Fraisier Gateaux

Fraisier Gateaux with Creme Mousseline

This month’s “Daring Baker’s Challenge” is the Fraisier. The July challenge is hosted by Jana of cherry tea cakes. 

The recipe is written by the very talented duo here in San Francisco; Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of famed Tartine Bakery.

It is a light chiffon cake layered with cream mousseline filling with fresh strawberries. It is light and perfect on a hot day when you don’t want anything heavy. It is also very impressive to bring to a potluck, and perfect to make ahead of time because the filling has to set to become firm, and the cake will not dry out.



The Daring Bakers July 2011 Challenge:

Fraisier (recipe from Cookbook Tartine)

Basic Chiffon Cake:

1 C + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 C sugar (measure out 3 Tbsp. from this  to reserve for whipping with egg whites)

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 C vegetable oil

3 large egg yolks

1/3 Cup + 1 Tbsp. water

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 tsp. lemon zest

5 large egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Method for Cake:

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2.  Line the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan.

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

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

5.  Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and whisk to combine about 1 minute until smooth.

6.  Put the egg whites into a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until frothy. Add in the cream of tartar and continue whipping until soft peaks form; add in the 3 Tbsp. of sugar and beat on med-high until the whites before firm and shiny.

7.  Using a clean; (make sure it’s grease free) spatula; fold in about 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter from step 5. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until combined.

8.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and Bake at 325 º  for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

9.  Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack.

10.  To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring ring from the sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. The cake can be refrigerated for up to four days. Wrap in plastic wrap if storing in the fridge before assembling.

Cream Filling:

1 Cup whole milk

1  1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 C sugar

1 large egg

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

3/4 tsp. gelatin

1/2 Tbsp. water

1 Cup heavy cream

1.  Pour the milk, vanilla bean paste, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and scald, bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally.

2.  Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine.

3.  Add the egg to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.

4.  When the milk is ready, gently and slowly while the stand mixer is whisking, pour the heated milk down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture.

5.  Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over medium heat until the custard is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon.

6.  Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

7.  Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.

8.  Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

9.  In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften.

10. Put 2 inches of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

11.  Measure a 1/4 Cup of the chilled pastry cream into a small stainless steel bowl that will sit over the simmering water [double boiler method] without touching the water.

12.  Heat the cream until it is 120 º on an instant thermometer. Add the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Remove from the water bath and whisk in the remaining cold pastry cream in to incorporate with two additions; whisk each time to combine.

13.  In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment; whip the heavy cream until medium stiff peaks. Immediately fold in the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula.

Simple Syrup

1/3 Cup sugar

1/3 Cup Water

1 Tbsp. Madeira

1.  Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil to let the sugar dissolve.

2.  Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly, add in the Madeira.

3.  Transfer the syrup to a covered container to be stored in the refrigerator. Simple syrup can be kept for up to a month.

Fraisier Assembly:

Components: Baked 8-9 inch chiffon cake, recipe cream filling, 1/3 Cup simple syrup, 2 lbs strawberries, confectioners sugar for dusting, 5 oz. almond paste.

1.  Line the sides of a 8 inch (or 9 inch) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan.

2.  Split the cake in half  horizontally forming two equal layers.

3.  Fit the bottom layer into the prepared spring form pan. Moisten the layer evenly with the simple syrup.

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

5.  Pipe cream in between the strawberries and a thin spiral layer across the top of the cake.

6.  Hull and quarter your remaining strawberries and place them in the middle over the cream layer. Cover the berries with all but a Tablespoon of the cream filling.

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

8.  Lightly dust a work surface with confectioners sugar. Tint the almond paste with one drop of green food coloring and knead until the color is fully incorporated, and roll out the almond paste to about 1/16 inch thick to the same size of your cake (8 or 9 inch). Spread the remaining 1 Tablespoon of cream filling on cake. Place the round of almond paste on top of the cake.

9.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours so the cream can firm up.

10.  When ready to serve, release the sides of the spring form pan and peel away the plastic wrap.

11.  Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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