Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh Fraisiers - Daring Baker's Challenge

Blog-checking Lines: Jana ofCherry 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.

This was a really fun challenge! We had to create a delicious cake where the middle layer had exposed fruits around the outside.  We also had to make each component of the dessert by hand: the chiffon cake, pastry cream mousse, and the simple syrup!

This was my first time making a chiffon cake, and I am hooked! I loved how light this cake was, it was the perfect complement to the pastry cream and fresh fruit. I chose to make a citrus chiffon cake because I love desserts with a twist of citrus to them.

I filled my middle layer with strawberries and blackberries, they were so good in this dessert!  I can't wait to make the pastry cream again, I think it would be amazing with a strawberry shortcake dessert, or as a topping on a bowl of fresh fruit. 

I decided to keep the top of my cake clean and simple so that the amazing centre could shine through.

The recipes for the chiffon cake and the pastry cream mousse were provided by Jana, and they are amazing!

Citrus Chiffon Cake

  • 1 cup and 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cups sugar (remove 3 tbsp and set aside)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup and 1 tbsp orange juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line the bottom of an 8" springform pan with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, all but the removed 3 tbsp sugar, and the salt
  3. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vegetable oil, orange juice, and orange zest
  4. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients and mix until smooth
  5. In a third bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy
  6. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites, and beat them until they hold soft peaks
  7. Slowly add the 3 tbsp of sugar to the egg whites and beat until they hold firm and shiny peaks
  8. Fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined
  9. Fill the springform pan, and smooth the batter
  10. Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle
  11. Allow the cake to cool completely in the springform pan
  12. When cool, run a knife along the edges and remove the cake
Pastry Cream Filling
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 tsp gelatin
  • 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. Scald the mixture (bring it near boiling) while stirring occasionally
  3. While the mixture is heating, in a bowl whisk together the cornstarch and sugar
  4. Add the egg to sugar/cornstarch and whisk until smooth
  5. When the milk mixture is scalded, slowly add it to the egg mixture while whisking
  6. Add the whole mixture back into the pot, and continue to cook it over medium-high until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon
  7. Remove the pot from the heat and pour it into a fine-mesh sieve
  8. Press the custard through to remove any remaining bits
  9. After the custard has cooled for about 10 minutes, add the butter and whisk until smooth
  10. Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool for about an hour
  11. After the custard/cream has cooled, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let it sit for a couple minutes
  12. Set up a double boiler and add 1/4 cup of the pastry cream 
  13. Heat the cream while stirring until it is 120 F
  14. Add the gelatin to the warmed cream and whisk until completely smooth
  15. Whisk the warmed cream into the remaining cream
  16. Whip the heavy cream until you have medium-stiff peaks, and then fold it into the pastry cream
Simple Syrup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  1. Add the water and the sugar to a small saucepan
  2. Heat it until it boils and all of the sugar dissolves
  3. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use
To assemble the Fraisier:
  1. Line the inside of your 8" springform with plastic wrap
  2. Cut the cake in half to create two cake rounds
  3. Place one half of the cake in the springform pan and moisten it with the simple syrup
  4. Place the fruit of your choice (I used strawberries cut in half, and blackberries) along the outside of the pan
  5. Pipe the pastry cream around the fruit on the sides of the pan to keep it in place
  6. Fill the middle of the cake with your remaining berries, and then add all of the remaining pastry cream
  7. Smooth the top of the pastry cream, and then place the remaining layer of cake on top
  8. Moisten the top layer with the simple syrup
  9. Decorate the top of the cake as desired
  10. Enjoy!


  1. Yum - I love the addition of the blackberries, and the citrus chiffon cake sounds like the perfect complement to the fresh berries. Your fraisier looks magnificent!

  2. Your fraisier looks so light and fresh and tasty. I love the contrast of the blackberries and strawberries. I chose citrus too - there's something about a zingy sponge with cream and fruit.

  3. Looks delicious!! You should change your about me page...looks like you are not an amateur baker anymore! :)

  4. thank you so much everyone :)
    this was so fun to make, and so delicious to eat!

    all of you made such amazing desserts as well, i am so inspired for the next time i make one of these. for some reason blogger wont let me comment on any of your sites tho :( i'm working on it!

  5. The blackberries are such a nice addition. Well done!
    Best, Sandie

  6. Wow. It looks really great! Thank you for sharing those ideas with us! I'll cook it as soon as I'll get a reason for it.

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