It's Not Fraisier's, It's Mine!
The Boys Do Bake Off - Series 3, Ep.9 - Patisserie Week
Week nine and we're approaching the nail biting final of series three. Stepping up to the plate to set the 'patisserie' technical is Mary and her recipe for Fraisier Cake. Translating literally as strawberry cake, there are many versions of this delicious cake filled with sweetened custard or cream and typically presented with outward facing strawberries. They come in squares and rounds, big and small (now remember this fact for later, it's very, very important!).
Start by making a light and delicate genoese sponge. Whisk eggs and sugar in bowl over simmering water until doubled in volume and just reaching the 'ribbon' stage. Take off the heat and carefully fold in your sifted flour before adding your melted butter. Take care not to knock the air out as this provides much of the lift. At least that what it should do to leave you with a 5cm deep sponge. Bake until the cake springs back then cool.
Whilst your cake bakes you can make your crème pâtissière. Whisk eggs, sugar, cornflour and kirsh in a bowl and heat milk and vanilla until it just starts to boil. Take off the heat and whisk your hot milk into your egg mix taking care to keep whisking and avoid scrambling your eggs. Return to a clean pan and stir or whisk continuously until very thick, before whisking in your softened butter. Transfer to a tray or wide dish, cover and chill. You need the crème pâtissière to be thick and hold its shape when you pipe.
You'll also need to make a basic sugar syrup with lemon juice and caster sugar. Make this at any stage then set aside to cool.
Now we're fairly practiced with folding in flour, we use the same metal spoon every time, we never tap the tin and we really, really did take care and yet... our finished sponge, despite being light and delicate, was a mere 2.5 cm deep. Not really what you need for a large 23cm filled sponge but, unlike like the bakers who were being judged, us Gents decided to think on our feet and decided that miniature Frasier's was the way to go (remember that note about the many varieties, big and small?!).
Line your cake tin or mold with acetate or cling film before placing in one of your discs of sponge. Brush with your lemon syrup and gently push down the edges to ensure you have no gaps. Next it's time to stand your strawberry halves around the edge. Make sure you have no gaps as they'll spoil the finished look.
Pipe in your crème pâtissière ensuring you fill the spaces between the strawberries , before finishing with more strawberries and crème pâtissière. Top with your remaining sponge disc, brush with the remaining syrup then top with a layer of marzipan. Chill well before decorating with icing sugar, strawberries and chocolate work.