Fraisier is one of the most elegant strawberry cakes I have made so far. A decadent French dessert consisting of two layers of almond genoise cake soaked in kirsch liqueur syrup, filled with mousseline cream and fresh strawberries and topped with a flavorful homemade marzipan.
The cake looks quite impressive due to its’ border of strawberries and though it may seem complicated to prepare it is actually quite easy. Enjoy!
Fraisier - French Strawberry Cake
Almond Genoise Cake
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 3/4 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp (30g) butter , melted
- 1/4 cup (25g) almond flour (ground almonds)
- 3.5 fl. oz (100ml) water
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 2 ½ tbsp (40ml) kirsch
- 2 cups (480 ml) milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 3 tbsp (30g) flour
- 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
- 2 tsp (10g) vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp (250g) butter , room temperature
- 1 cup (100g) almond flour (ground almonds)
- 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp (30g) kirsch syrup
- Green food coloring
Strawberries border, Filling and Garnish
- 25 oz (700g) fresh strawberries
- Prepare the almond genoise cake. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a 8 ½ inch (21cm) pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a heatproof bowl add eggs and sugar. Mix to combine. Place over a pan with simmering water and continue mixing for about 10 minutes until thick and tripled in volume. Be careful not to cook the eggs, the mixture temperature should not get higher than 122F (50C).
- Remove from heat and continue mixing until it cools down.
- Gradually fold in sifted flour, then the almond flour and melted butter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 18-20 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven, let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile prepare the kirsch syrup. In a small saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat, transfer to a clean bowl and cool completely. Pour te kirsch liqueur into the cooled sugar syrup and set aside until ready to use. Reserve 2 tbsp of syrup for preparing the almond paste.
- Prepare the Mousseline Cream. First prepare the pastry cream. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar until slightly pale.
- Incorporate the cornstarch and flour. Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour about a third of the hot milk over the egg yolks mixture. Pour the whole mixture into the saucepan over the milk. Bring to a boil while stirring until thickens. Keep enough over heat to cook all the cornstarch. Remove from heat, add vanilla and incorporate 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Pour the cream into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent forming a skin on the surface and let it cool.
- When completely chilled mix until smooth. Gradually mix in 1 cup (220g) of butter and continue mixing until creamy and smooth.
- Assembly. Prepare the strawberries. Hull the strawberries and cut some in half for the edge border.
- Cut the top of genoise cake and then cut into 2 layers ½ inch (1cm) thick. Use a 8 inch (20cm) cake ring to cut the edges of the cake layers.
- Line the cake ring with parchment paper and place the ring on the serving platter. Add the first layer of genoise cake. Brush with kirsch syrup.
- Transfer the mousseline cream into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe a thin layer of mousseline cream on top of the cake. Arrange the halved strawberries around the inside of the mold, cut side out. Fill the center with whole strawberries.
- Pipe the mousseline cream over the strawberries reserving some for topping. Place the second layer of genoise cake and soak with kirsch syrup. Top with the remaining mousseline cream and flatten the surface using a spatula or an offset spatula.
- Refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- Prepare the almond paste. Place the almond flour (ground almonds) and powdered sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Grind to combine. Add kirsch syrup that remained from soaking the cake layers and continue grinding until it comes together.
- Add food coloring of your choice (I’ve used green), grind to combine and then knead a bit into your hands to come together.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the almond paste between two sheets of parchment paper, into a thin layer.
- Remove the cake ring around the cake and the parchment paper and use the cake ring to cut the almond paste into a 8 inch (20cm) circle.
- Top the cake with the almond paste and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Before serving decorate the cake with fresh strawberries.