Today, I became a pastry chef…

Baking these extraordinarily beautiful cakes today, I really felt like a pastry chef.  Not only did the recipes turn out perfect, but I was able to decorate the cakes and present the cakes so beautifully that today I felt that I had earned the title.  The absolutely divine cakes that you see above are (from left to right) a black forest cake, a Fraisier cake and a traditional Sacher cake.  The Fraisier cake deserves a post all to itself so I am saving the other two cakes for a different post on a different day.  Now, sit back and enjoy the absolute beauty that is Le Fraisier.

‘Le Fraisier’ is a formal french chiffon cake with pastry cream filling and exposed strawberries.  The top is layered with marzipan or almond cream.

We start out by baking a thin layer of golden chiffon cake using a half sheet pan.  Once the cake is cooled, using a pastry mold, cut out two 6-inch cake rounds.  Next, wrap an acetate strip inside of a 6 inch plastic mold.

Next, we insert our first layer of golden chiffon cake and brush the layer with a Cointreau simple syrup.  Next, slice strawberries in half and line the strawberries (cut side facing out) along the acetate strip.

We now want to begin adding our pastry cream, paying careful attention not to allow any cream between the strawberries and acetate.  Remember, anything that touches the acetate strip will be visible when the mold is removed.  It helps to prevent any pastry cream seepage by holding each strawberry in place as you pipe the pastry cream between the berries.

Once the berries are in place, pipe a small amount of cream on top of the exposed cake and add a layer of sliced strawberries.  Add one more layer of cream and one more layer of strawberries.

We want to make sure to add one final layer of cream….enough to cover our strawberries entirely.   Then, add the second layer of chiffon cake.  Brush the layer lightly with syrup. It helps add flavor and preserve moisture to spread a VERY thin layer of pastry cream on top of this cake layer.  This pastry cream should not be visible from the side.  Therefore, be careful not to spread the cream all the way to the acetate form.

The cake is topped with a thin layer of marzipan.  We rolled out the marzipan and used a pattern roller to imprint a basket weave on top.  We used our pastry mold to cut out a 6 inch circle.  Gently press the marzipan layer on top.

SFBI used a photo of this cake to advertise for this particular course…and it is obvious why.  Not only is the Frasier beautiful, however, it is absolutely delicious!  I can’t wait to experiment with this recipe at home and share this cake with friends and family : )

Happy baking!

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