This isn’t the first time I’ve made a fraisier, but this is the first time I’ve made one that I am really proud of. Practically everything went right with this and I truly love how it looks. There are a few things I would tweak or change, but overall, for once, I’m very happy with it.
My first fraisier was a birthday gift and whilst it wasn’t a disaster, I think you can really see how my patisserie has improved over the last year and a half. I wont keep you in suspense, here it is, my photography has also come on a lot as well, I no longer use my front room as a backdrop. Or use borders on my pictures.
Looking back at my old posts is always a strange feeling, I’m pleased with what I have achieved, but some of my archived posts are a bit shocking. The first fraisier I made was from the Patisserie book by Christophe Felder. I remember being very proud of it and it was well received.
I’d had my eye on the course for a while and I was hoping to attend at some point. Then when I was shopping I saw that British strawberries were in season and on special offer, so I decided to try the recipe again. I’d love to pretend that I saw these strawberries at an artisan/farmers market and I brought them home wrapped in a brown paper bag, nestled in my wicker basket. However I didn’t, I bought them from my local supermarket.
Fraisiers are in essence a sponge cake with strawberries and cream, a bit like an upmarket Victoria Sponge. It’s important that you get small sweet strawberries that are in season, otherwise your cake won’t have a summery, fresh taste. Dont be tempted to buy the big woody kind that have been flown in from other parts of the globe. You’ll just be disappointed, I speak from experience.
This fraisier has a lot of components to it, they’re all pretty easy, but if you have the chance, make as much of it in advance as you can. The fruit compote can be substituted for a jam/preserve with whole fruits, but apart from that, you’ll need to make it all. The cake can be prepared up to a day in advance too, the flavour will develop further.
There is some special equipment and ingredients you will need to make this cake, an entremet ring is needed, I used a 20x6cm ring, an instant-read thermometer (Thermapen are great), food grade acetate strip and strawberry puree.
The acetate strip helps the strawberries stay in place and make it easier to slide the entremet ring off the finished cake.
The top of the fraisier is decorated with a strawberry glaze, pieces of strawberry glazed in apricot jam, mint leaves, Amedei white chocolate chips and gold leaf. This differs slightly from the decoration in the book, but I like how this looks, so I decided to add my own touch.
The cake is filled with strawberries coated in strawberry compote, creme diplomat and a layer of genoise that is soaked in Chambord syrup. So, I bet you want the recipe, well here you go, do give this a try, don’t be daunted by the components, you can make all of these in individual stages and information about how long they will keep is included.
- 300g Eggs (approx 6)
- 300g Caster Sugar
- 300g Plain Flour
- 125g Unsalted Butter, melted
- ***Fruit Compote***
- 15g Caster Sugar
- 5g Pectin
- 100g Strawberry Puree
- 100g Strawberries
- ***Simple Syrup***
- 225ml Water
- 190g Granulated Sugar
- 1½ Peels of Lemon zest
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 30ml Chambord
- ***Fruit Glaze***
- 8g Leaf Gelatine
- 175g Strawberry Puree
- 100g Simple Syrup
- 1.5 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- ***Creme Patissiere***
- 250ml Milk
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 60g Egg Yolks (about 3 eggs)
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 25g Plain Flour
- 2g Leaf Gelatine
- ***Creme Diplomat***
- Creme Patissiere
- 170ml Double Cream
- ***To Assemble***
- 20cm Entremet Ring and an 18cm round template
- 700g Strawberries
- Apricot Jam (warmed)
- Mint and gold leaf to decorate (optional)
- Acetate strip to line the entremet mould
- Preheat the oven to 190C Fan (Gas 5), and line two baking trays with baking parchment. The baking trays must be large enough to cut out two 20cm rounds of cake.
- Put the eggs and sugar in a clean bowl. Whisk over a bain-marie until the mixture reaches 37C
- Remove the bowl from the pan and whisk to the ribbon stage. If it is taking a long time, use an electric whisk.
- Carefully begin to fold the flour through the whisked sabayon mixture using a spatula.
- When the flour is three quarters folded through, take 2 large scoops of the mixture and add it to the melted butter.
- Add the butter mixture to the base sabayon mixture and continue to fold through. Mix until everything is incorporated fully and smooth.
- Pour into the prepared baking trays and spread out evenly with a palette knife, don't be tempted to go to thinly, the cake doesn't really spread, so just spread it out so that it's bigger than 20 x 20cm.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 mins until golden brown and the sponge springs back when pressed gently.
- Place the cooked cake on a rack to cool.
- ***FRUIT COMPOTE***
- Mix together the sugar and the pectin in a small bowl.
- Put the strawberry puree and strawberries in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Add the sugar and pectin and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour into a shallow tray, leave to cool, then put in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. This will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, so you can make this in advance.
- ***SIMPLE SYRUP***
- Put the water, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in a saucepan and bring it to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Take off the heat and leave it to cool a little. Take 100g of the simple syrup and put it to one side, add the Chambord to the other half of the liquid and leave it to cool.
- ***FRUIT GLAZE***
- Soak the gelatine in a bowl of ice-cold water for a few minutes until soft. Squeeze to remove any excess water. Put the strawberry puree, simple syrup and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Take off the heat, add the soaked gelatine and strain into an airtight container, leave it to cool, store it in the fridge and use within 1 week.
- ***CREME PATISSIERE***
- Soak the gelatine in a bowl of ice-cold water for a few minutes until soft. Squeeze to remove any excess water.
- Put the milk in the saucepan, add the vanilla extract and bring it to the boil.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and flour until it turns a pale colour. This will take 2-3 minutes.
- Pour half the infused milk into the mixing bowl and whisk again until there are no lumps.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan and the remaining milk. Continuously whisk until the mixture comes up to a boil.
- Reduce the temperature and continue to cool for 5-6 minutes, take the pan off the heat and add the gelatine, stir until it is melted and combined.
- Pour the creme patissiere into a dish, cover with cling-film and press it to the surface, to stop a skin forming. Leave to cool and place it in the fridge.
- ***CREME DIPLOMAT***
- Whip the cream until it almost forms stiff peaks and fold it into the cooled creme patissiere. Put the creme diplomat in the fridge and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes before use.
- ***TO ASSEMBLE THE FRAISIER***
- Once cooled cut the sponge into one 20cm circle using the entremet ring and a smaller 18cm circle using the template. Take the larger cake and place it on a plate that you intend to serve the entremet on, also make sure this plate will fit in your fridge. Line the entremet ring with the food grade acetate and place the ring on top of the cake, soak the sponge with the reserved simple syrup with chambord in it.
- Place 2-3 Tbsps of the strawberry compote on the base and spread it around evenly. Take similar sized strawberries, remove the green stalk and slice them in half, place them in the entremet ring, stalk side down pressed up against the acetate. Keep going until you have filled the ring with strawberries facing outwards.
- Take about 15 strawberries, dice them and mix with the remaining compote.
- Take two generous spoonfuls of the creme diplomat, using a stepped palette knife spread the creme diplomat up the sides of the entremet ring, so that the strawberries are almost covered and the top of the entremet ring has cream up the side and above the strawberries.
- Place just over half the cut strawberries in the mould and top with the smaller sponge.
- Soak the sponge with the Chambord syrup and top with the remaining strawberries mixed with compote.
- Top with the remaining creme diplomat and smooth with a palette knife. Place in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours.
- When the fraisier is set, heat the glaze very gently in a saucepan until it has just melted, leave the glaze to cool to around 30C. Take the fraisier from the fridge and using a spoon, put the glaze on top and return the fraisier to the fridge for 20 minutes until firm.
- Take the fraisier, remove the mould and peel off the acetate. Cut the strawberries and glaze them with warmed apricot jam. Place the fruit on top of the fraisier anyway that you like and decorate with mint and gold leaf, or any decoration of your choice.
So what do you think, have things improved around here with my patisserie and photography? As not many of you get to taste my food, I hope the photos go a long way to make the food look appealing.
Give this fraisier a try, it’s perfect for the start of summer.
Thanks for reading.