Friday, July 29, 2011
I had thought about skipping this month’s challenge due to my lack of focus. My mind was filled with thoughts about completing a shopping bag birthday cake which was initially being ordered for delivery on 22nd this month. For some reason it was postponed for another week and the new date was 27th which was also the date of delivering Daring Bakers’ Fraisier. It was tedious to concentrate on a couple of things at the same time so I finally decided to just focus in my shopping bag project.
The cake was delivered on time and I thought that was it – me setting aside the Daring Bakers Challenge and was merely happy with one achievement rather than two. But then something happened, on the way back home T bought me 2 packs of strawberries out of the blue. He never did this before and it was like a hint that within whatever time left out there I had to continue with the challenge, even though I was late. Well, better be late than never at all, right?
So there I was, making the best I could mending for the lost time. And I should really say that I am glad that I have done it. This Fraisier is filled with strawberries and instead of having a layer of almond paste on the top, I chose to cover it with Mango Jelly. I was just so in a mood of summer due to my boredom of the rainy season we have right now, so mango and strawberry definitely brighten up my day… and I am sure they will to yours too.
Thanks to Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes for this wonderful challenge. 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.
Makes one 8 inch cake
1. Basic Chiffon Cake
- 155 gm all-purpose flour
- 4 gm baking powder
- 170 gm sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher
- 60 ml vegetable oil
- 3 large egg yolks
- 95 ml water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 gm lemon zest, grated
- 5 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F (160°C/gas mark 3).
- Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) 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.
- 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
2. Pastry Cream Filling
- 250 ml whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher
- 10 gm cornstarch
- 55 gm sugar
- 1 large egg
- 30 gm unsalted butter
- 4 gm gelatin
- 1/2 tablespoon water
- 1250 ml heavy cream
- Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and scald, bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine
- Add the eggs to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
- 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.
- Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over a medium heat until the custard is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten minutes stirring occasionally.
- Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.
- Cover the cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften.
- Put 55 mm of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
- Measure 60 ml of the chilled pastry cream into a small stainless steel bowl that will sit across the sauce pan with the simmering water, without touching the water.
- Heat the cream until it is 120 F (48.8 C). Add the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Remove from the water bath, and whisk the remaining cold pastry cream in to incorporate in two batches.
- In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it holds medium-stiff peaks. Immediately fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula.
3. Simple Syrup
- 75 gm sugar
- 80 ml water
- Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Stirring is not necessary, but will not harm the syrup.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly.
- Transfer syrup to a lidded container or jar that can be stored in the refrigerator. Simple syrup can be stored for up to one month.
4. Mango Jelly
- 400 ml mango juice
- 16g gelatin
- Place 100 ml of mango juice in a bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin and leave to bloom for 1 minute.
- Heat 300 ml of mango juice in a saucepan until just boiled. Pour immediately into the gelatin bowl and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Leave to just warm.
5. Fraisier Assembly
- 1 baked 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon cake
- 1 recipe pastry cream filling
- 80 ml simple syrup or flavored syrup
- 400 ml mango jelly
- Line the sides of a 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan.
- 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. Fill with more pastry cream.
- Place the second cake layer on top and moisten with the simple syrup.
- Spread the remaining pastry cream on the top of the cake.
- Chill the cake for 15 minutes (while you go and prepare the mango jelly).
- Pour mango jelly on top of pastry cream.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- 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.