I wanted to make this cake since I have seen it in a little patisserie in London for the first time… Appreciating the skill it requires it took me about a year to finally attempt and make my own Fraisier- and I am so proud of it!
Now about the flavour.. light sponge soaked with lemon syrup, sandwiched with perfect, creamy vanilla creme patissiere and juicy strawberries, decorated with marzipan and dark chocolate… pure perfection !
After comparing many recipes I have chosen to base mine on Mary Berry's recipe, however I have made few little changes.
For the sponge:
- 125g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- zest of 2 lemons
- 125g self-rising flour (or 125g plain flour + 1 1/4tsp baking powder)
- 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 600ml milk
- 2tsp vanilla paste or 1 pod
- 4 eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 180g caster sugar
- 1tbsp kirsch (I used limoncello instead)
- 100g cornflour
- 150g unsalted butter
- 75g caster sugar
- juice of 2 lemons
- 70ml water
- 200g marzipan
- 30g dark chocolate
- 500g strawberries
Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
Place the sugar, eggs and lemon zest in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the mixture over a medium heat until doubled in volume and pale in colour. The mixture should form a ribbon trail when the whisk is lifted out of the mixture. Remove from the heat.
Sift in two-thirds of the flour and gently fold into the whisked mixture. Add the remaining flour and fold. Keep in as much of the air as possible. Make sure the mixture is smooth and well combined.Gently fold in the melted butter.
Pour the mixture into a lined 23cm cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool a little in the tin, then turn out onto a cooling rack. It should be just under 5cm in height.
To make the crème pâtissière, pour the milk into a pan, add the vanilla pod. Bring the milk up to the boil, then take it off the heat.
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, kirsch and cornflour. Pour the hot milk over the mixture and whisk.
Pour the custard back into the saucepan and set over a medium heat.
Stir the custard constantly until the mixture thickens. The custard should be very thick as it needs to be a firm set when the cake is assembled.
Add the butter and stir until melted and well combined.
Allow to cool slightly, pour into a dish, cover the top with cling-film and chill in the fridge for about an hour until really cold and set firm.
Place the ingredients for the lemon syrup in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then boil rapidly for two minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Roll out a thin 23cm disc of marzipan, then place in the fridge to chill.
Slice the sponge in half horizontally.
Place a strip of acetate plastic or baking parchment around the inside of the 23cm springform tin (line the bottom of the tin with baking parchment as well).
Place one layer of sponge cake in the bottom of the cake tin. Then brush the sponge with half the syrup.
Gently squash the edges of the cake down so that they are pushed against the sides of the tin.
Hull and halve about 12 strawberries, try and make sure they are all the same height.
Place the cut sides of the strawberries against the plastic on the inside of the tin, close to each other.
Take the chilled crème pâtissière out of the fridge and spoon two thirds of the crème into a piping bag.
Pipe a swirl covering the exposed sponge completely in the bottom of the tin.
Then pipe between each of the strawberries so the gaps are filled right to the top with the crème pâtissière.
Set 3 strawberries to one side for decoration, then hull and quarter the rest of them and place on top of the crème.
Pipe another swirl of crème pâtissière on top of the cut strawberries to cover the whole surface. Then smooth with a palette knife.
Place the other disc of sponge on top of this, with the cut side uppermost, so it has a completely flat top. Brush with the remaining syrup.
Gently press the top down quite firmly, so that the cake and filling push against the acetate to create the distinctive smooth and defined sides of the Fraisier cake.
Lay the chilled marzipan circle on top of the cake and put the whole thing back in the fridge to set. I like to leave it in the fridge over-night.
Make decorations of your choice with melted dark chocolate.
When ready to serve, remove the cake from fridge.
Take out the tin and remove the acetate/ baking parchment.
Place onto a serving plate and decorate with strawberries, chocolate decoration and a dusting of icing sugar.