Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July Daring Baker's Challenge: Fraisiers

Jana of Cherry 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.

I decided to do a summery peach dessert. I just love peaches in the summer.

Basic Sponge Recipe
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (270 ml) (5½ oz/155 gm) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) baking powder
3/4 cups (180 ml) (6 oz /170 gm) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) salt, preferably kosher
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) vegetable oil
3 large egg yolks
⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (3.17 fl oz/95 ml) water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (3 gm) lemon zest, grated
5 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) cream of tartar


Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F (160°C/gas mark 3).
Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan since the cake needs to adhere to the sides for lift.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add in all but 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) of sugar, and all of the salt. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly.

Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth.
Put the egg whites into a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed using a whisk attachment on a medium speed, until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on a medium speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on a medium-high speed until the whites hold firm and form shiny peaks.
Using a grease free rubber spatula, scoop about ⅓ of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in gently. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Removed the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring form sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Pastry Cream

2 oz cornstarch
16 fl oz milk
4 oz sugar
1 egg
4 yolks
2 oz butter
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract

  1. Put sugar and 7/8ths of the milk in a pot and boil till the sugar dissolves.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch and remaining cold milk together (note, cornstarch only dissolves in cold liquids, not in hot.)

 3. Whisk the eggs and yolks together with the cornstarch mixture.

4. When the milk and sugar are boiling, pour into the egg- cornstarch mixture and whisk constantly. Bring entire mixture back to the pot over heat. Always stir, never stop stirring!

6. Allow the mixture to thicken and come to a boil (it will bubble lightly) but stir constantly!
7. Pour the cream into another bowl and add the cut up butter and vanilla, whisking till it incorporates.
8. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool. (put little wholes or cuts in the plastic wrap to allow steam to escape.)


Split the sponge cake in half.  I moistened it with the canned peach syrup since it added more peachy flavor to the layer.

In a prepared ring mould with plastic wrap, place a layer of the sponge, then spread a thick layer of vanilla pastry cream over the cake.

I topped the cream with sliced peaches all over. I placed another layer of sponge cake, and topped it with pastry cream.

Top the pastry cream with another layer of moistened sponge and a small thin layer of pastry cream, then  knead some almond paste and roll it out to a flat disk over a powdered sugared surface. I placed it on top of the pastry cream directly.
At this time you would freeze your cake so that you can disassemble it and it holds it's shape. I was pressed for time so I used acetate on the outside so that I could unmould the cake right away. The presentation looks nice and you don't have to worry about spilling over.

I then decorated the top with peaches, some sanding sugar, and buttercream.

And voila!

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