Monday, April 11, 2011

Le Fraisier Cake

A couple of  weeks ago I received an email from my niece asking if I'd make a birthday cake for her BF.  I love my niece and I really like her BF (even my husband has a man-crush on him), so I quickly agreed without knowing the type of cake she wanted.  She proceeded to tell me that her BF really loved the cake I made last year from a class I had taken at the San Francisco Baking Institute (SFBI).

I was wondering, "What could it be?" I started to go through all the possibilities: Lemon Curd Cake, Sacher, Carrot Cake.  All relatively easy recipes.  Low and behold, his favorite cake is the Le Fraisier Cake.  I have not made this cake since taking the course the spring of last year, and I had my instructor to fall back on when I had a question.  I was excited, nervous, but up for the challenge.

The Grand Marnier Cake syrup and the Mousseline Cream used in this cake was from my Advanced Bread and Pastry book written by the owner of SFBI, Michel Suas.  Suas’s book has great instructions for the assembly of the entire cake.  I decided to omit two elements of the assembly to save time and I don't have a machine to spray on white chocolate (tinted green for this recipe).  The entire cake turned out very well (if you look past my poor penmanship - my chocolate was not cooperating....Yeah, that's it!) even without those two elements, which were the strawberry coulis and the green chocolate spray.   

The actual cake recipe was from Cake Love: How to Bake Cakes from Scratch by Warren Brown.  Both recipes seem very similar, but Suas uses Trimoline in his formula.   Since I don’t have Trimoline I decided to go with Brown’s version.  The cake was light and airy, perfect to soak up all the Grand Marnier Cake syrup.

Extra Supplies
8 inch cake pan
8 inch cake ring 
Parchment paper
Offset spatula
*Acetate, 2 1/2 in high 

*I didn't have this on hand.  This is the plastic strip that goes around the cake to keep everything in place and removed before cutting.

Grand Marnier Cake Syrup  
(This is from Advanced Bread and Pastry, double this recipe to accommodate a 8 inch cake.  Otherwise, the following recipe will work for an 6 inch cake. )

Water 2 1/8 oz
Sugar 1 7/8 oz
Grand Marnier 4 1/2 oz (optional)
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  Stir in the Grand Marnier. 

Mousseline Cream Formula
(This is from Advanced Bread and Pastry, double this recipe to accommodate a 8 inch cake.  Otherwise, the following recipe will work for an 6 inch cake. )
This is the cream before it went into the fridge.  Love all the little vanilla beans:-)
Milk 5 1/4 oz
Vanilla bean 1 pod or vanilla bean paste
Sugar 1 3/4oz 
Cornstarch 3/8 oz
Egg yolks 1 1/2 oz
Butter 4 3/8 oz

Warm the milk and vanilla bean (I used vanilla paste) in a saucepan over medium heat.  When the milk reaches 90°F, stir in half the sugar. Allow the milk to come to a boil.  In a mixing bowl combine the remaining sugar with the cornstarch.  Then whisk in the yolks to form a paste.  

To prevent making scrambled eggs from the paste, I temper the paste by adding about 1 cup (using a ladle) of the boiling mixture and whisking.  I continue adding more milk and whisking until about half of the hot milk is whisked with the egg-sugar paste.  Then I run the mixture through a chinois (to catch any bits of eggs) back into the pan of the rest of the hot milk. 

Return the milk mixture to the stove, stirring with a heat safe rubber spatula, over low-medium heat. Boil for an additional 2 minutes then add half of the softened butter to the cream, mixing thoroughly with a whisk.  Place the mixture in the refrigerator, on a trivet or a cooling rack, for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, place cream in the a mixer with the whip attachment, mix the chilled cream, then slowly add the other half of softened butter.  Mix this for about 5 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.  I decided to put my cream through a chinois again, just to make sure the butter and the cream was blended thoroughly and smooth.

Put finished the mousseline into a container or Ziploc bag and place into the refrigerator.  Allow the mousseline to come to room temperature before assembling the cake.  

Makes two 8 inch cakes

8 lg. eggs
1 lg. yolk
8 oz Extra-fine granulated sugar
7 oz unbleached AP Flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 oz melted butter (I actually had to make this cake twice because I forgot to add the melted butter!!!!!)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
The ribbon.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (335°F for conventional) and set the rack in the middle of the oven. Prepare your pans with non-stick spray and parchment paper – set aside. Measure your dry ingredients, sift, and set aside.  Add your eggs and sugar into your mixer and beat on medium-high speed until thick.  This should take about 4 – 5 minutes to reach the desired "ribbon" thickness.  To test for the ribbon, reduce the mixer speed to low-medium for about 30 seconds to stabilize the foam, stop the mixer and remove the bowl with the whip.  If the foam from the whip slowly drops and forms a “ribbon” it’s done.

At this point you can stop and start folding portions of the dry ingredients into the foam.  Gently sprinkle the dry ingredients onto the foam and fold in with a rubber spatula. 
Slowly sprinkle the dry ingredients over the foam.  Do not "dump" the dry ingredients, this will deflate the foam and sink down to the bottom of the bowl.  Then fold the dry ingredients into the foam.  After all the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the foam, place the batter into the pans and put pans in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes or until the center springs back when touched.  Tip: Do not scrap the bowl to get all the batter.  This will deflate the batter and this will also prevent bits of flour that has not been mixed in going into the pan.  

Marzipan Disc 

There are many recipes out on the web on how to make your own marzipan, but I had purchased a log of marzipan from my grocery store.  Unfortunately, I didn't take note of how much I used, so I will assume that I used about 4 oz for this disc.
To loosen the marzipan I kneaded it on a silpat until I felt that it was smooth enough to be rolled out.  Before rolling it out, I added a drop of Americolor green.  Tip: If you don't have gloves to protect your hands from the color, put the marzipan into a Ziploc bag and do not seal it.  Knead the marzipan while its in the bag to incorporate the color. 

Dust your working surface with powdered sugar and roll out the marzipan.  Cut out a circle of the marzipan by using your 8 inch cake ring.  Set aside.

Check out my green thumb:-)

1. Cut the cake in half (Advanced Bread and Pastry say thirds, but I like more cake in cake:-)).
2. Place bottom layer into an 8 inch cake ring with a 8 inch cake board underneath.
3. Using a pastry brush, brush/pat the syrup onto the bottom cake layer.  Try not to over soak otherwise your cake will be wet and crumble.
4. Pipe the mousseline cream onto the bottom layer leaving a one-inch space from edge.  
5. Place sliced strawberries around the perimeter of the cake, facing out.
#6 on assembly.
6. Now place the whole hulled strawberries over the cream.
7. Using a piping bag, cover the strawberries with the mousseline cream all the way to the surface.  Clean off top of cream with a scraper or offset spatula. I’m not sure if you can see it in the first photo, but I trimmed the tips of the strawberries so that the top cake layer will lay flat.  Suggestion: Pick your best for the outside and make sure they are all the same height.  Trim from the bottom and not the tip.
8. Place the other layer of cake on top, brush more syrup, and spread a thin layer of cream on top.  Then place in the refrigerator for an hour to firm up.
9. Remove cake from refrigerator and place marzipan disc on top.  

Voilà! The cake is done! Decorate the top of the cake as you wish.

Happy Birthday Brian! (photo by S. Kupcow)

Posted by Lori.

No comments:

Post a Comment