based on sweetness of strawberries)

Strawberry Gelee
3/4 cup strawberry puree
2 1/2 sheets silver gelatin
powdered sugar to taste(optional)

1 tablespoon apricot preserves(one that contains pectin)
1 tablespoon water

Basil Simple syrup
1 Leaf basil
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

White chocolate decorations
1/4 cup of white chocolate chips

1 pound Fresh strawberries cut into half to layer the cake.(Try to find equal sized strawberries)

1.Start with making the pastry cream first, heat the milk and vanilla on the stove until it comes to a boil.

2.In a bowl whisk the eggs and sugar till pale.

3.Add the flour and starch and whisk until combined.

4.Turn off the stove and slowly add the milk to the egg mixture to temper them.Transfer the mixture back to the stove and continue to whisk on a medium low heat and let it boil for 3 minutes after it has thickened.The raw taste of flour will disappear.

5.Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and tap it with butter on top and cover with a surround wrap touching the surface of the cream.

6.Now make the genoise.Line the base and sides of 2 8 inch baking pans with butter and dust with flour.Preheat oven to 350F.

7.On a double boiler take the eggs and sugar and whisk until it reaches a temperature of 110F.Transfer to a stand mixer or bowl and whisk until the mixture is tripled in volume and forms a ribbon.

8.Sift the flour and fold it in 3 additions.Add the melted butter and fold it in.

9.Transfer to the baking pans and bake about 14-15 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out dry.Immediately transfer to cooling racks.

10.For the simple syrup, bring the basil sugar and water to a boil and stir till sugar dissolves and turn off the stove.

11.For the strawberry compote, take the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil and turn off the stove.Strain the puree out of the strawberries leaving very little puree(it should not be dripping , just enough to coat the strawberries.Keep the strained puree aside.

12.For the whipped cream, take 1/4 cup cream and mix the gelatin and gently warm to dissolve and let it cool.Now start whipping the cream with powdered sugar till medium peaks form and then add the cream with gelatin and whisk till stiff peaks form.

13.For the Creme Diplomat,Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream.(Mix 1/4 the mixture first to homogenize and then fold the rest)

14.For the white chocolate decorations, melt the white chocolate in 30 second intervals to temper and pour into chocolate moulds and let set.

15.For the assembly, place a layer of cake then drizzle half the syrup on top to soak the sponge.

16.Take an acetate ring, spray lightly and place around the sponge.Arrange the halved strawberries all around.

17.Spread the strawberry compote

18.Pour half the creme diplomat on top , enough to cover the strawberries and then place another layer of sponge that has been soaked in the remaining syrup.

19.Pour the remaining Creme Diplomat and spread evenly.Place in refrigerator.

20.For the Gelee, place the gelatin sheets in ice water.Now warm the strawberry puree along with the strained puree.Add the gelatin and powdered sugar if using and mix and turn off the stove.Strain through a strainer.

21.When the gelee has cooled slightly pour on top of the pastry cream and let set in fridge for at least 2 hours.

22.For the glaze, in a saucepan take the apricot preserves and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil and turn off the stove.Place 3-4 strawberries on top of the cake and brush the glaze on the strawberries.Decorate with the white chocolate decorations.Remove the acetate rings before serving.

You will need acetate rings or entremet rings for this recipe.
The cake needs time to set, atleast 12 hours to 24 hours, so do not attempt if in a rush.
The pastry cream has to get cooked properly else it will turn soupy and will not set.
Do not leave too much puree in the compote else it will turn the cake runny.
If your pastry cream is too firm to fold, you can whip it once before folding.
I did not have apricot preserves on hand hence I used strawberry preserves, and hence the blood red color on the strawberries.
A Fraisier technically doesnt have the second layer of sponge on top, but I used it just to add height to the cake.


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