I have been wanting to attempt a Fraisier cake ever since I saw the technical challenge on an old episode of The Great British Bake-Off. But, I think I just missed the strawberries season then, so I waited until strawberries are in season this year! This is also the first time I made crème mousseline, so that is quite a few first for me. I will be having a potluck with some ladies at work and I thought this should serve as a very pretty (and hopefully delicious) dessert.
After pouring through countless Fraisier recipes, including a very interesting one from Dorie Greenspan, I finally settled on this one by Twitter buddy and celebrity home-baker, BakingFanatic. I have browsed through his blog and he has got some really awesome recipes. So I knew I just had to start somewhere. And this seems like the perfect place to start.
Makes a 6-inch round cake
For the joconde sponge
50g ground pistachios
45g icing sugar
grated zest of one lemon (the juice will be used in the filling and the jelly)
1 1/2 large whole eggs
2 large egg whites (the yolks will be used in the crème mousseline)
15g caster sugar
15g plain four, sifted
15g unsalted butter, melted
1) Pre-heat oven to 180C fan. Grease and line a 9 x 13 inch rectangular cake pan.
2) Add to the bowl of a stand mixer the ground pistachios, icing sugar, lemon zest and whole eggs. To measure half an egg, crack an egg into a bowl and whisk lightly. Take the weight of the whisked egg and separate in half by weight.
3) Whisk the egg mixture on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
4) Clean the bowl of the stand mixer, then beat the egg whites until it is foamy. Add the caster sugar and continue to whisk until stiff and glossy.
5) Sift the flour into the pistachio and egg mixture and fold in gently. Then fold in a third of the egg whites to lighten the mixture. Fold in another third of the egg white.
6) Scoop 3 tablespoons of the mixture and add it to the melted butter and whisk to combine. Then, pour the butter mixture back and fold in together with the last bit of egg white meringue.
7) Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, levelling it carefully to get a levelled cake. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the cake spring back when pressed lightly.
8) Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then cut out 2 cake rounds using a 6-inch cake ring. Wrapped the cakes and leave in the freezer until required.
For the pistachio ganache
35ml double cream
7g icing sugar
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
35g white chocolate couverture, chopped
50g pistachio paste
1/2 tbsp Amaretto
1) Heat the double cream, icing sugar and almond extract in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until just below boiling point.
2) Add the white chocolate and stir until just melted.
3) Remove from heat, and stir in the pistachio paste and Amaretto. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For the lemon crème mousseline
250g whole milk
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
35g plain flour
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure lemon extract
40ml freshly-squeezed lemon juice (about 3/4 from a large lemon)
75g white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
125g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1) Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until little bubbles form around the sides of the pan.
2) Whisk together the whole egg, egg yolks, caster sugar, flour, extracts and the lemon juice.
3) Temper the egg mixture by slowly pouring the scaled milk in, while whisking continuously. Then pour the tempered eggs back into the saucepan and cook the mixture on medium heat, whisking continuously, until the whisk starts to leave behind its trail.
4) Pour the pastry cream into the bowl of the stand mixture and whisk on high until the bowl no longer feels warm to the touch.
5) Scrap the melted white chocolate into the pastry cream and whisk until combined.
6) Finally, add the softened butter to the cream and whisk until incorporated.
7) Scrap the crème mousseline into a bowl, cover with cling wrap pressed tightly onto the surface of the cream. Refrigerate.
For the strawberry jelly
100g fresh strawberries
20g caster sugar
1 sheet gelatine leaf, bloomed in cold water
20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1) Slice the strawberries, then, cook together with the sugar until the sugar has melted and the berries start to release its juice.
2) Using a hand blender, puree the strawberries finely. Then, strain the strawberry puree into a cup.
3) Squeeze the bloomed gelatine leave of excess water and add it to the strawberry puree. Stir to melt.
4) Pour in the lemon juice. Prepare this just before you are ready to pour it on the cake.
Approximately 200g fresh strawberries
1) Cover the inside of a 6-inch cake ring with an acctate strip and place it on a flat cake board.
2) Put the first cake layer into the cake ring. Then, cover the cake layer with the pistachio ganache.
3) Hull and half enough strawberries to go around the cake tin, placing the half berries tightly next to one another. Try to find strawberries of similar size for better asethetics.
4) Fill the crème mousseline into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, then, pipe the cream into the grooves between the strawberries. Then, pipe a thick layer of the cream to cover the pistachio ganache. You should just about reach the mid height of the cake ring.
5) Slice the remaining strawberries and arrange them in a layer, cover the crème mousseline.
6) Pipe another round of crème mousseline, this time just covering the top of the strawberries around the cake ring.
7) Place the second cake layer on top of the crème mousseline and press it to flatten. Lightly cover the cake layer with the crème mousseline until the height of the cake ring.
8) Allow this to cool in the refrigerator while you prepare the strawberry jelly. Then, gently pour the jelly onto the top of the crème mousseline and allow it to set in the refrigerator. I did this by leaving the cake in the refrigerator, and scooping the liquid jelly slowly to cover the entire surface.
9) Allow to chill overnight. Then remove the cake ring, and the cake will hold its shape.
So there I did it! I think I was a bit too generous with the ganache (and some of the spilled into the strawberries when I pressed them down) so the cake ended up a bit sweeter than I would have liked. It is probably due to the pistachio paste, which was a new brand I was trying. But overall, it is a beautiful cake, and I love the lemon crème mousseline, which went really well with the strawberries. And this is also the first time I made strawberry jelly and look how pretty it turned out.