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.
This month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge, fraisier, looked too pretty to be easy – but it was actually fairly straightforward: solidified pastry cream and fresh fruit, sandwiched between two layers of chiffon cake. I loved that this dessert featured fruit, as the season is booming right now.
I really liked the chiffon cake, which came out moist and extremely light. I wanted to make a lemon-flavoured version, but found out halfway through the mixing that I was out of lemons (which almost never happens). So, to add at least one personal touch, I made a chocolate filling.
I know, I know: I’m incredibly predictable. I put chocolate in everything. Even in the dead of summer, when chocolate is one of the least appropriate of all the flavours out there, I have to use it. I simply can’t help myself. Sure, I thought about using cardamom, or orange blossom – but no, it was chocolate that won out. In my defence, the resulting pastry cream was still quite light, and not too sweet.
I bought some beautiful strawberries from Île d’Orléans, as well as some wild blueberries, and raspberries. I had to use a slightly smaller mould than indicated in the recipe, so my cake was rather too high to be cut into two layers. So I cut out three layers, used two for the fraisier, then cut out smaller rounds out of the third layer, to make an individual-sized version with raspberries – I guess you could call it a “framboisier”?
I imbibed the cake layers with diluted maple syrup, instead of simple syrup. Finally, I iced the top of the larger fraisier with dark chocolate ganache, left over from making the chocolate pastry cream.
I have to say, this was a pretty ideal summer dessert: light, refreshing, and pretty as a picture (or, at least, it could have been, if my plastic wrap hadn’t left marks all over the filling). My thanks to Jana for challenging us to make this classic treat!
Please check out the Daring Kitchen to look at the challenge recipes, and don’t forget to look through the blog roll, to see some lovely fraisiers!