How to Make the Perfect Strawberry Fraisier
Complete your summer menu with the ideal French cake, the Fraisier. This decadent dessert derives its name from the French word for strawberry, and it’s little wonder why. The cake is crammed with bright red strawberries making it a beautiful addition to your Summer menu.
Technically speaking the Fraisier isn’t actually a cake, but rather a gâteau. Before you roll your eyes, allow me to explain. A gâteau must abide by a very strict set of criteria in order to be considered a true representative of the breed. It must be comprised of various layers of fruit and/or cream sandwiched neatly between two ultra-thin layers of delicate sponge. The Fraisier bursting with ripe fruit, cream mousseline, and a generous dose of liqueur, is truly one of the best examples of this variety of dessert.
Makes 3 – 9½ inch cakes
For the Genoise Sponge
- 240g butter, unsalted
- 900g eggs
- 600g superfine sugar
- 630g all-purpose flour
For the Kirsche Syrup
- 120g water
- 120g superfine sugar
- 6tsp Kirsche
- 6tsp raspberry liqueur
For the Pastry Cream
- 750g whole milk
- 1½ Vanilla Bean or 1½Tablespoon Vanilla Paste
- 195g sugar
- 51g cornstarch
- 24g all-purpose flour
- 9 egg yolks
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
For the Buttercream
- 270g whole milk
- 225g egg yolks
- 270g sugar
- 1,125g unsalted butter, room temperature
For the Genoise
Preheat your oven to 360 degrees F and prepare your 10-inch cake pans by buttering and flouring them.
To make the genoise begin by melting the butter, then set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer, combine eggs and sugar then set over a saucepan of just-simmering water. Whisk the egg mixture until it reaches a temperature somewhere between 130-140 degrees F. Remove the bowl and transfer to your standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and continue to beat on high until the batter has tripled in volume and cooled.
Beat 2 Tablespoons of the batter into the now cooled butter. Fold the flour into the batter gently then the butter mixture. Pour the batter into your prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes or until done.
While the cake is still warm, run an offset spatula around the side of the pans and unmold onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
For the Syrup
In a saucepan bring the water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and add both liqueurs. Set aside for later use.
For the Pastry Cream
Pastry Cream can be difficult to master, check out our detailed post to learn more about it.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan combine milk, sugar, and vanilla and bring to a boil. In a separate bowl combine cornstarch flour and egg yolks. Once the milk mixture is hot, drizzle ⅓ of it into the eggs, beating constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan and bring back to a boil, continuing to stir. Once the mixture has thickened remove from heat and allow to cool to 140F. Then beat in the butter and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a “skin” from forming.
For the Buttercream
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan bring the milk to a boil. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. While maintaining a forceful whisk, begin pouring the hot milk over the eggs and sugar. Pour the mixture back into the pan and bring the whole amalgam up to 185 degrees F. Once the temperature has been reached, immediately remove from heat and plunge the bottom of the pan into an ice bath. While the mixture is cooling, whisk the room temperature butter in a standing mixer until creamy. Gradually incorporate the egg-sugar mixture and beat until smooth.
For the Mousseline Cream
Simply combine the Pastry Cream and the Buttercream, beat until homogenous then transfer to a large pastry bag.
Using 9½-inch flan rings, trim your genoise sponges to fit snuggly inside the rings. Split the cakes in two and place the bottom halves into the rings. Using a pastry brush generously paint each sponge with the kirsch simple syrup.
Rinse the strawberries and pat them dry. Hull them and slice ⅓ of them into halves, the rest can be either cut into slices or diced into squares, chef’s preference.
Arrange the half-cut strawberries, cut-side outward, against the inside of the flan ring. Within the circle of strawberries cover the bottom sponge with about a cup (200g) of the mousseline cream. Top with remaining strawberries. Cover with a second layer of the mousseline, and top with the second slice of sponge. Brush again with the syrup and decorate. Lastly, enjoy!