Recipes

Fraisier

Nataliia's take on this mousse-y masterpiece is Finale Week-calibre, and it helped her win Star Baker!

Nataliia's take on this mousse-y masterpiece is Finale Week-calibre, and it helped her win Star Baker!

The hallmark of a Fraisier (fray-zee-ay) cake is the crown of cut strawberries that surrounds its mousse-y perimeter. Try to use strawberries that are all the same size and shape for a beautiful finished product, and use the berries that don’t make the cut on the inside. This recipe has a lot of layers with unique textures and surprising flavours, like lemongrass. The finished product is sure to wow guests.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp matcha powder
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 6-7 strawberries, leaves removed and sliced

Kirsch Syrup:

  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 3 tbsp kirsch liqueur

Lemongrass & Matcha Mousse:

  • 5 gelatin sheets (10 g)
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 ⅔ cups 35% cream, divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 cups white chocolate callets
  • 1 tbsp matcha powder
  • 3 tbsp milk

Strawberry Mousse:

  • ¾ cup strawberry puree (about 13 berries)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ⅓ cup white chocolate callets, melted
  • ¾ cup 35% cream
  • 4 gelatin sheets (8 g)

Strawberry Gelee:

  • 3 gelatin sheets (6 g)
  • ⅔ cup strawberry puree (about 9 berries)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp lemon zest

Decoration:

  • ¼ cup isolmalt
  • Gold leaves

Preparation

Heat oven to 350F degrees. Line and grease two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment. Line a 7-inch ring mould with acetate and place on a small rimmed baking sheet or plate. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. 

[Tip: Buy acetate strips or sheets at specialty cake decorating stores, or online.]  

Cake: 

Whisk together flour and matcha in a small bowl. 

Beat the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl with a hand mixer over a pot of gently simmering water. Continue to beat until a thermometer reads 37C degrees. Remove from heat and beat on high until mixture is pale and leaves a ribbony texture on the surface when you lift the still beaters and drizzle the mixture back into the bowl. Fold in flour mixture until mostly combined. 

Transfer ⅓ of the matcha mixture into a medium bowl with the melted butter and stir to combine. Add the butter mixture to the remaining matcha mixture and stir gently to combine. 

Divide into prepared cake pans and spread evenly. Bake until beginning to brown at the edges and cake springs back when pressed, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Kirsch Syrup: 

Combine the water, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove heat and set aside to cool. Stir kirsch into cooled mixture. 

Once the cake has cooled, cut one sponge into a 7-inch round and the other into a 6-inch round. Place 7-inch round inside acetate-lined cake ring and brush liberally with the syrup. Line the acetate with strawberry slices, cut side flat against the acetate, facing out. Set aside. 

Lemongrass & Matcha Mousse: 

Soak the gelatin in a bowl of cold water until soft, about 5 minutes. Squeeze to remove excess water. 

Cut the bottom 6 inches of the lemongrass stalks in half lengthwise. Using the back of a knife, hit the stalks to bruise them and release the oils (this is how to maximize the flavour that will be released when they steep).

Roughly chop the lemongrass and combine with ⅓ cup milk in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain. 

Heat ⅔ cup cream in a medium saucepan until steaming and bubbles appear around the side of the pan. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl. Gradually stream in cream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and heat gently again to steaming. Remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin. 

Add chocolate to same large heatproof bowl. Pour gelatin mixture over. Let stand 2 minutes before stirring to combine. 

Divide the mixture in half. To one half, add matcha powder mixed with with 3 tablespoons of milk and stir to combine. To second half of mixture, add the lemongrass infused milk. 

Beat remaining cup of cream with a hand mixer to soft peaks. Fold half into lemongrass mixture and pour over prepared cake. Freeze 10 minutes. 

While the first layer is in the freezer, fold remaining whipped cream into matcha mixture. Once lemongrass mousse layer has mostly set and is firm enough to support it, place the 6-inch matcha cake on top. Brush the cake liberally with the kirsch syrup. Pour the matcha mousse over. Place in the freezer to set while making the strawberry mousse. 

Strawberry Mousse: 

Soak gelatin in a bowl of cold water until soft, about 5 minutes. Squeeze to remove excess water. 

Combine puree and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and stir in gelatin until melted. Stir in chocolate. 

Beat cream with a hand mixer to soft peaks. Fold into strawberry mixture and pour over matcha mousse layer from freezer. Place back in the freezer to set while making gelee. 

Strawberry Gelee: 

Soak gelatin in a bowl of cold water until soft, about 5 minutes. Squeeze to remove excess water. 

Combine puree, sugar, water, vanilla bean, lemon juice and zest together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and stir in gelatin. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Once cool, pour over strawberry mousse and transfer into fridge to set, about 1 hour.  

Isomalt decoration: 

Heat oven to 350F degrees, sprinkle isomalt onto prepared parchment-lined baking sheet in one single layer with the isomalt touching. Place in oven and bake until liquid and bubbly, about 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely until hard. 

To serve, remove ring mould and peel off acetate. Transfer to serving platter and decorate with isomalt, gold leaf and strawberries, if desired. 

Yield: Makes 1 cake (serves 8 to 10)

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