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Friday, July 29, 2011

Daring Bakers' Fraisier

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.


  1. Your fraisier is a real beauty! So perfect, as always and extremely tempting. I love that mango jelly.



  2. Really gorgeous! It belongs in a bakery. I wish you'd share you secret for getting it to mold so perfectly.

  3. Absolutely beautiful, Kris. The chocolate decoration is so professional, and I love the mango jelly idea. It must have added great texture, taste and freshness to your already perfect dessert. Amazing job! I'm glad you didn't skip it, I'm always looking forward to your accomplishments for the DBs' challenges :)

  4. The best looking Fraisier I have ever seen. Fantastic pictures and lovely dessert :)

  5. It's so beautiful Kris! Love the mango jelly on top and the chocolate also makes it look so elegant. Excellent job for this month's challenge...glad that T bought the strawberries so you could make this beautiful fraisier!

  6. Wow! I'm voiceless... It's gorgeous... The presentation is just perfect, the chocolate gives it a special tone, i love the way you placed the strawberries and the photo... what a great photo!! I'm wondering if one day i'll be able to present my bakings like yours i'll be the best baker ;)

  7. Great flavours, and picture-perfect decorating, as always!

  8. Gorgeous, Kris! I'd love to be able to make such gorgeous chocolate toppers.

  9. Gorgeous, I just love how nice and neat you got it. I am a Strawberry fiend these days!

  10. Wow! Gorgeous as usual! :) Love the way you arranged the strawbs around the side

  11. I cannot believe I'm the first one commenting because that is probably the most beautiful strawberry fraisier - EVER! I love how you alternated the strawberries right side up and upside down around the perimeter - I'm amazed you were able to whip up this beauty so quickly in the midst of finishing another cake and delivering it on time. Oh, and the chocolate curls and strawberries are placed so perfectly! You are amazing!

  12. Truely perfection, as always! I love what you do. You inspire me! I can't wait to make this again ... with mango jelly (though I will never manage the wonderful chocolate ribbon). Beautiful!

  13. Wow! What a gorgeous cake, I'm just in love with the detail you do on your desserts. I wish I could be a fly on the wall in your kitchen for a bit :)

  14. Wow! That is one stunning looking cake! I for one am pleased the shopping bag cake was delayed ;0)

  15. Absolutely gorgeous! Your photos and your fraisier look like works of art. You are very talented. Nice job on the challenge!

  16. No one makes cakes as beautiful as you, Kris. I'm glad you didn't skip this month's challenge, as it's a joy for me to come here and always be presented with a breathtaking view like this one! Every single time.

  17. I just KNEW yours would be brilliant! And it is. What a super idea to top your fraisier with mango jelly. The perfect touch. Beautiful work, Kris!

  18. Wow...your fraisier is flawless! It's satisfying just by seeing the pictures. I've never hear this 'fraisier' thing before...but the pictures speak for itself . Thanks for sharing the recipe, and most of all the's truly an inspiration!

  19. This is breathtakingly gorgeous! The arrangement of the strawberries round the side, the curls of chocolate, the bright mango - WOW. It's a bit of a glum weather day here, so that photo has definitely brightened my morning. :)

  20. Superb, as always. Done so sophisticated!

  21. I am so impressed that you went ahead and made the DB cake! Bravo! It's a masterpiece, Kris! I sure would like to see the shopping bag cake too:)

  22. Better late than never is always my philosophy with the challenges, or so it seems. If only my results were as amazing as yours! The chocolate decoration really takes it over the top.

  23. Ogni post di questo blog è un capolavoro, complimenti davvero è un piacere per gli occhi leggerti ^_^

  24. I am always in aw of your work, the photography is beautiful as well, I love the bokeh behind the third photo. I have not gone back to pastry school in a while but you are really inspiring me.

  25. I think that this is the most gorgeous cake I've seen yet! I love the mango jelly with the chocolate curls. Fantastic job on a cake you didn't even think you'd make!

  26. Very, very beautiful! Aren't you glad you made it after all. It was sooo yummy. I love the chocolate decorations and the mango jelly looks perfect.

  27. Oh my god Kris best looking Fraisier I have seen so far..absolutely gorgeous.

  28. So amazingly perfect in every way. I would love to try a piece of this it looks so delicious.

  29. Absolutely georgeous! perfect!! Love it! gloria

  30. Dear Kris,how are you doing? hope you always fine .. here is so HOT, 100F everyday!!! This cake for sure is perfect getaway but with the note if i order from you, not make my own. :D

  31. Your fraisier looks realy fantastic! Beaytiful challenge!

  32. Pretty amazing for a "last minute" cake--it would be right at home in a French bakery!

  33. I agree with the others and love the "mango touch"

  34. Wooow, I've just found your blog and it is amazing!! Your creations look just fabulous!! I'm sure I'll visit assiduously! :)

  35. Hey Kris, I've been reading your blog for I while and have finally made my own, thank you for inpiring me! i love every cake you make, and this one left me the mango jelly and chocolate bits on top! too bad strawberry season in Croatia is over..:)

  36. you have such a beautiful presentation...your frasier looks incredible

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