I missed the Daring Bakers Challenge in June because I was on vacation, in case you want to see what it was go see my friend Lisa’s challenge it looked very tasty. Having missed June’s challenge I was ready to jump in with both feet on this challenge especially because it was Fresh Fraisier Cake ( fraisier meaning- fraisier strawberries). The cake challenge came in handy this month because my 21st wedding anniversary was this month and you guessed right this was my celebration cake. The cakes turned out perfectly delicious, they were moist, light, airy and full of yummy filling with strawberries and blueberries. Believe me you are going to want to make this yourself.
The hostess for this months Daring Bakers Challenge was Jana from Cherry Tea Cakes , you should go on over and check her site out she has some amazing desserts. I used her exact recipe for the chiffon cake except I used 2 small 6 in. springform pans instead of one 8 in. pan. As for the pastry cream I had to make the pudding base twice, because the first time I was trying to do to many things at once and it needs constant stirring or… you end up with lumps that do not go away. The hardest part of the whole challenge was the pastry cream but it was worth it. I say hard but I really mean time-consuming, but don’t be scared off by the long directions for this cake it is not difficult. My favorite part of the challenge was of course assembling the cakes, well besides devouring them. I plan on keeping this recipe in my families favorites because we all loved it, thanks Jana for a great challenge.
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (270 ml) (5½ oz/155 gm) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) baking powder
3/4 cups (180 ml) (6 oz /170 gm) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) salt, preferably kosher
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) vegetable oil
3 large egg yolks
⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (3.17 fl oz/95 ml) water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (3 gm) lemon zest, grated
5 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) cream of tartar
Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to moderate 325°F (160°C/gas mark 3).
Step 2: Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) springform pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan.
Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add in all but 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) of sugar, and all of the salt. Stir to combine.
Step 4: In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly.
Step 5: Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth.
Step 6: Put the egg whites into a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed using a whisk attachment on a medium speed, until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on a medium speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on a medium-high speed until the whites hold firm and form shiny peaks.
Step 7: Using a grease free rubber spatula, scoop about ⅓ of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in gently. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined.
Step 8: Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 9: Removed the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Step 10: To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring form sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. If planning to use later either refrigerate for up to four days tightly wrapped or freeze.
Pastry Cream Filling
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon (1/2 ml) (¼ gm) salt, preferably kosher
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (10 gm)cornstarch
1/4 cup (60 ml) (2 oz/55 gm) sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1 oz/30 gm) unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (4 gm) gelatin
1/2 tablespoon (7½ ml) water
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) heavy cream
Note: If making 2 small cakes and cutting into thirds then double your batch of pastry cream.
Step 1: Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and scald, bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine Add the eggs to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
Step 3: When the milk is ready, gently and slowly while the stand mixer is whisking, pour the heated milk down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture.
Step 4: Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over a medium heat until the custard is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon.
Step 5: Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten minutes stirring occasionally.
Step 6: Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.
Step 7: Cover the cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Step 8: In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften.
Step 9: Put two inches (55 mm) of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
Step 10: Measure 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 ml) of the chilled pastry cream into a small stainless steel bowl that will sit across the sauce pan with the simmering water, without touching the water.
Step 11: Heat the cream until it is 120 F (48.8 C). Add the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Remove from the water bath, and whisk the remaining cold pastry cream in to incorporate in two batches.
Step 12: In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it holds medium-stiff peaks. Immediately fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula.
1/3 cup (2⅔ fl oz/80 ml) (2⅔ oz/75 gm) of sugar, flavored or white
1/3 cup (2⅔ fl oz/80 ml) of water (I used fresh lemon juice here)
Note: If using 2 small cakes and cutting them into thirds increase the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup and the water or fruit juice to 1/2 cup.
Step 1: Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
Step 2: Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Stirring is not necessary, but will not harm the syrup.
Step 3: Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly.
Step 4: Transfer syrup to a lidded container or jar that can be stored in the refrigerator. Simple syrup can be stored for up to one month.
1 baked 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon cake or 2 6 inch cakes
1 recipe pastry cream filling
⅓ cup (80 ml) simple syrup or flavored syrup
2 lbs (900 g) strawberries
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
½ cup (120 ml) (5 oz/140 gm) almond paste (I did not use this)
Step 1: Line the sides of a 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan.
Step 2: Cut the cake in half horizontally to form two layers with a serrated knife. I used an electric knife and cut my cakes into thirds.
Step 3: Fit the bottom layer into the prepared spring form pan. Moisten the layer evenly with the simple syrup. When the cake has absorbed enough syrup to resemble a squishy sponge, you have enough.
Step 4: Hull and slice in half enough strawberries to arrange around the sides of the cake pan. Place the cut side of the strawberry against the sides of the pan, point side up forming a ring.
Step 5: Pipe cream in-between strawberries and a thin layer across the top of the cake.
Step 6: Hull and quarter your remaining strawberries and place them in the middle of the cake. Cover the strawberries and entirely with the all but 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of the pastry cream.
Step 7: Lightly dust a work surface with confectioners’ sugar and roll out the almond paste to a 10-inch (25 cm) round 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) thick. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pastry cream on the top of the cake and cover with the round of almond paste.
Step 8: Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
To serve, release the sides of the spring form pan and peel away the plastic wrap.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, I also froze one of mine and it worked great.