The French version of a strawberry shortcake and the one I have come to love more than the Japanese one.
I’m not a girl who usually takes cake orders. I’m fickle in the sense that one part of me hopes people order from me and then when they actually do, I shy away because I have a little problem when it comes to self-confidence. I always worry I won’t make it in time for the order, or I mess it up and I have no cake for the order, or it’s just not up to expectations. What a complicated battle between my emotions haha.
A week ago, I humbly accepted a cake order from a friend. I thought back to those times in the labo in Paris when I’m constantly surrounded by amazing, talented chefs who make some of the toughest pastries and they simply take it in their stride and get the job done. No time wasted, no time to even doubt themselves. I was trying to channel all that whilst I was making this Fraisier. Plus, J always tells me to have more confidence in myself and as my pastry guru, I feel like I could actually do it when I hear those words of encouragement even from halfway across the globe.
This cake was inspired by J, when I watched him from across the marble slab making a massive massive, at least as wide as a hula-hoop, fraisier. No idea what went in there but then I got to taste some left overs and it was delicious as hell and I kinda guessed my way into re-creating this fraisier of mine. The base of this entire cake is this precious precious recipe I acquired from Paris called a ganache montée. Lighter than a mousse, more versatile than a mousse and sometimes almost like a gorgeous cream as in this case. Fluffier, smoother and with more body than normal crème chantilly is what makes this fraisier beautiful and stand out from all other strawberry cream cakes.
4 components to this fraisier:
ganache montée vanille
Normally it would have been done with a strawberry juice syrup instead of the kirsch but I had no IQF strawberries to make the juice and I wanted to keep the sponge white so I opted for the kirsch. I also had no intention of my fraisier looking like this but I guess sometimes things turn out really nice when you just try out the unintended and impromptu ideas that pop into your head.
As for the fondant flowers, I never thought I’d ever see myself rolling fondant at home. Like I always say, never say never cause just two days ago I found myself making daisies out of rolled sugar paste. Therapeutic and quite good fun. The most ridiculous situation was tempering the white chocolate. 2am and there I was, in my kitchen and laughing, trying to temper white chocolate in my insanely hot home. The marble was so warm that no matter how much I tempered to try to bring the temperature down to 26-27 degrees, it never went down and was constantly at 31-32 degrees! Then I started doing stupid things like putting it in the freezer to drop the Cs and clearly doing that is not a norm or recommended especially for chocolates. Swiped it across the acetate, dumped it in my room, blasted the air conditioner and made the round bands and went to sleep, unsure if it was even properly tempered. Praying in my sleep did the trick I suppose, cause it turned out pretty nice haha, miiiiracle.
Decadent, pretty, cute and utterly delicious, this fraisier is something I hope everyone will come to try some day. And I hope the birthday girl likes her cake too ;)
yolks – 100g
egg whites – 150g
flour (sifted) – 124g
Preheat your oven to 180C with ventilation.
Line a baking try with parchment paper and set aside.
In a standing mixer, cream the yolks until pale and fluffy.
In a second clean bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the eggs whites until soft peaks and gradually add the sugar in in thirds. The mixture should be at medium to firm peaks, glossy. Do not over whip or it will be grainy.
Add some of the meringue into the fluffy yolk mixture and fold in to combine until it is well blended and has a heaving consistency. Be gentle as you do this so as not to knock out the air.
Pour the airy yolk mixture back into the meringue and fold to combine well. Fold in the flour gently until well mixed. The mixture should still be very aerated.
Spread the mixture evenly over the baking tray using an angled spatula and bake for 5 minutes or until light golden brown on top.
Set aside to cool and use immediately or store in the freezer for future use.