Friday, March 23, 2007

My first fraisier

The fraisier is one of my favorite cakes. Maybe even my favorite cake ever. It's what I had for my wedding cake. Sunday, we spent the day in Rennes with V and R. V is one of Husband's cousins, B is her husband, and their oldest child, A, is my godson. Anyway, they just had their third child so we went for champagne and lunch. I offered to bring the dessert.

Strawberries are out, at the grocery store at least. Mostly from Spain. I had spotted some lovely fraisiers at the pastry shops around town. There were 8 of us eating cake. A fraisier for 8 is 15€. At least. Which I think is just ridiculous. So I decided to make one myself.

I looked on French food blogs and recipe sites. I found something that looked perfect. A fraisier is not really hard to make, it's just a lot of steps and cooling and slicing and assembly.

First the biscuit. It should be light but not too light. Moist but firm enough to withstand the weight of the cream.

Second the crème. Which I thought was just a lighter crème patissière. Lighter in texture maybe, but certainly not lighter. After making a standard crème patissière and letting it cool, you process it with over a stick (!) of butter and a cup (!) of unsweetened freshly whipped cream. Excellent.

Third the strawberries and the assembly (one disk of biscuit smothered in crème and topped with strawberries, repeated twice).

Result? Not bad. But I won't use that recipe again. First of all, the cake part was defintely firm but way too dense. There recipe called for ground almonds which I would not use again. Second, I used a springform pan which was too big, so the layers of cake were a smidge too thin. And finally, I think I didn't let it cool long enough after putting the layers together because when I cut it, it looked kind of like a red, white, and yellow landslide.

With the 4 leftover eggwhites, I made chocolate meringues. Yum. The chocolate stays on the inside so when you take a bite, you're just expecting meringues and you get a mouthful of chocolate.

They taste like mischief. Which shall be their name.

Mischief Meringues

4 eggs whites
1 cup sugar
some salt
some cream of tartar
10 oz of chopped dark chocolate

Beat first 4 ingredients until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Fold in chocolate. Bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours at 200°F.


gina said...

No one commented because we were all busy trying to make this delicious cake - and some of us were failing miserably! ;)

gina said...

Oh yeah, and some of us don't have strawberries yet. Or a springform pan. Or cream of tartar. I do, however, have dark chocolate, from France even, so I ate a nice chunk of it while pondering the recipe. :)

Nicole said...

The French don't have cream of tartar either, so I think you can make the meringues without it because there are meringues in pastry shops and bakeries here. But not with chocolate inside.

Lorraine said...

Yum. I remember your wedding cake. Yum. And the duck breast in peach sauce. Yum.