Last month I had my birthday! We had a birthday party for me and my boyfriend's best friend since our birthdays are close. So, I made 2 birthday cakes! For me this year, I made a 2 tier-fraisier cake, a French cake consisting of a genoise sponge, créme patisiére, strawberries and a marzipan disc on the top. I always wanted to try and make it, it looks so nice and it is made with two of my favourite things: strawberries and vanilla cream. It was not as difficult as I thought to make. You just need to be concentrated and careful.Well, the sponge for me is always a challenge because you never know if it will rise or not. You need to be very careful, because if you lose a lot of air it will never rise.However, it is really fun to make and really tasty! And in the end you have a really pretty cake!
I also made a snickers cake, so that we have something with chocolate too. The recipe for the snickers cake is coming soon.
As I mentioned before I made a 2-tier cake. The recipe for the sponge is for 1 cake. I made 2 sponges and cut 2 10 cm circles from the second sponge. The cream, syrup and strawberries are enough for both. If you want to make one cake use the two thirds of the recipe. But since my second cake was pretty small, if you want a cake full of cream and strawberries use it all and you can have very little left. So, this is the recipe for the fraisier:
You can also look at the video here
For the cake:
150 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
the zest of 2 lemons
140 g (1 ¼ cup) all purpose flour
20 g ( 2 ½ tablespoons) corn starch
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
50 g (3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) butter
for the créme pâtissière
900 ml milk
270 g caster sugar
1 tablespoon kirsch or rum
150 g corn starch
200 g butter in room temperature
for the syrup
110 g caster sugar
the juice of 3 lemons
to finish the cake
800 g strawberries
200 g marzipan or ready rolled marzipan
anything else you want to decorate your cake with
Start by making the cake. Preheat the oven to 180° C /375°F. Melt the butter and let it cool. Grease, flour and line a 23 cm/9 in round cake pan. Sift together the flour,corn starch, baking powder and salt and mix them in a bowl.
Place the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of shimmering water. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk until the mixture is doubled in volume and pale in colour.
If you have a good stand mixer with a lot of power you can skip the bain-mari and just whisk the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in the mixer on high power until double in volume and pale in colour.
Sift in the egg mixture the two thirds of the flour and fold carefully with a spatula until it is incorporated. Repeat with the remaining four. Fold gently the melted but cooled butter. Try to keep as much air as possible to the mixture. Then, pour the mixture as gently as you can to the lined pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the sides of the cake have separated from the pan. Let it cool for a few minutes in the pan, then allow it to cool on a rack.
Meanwhile, prepare the créme patissiére. Place the milk in a large saucepan, cut the vanilla pod in half and add the seeds along with the pod in the milk. Heat it in medium heat. Whisk together the corn flour with the sugar in a bowl, then add the eggs and whisk until blended. Add the heated milk in a bowl, discard the vanilla pod and whisk to combine. Place the custard mixture back in the saucepan and whisk until it thickens. It can take about 4-5 minutes to thicken. Cook it until the cream is very thick. When your mixture is ready add the kirsch or rum and the butter and whisk until incorporated. Pour the mixture to a wide plate and cover with plastic film. Let it cool and then place in the fridge to chill. If you place it on a flat plate it will take about an hour.
As the créme patissiére is in the fridge you can prepare the syrup. Place the lemon juice, sugar and 6 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves then let it boil on high heat for 2 minutes. Let it aside to cool.
When you are ready to assemble the cake, cut all the strawberries in half.
Cut also the sponge in half. I made a second sponge that I took 10cm circles out of it so that I will make my second cake. I also cut the outside of the sponge so that they will both look the same. But it is optional. Just try to cut it as straight as you can because the sponge will be visible.
Line a springform tin that is the same size with the cake with plastic film. Place the first disc of the cake and brush it generously with syrup. Press a little the sponge so that it will fit exactly to the tin. Place the cut sides of the strawberries against the spring tin. Try to put strawberries that are the same height. Because I couldn't I put alternatively one big and then one small and then again one big et.c. The strawberries should sit tight next to each other. If you are making a second floor to the cake do the same with the other cake. Then when you are done cut the rest of the strawberries in small pieces. Place the créme patissiére into a piping bag and pipe between the strawberries, so that you will cover the space between them and then pipe a swirl o the bottom of the cake. Place the rest of the strawberries on the cream and then cover with more cream. Smooth with a palette knife. Cover with the second disc of sponge with the cut side on top, so that it has a completely flat top and press gently but firmly. Brush with the rest of the syrup. I you have some créme patissiére left you can put a small amount on the top and smooth with a palette knife. Because I didn't have, I put some whipped cream, little just enough for the marzipan to get stuck on it. If you don't have a ready rolled marzipan roll it and with the help of the springform tin bottom cut it around it so that it is exactly the same size as the top of the cake. Place it on the cake and put it in the fridge covered with plastic film until it is ready to be served.
When you want to serve the cake, carefully remove the springform tin sides, smooth the sides with a palette knife if needed and add your decorations. I stuck the second cake on the first with a little whipping cream and made some roses with sugarpaste. You can see how you make roses here.