Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Fraisier

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

Fraisier! it seemed too elegant for me to even try making, but since it was part of the challenge, i had to try, even if it meant possible utter failure...
but it turned out so good! i also added some raspberry coulis on the sponge cakes to add some sweet raspberry flavor. i opted for not using the almond paste top but dusting the top with powdered sugar still made it look pretty sweet. i followed the recipes for the sponge cake and the pastry cream exactly from the daring bakers challenge. the sponge cake was so magnificently yummy..i followed the basic chiffon cake recipe, but since it had lemon zest in it, it tasted more like a lemon sponge cake then a regular one, but i'm not complaining. the lemon zest added such great flavor to the was just beautiful. 
the pastry cream wasn't an ordinary basic french crème pâtissière recipe, since it called for gelatin to help thicken the cream and whipped heavy cream to lighten i think the pastry cream used here can be considered a crème chiboust (according to wiki, hehe.), which is a type of french crème pâtissière lightened with heavy's so useful knowing the full details and background info about recipes, ingredients, and techniques before doing the actual baking process!(baking nerd!!)..but anyway.  

first i started with the pastry cream...
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar 
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter*, cut into four pieces
3/4 teaspoon gelatin
1/2 tablespoon water
1 cup heavy cream
*i felt like that was too much butter..yeah, it did make the cream very creamy and less lumpy, which was amazing, but it tasted too much like butter in my opinion..i think if i were to make this again i'd just use a tablespoon and see if that's enough to make the cream non-lumpy, but i think i'd make basic crème pâtissière next time. 

pour milk, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan on medium-high heat, scalding the mixture (bringing it near boiling point). stir occasionally to prevent the milk from burning.

meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar until combined. 

add the egg and whisk until mixed well.

like this! 

while whisking the egg mixture vigorously, very very slowly add 2/3 of the milk mixture. this is called tempering, making sure the egg mixture gets used to the heat before putting the egg mixture on the stove. this prevents the egg from curdling too much. 

then add the egg/milk mixture to the rest of the milk in the saucepan and put on the stove. 

heat the mixture on low-medium heat, stirring continuously, slightly vigorously, to make sure the cream does not create lumps or curdle. keep heating up until it thickens, when the mixture is just about to boil, and when it can coat the back of a spoon.

strain the mixture 

add the butter pieces one by one and stir to melt the butter into the mixture.

the butter made it not clumpy anymore! it looks so creamy mmm.

then cover with saran wrap directly on the cream to prevent it from forming a skin and leave in the fridge to cool. while i let this cool, i started making my sponge cake...but i'm just going to continue on with the pastry cream instructions here! 

pour the gelatin powder on top of the tablespoon of water and let it sit until it softens. 

take 1/4 cup of the cream and put it over a double boiler (water has to be simmering, probably on medium heat) 

while whisking vigorously, get the temperature of the cream to 120 degrees. mine kept going back and forth 110 degrees, so i had to play around with the stove heat in order for the cream to get to 120. 

at 120 degrees, add the gelatin until the mixture is smooth.

remove from heat and add the rest of the cold cream.

while the cream is cooling down, whip up some heavy cream until medium stiff peaks. i whipped this by hand whoo! 

then immediately fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream. first i added 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mixture and whisked it normally, since it was lumping up. then i added the rest and folded it weird lumps! 

cover with saran wrap and leave in the fridge to cool.

yay pastry cream is done! now on to the chiffon!! 

1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon  baking powder
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large egg yolks
⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
5 large egg whites

combine the three eggs, vegetable oil, lemon zest, water, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk vigorously!

sift together the baking powder, flour, salt, and all except 3 tablespoons of the sugar and combine that to the egg mixture. whisk until smooth. i whisked for a little bit and then switched to my rubber spatula so i can fold the mixture.

so smooth!

then beat the egg whites on low to unwrap that protein gradually, and add the 3 tablespoons of sugar when it gets foamy, a tablespoon at a time. after all the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium, maybe medium high so the whites can form stiff, glossy peaks.

like this!

add 1/3 of the egg whites to the yellow mixture and fold slightly vigorously...then add the rest and fold just until combined. try really hard not to overmix. i feel like overmixing the egg whites into the mixture will make the cake tough and not as spongy.

i put my batter on a 9x13 sheet pan...then tap the pan on a flat surface to get rid of air bubbles and to make sure the batter fills the pan evenly. i let it sit out for 15 - 20 minutes so it can settle (plus i had to do alot of dishes...) 
bake at 325 degrees.
since i used a sheet pan it only took 20 minutes for the chiffon cake to cook. 

when it was done baking i let it cool for a little, then i used my cake mold to cut out circles!...yeah i should have used parchment paper for my pan, but i ran out! 

then make some simple syrup for the cake! this prevents the cake from getting dry and also keeps that spongy-ness.
to make simple syrup, simply heat up 1/3 cup of sugar to 1/3 cup of water, and keep on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and it's slightly boiling. then take off the heat and there you go! 

then apply the simple syrup onto the sponge cakes, just enough for the sponge cake to bounce back when you poke it! 

and the chiffon cakes are ready!! 
time to assemble! :]

chiffon cakes
pastry cream
cake mold

this seems self-explanatory...

raspberry coulis!

cutting the raspberries in half...

and placing them against the cake ring, evenly spaced from each other. make sure the raspberries are sitting on the sponge cake...or else the raspberries will be floating when the cake is un-molded.

put my pastry cream in a disposable piping bag

and piped the empty spaces first 

then i piped to cover the raspberries

and then covered the bottom

i crushed the raspberries instead of placing whole ones

smoothed out the cream...

i refrigerated for four hours (well in reality, i stuck them in the freezer for 2 hours because i was pretty impatient...)

 dusted powdered sugar...


No comments:

Post a Comment