FRAISIER - Daring Bakers' Challenge - July / 2011


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 is a French dessert typically made with strawberries (fraises in French), but I added some star fruit because of its awesome design, also to add color, fragrance and deliciousness. This dessert is made with layers of chiffon cake moistened with a light syrup, pastry cream in the middle with LOTS of strawberries. The fruits are used for making beautiful designs on the sides. It is typically topped with a thin layer of almond paste which I had to omit because it wasn't available near me. I do have plans to make almond paste from scratch, as I have mentioned on my post about almonds, but this was just not the right time for it. So I topped my Fraisier with whipped cream. All I have to say is that this dessert is absolutely DELICIOUS! It is fruity, moist, not overly sweet, and really beautiful. I know I need a little more practice with my Fraisier decorating skills, but you can really play around with all the beautiful colors and shapes of fresh fruits.

Thanks Jana, for the delicious challenge! The recipe is a keeper!

If you want to see all the AMAZING Fraisiers my fellow daring Bakers have created, please visit THE DARING KITCHEN where you will also find the original recipes (full of variations) and the guidelines for this challenge.

Basic Chiffon Cake


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 (I didn't use it)
5 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F (160°C/gas mark 3).
Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan.
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.
In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly.
Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth.
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.
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.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Removed the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
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. Refrigerate for up to four days.

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 (I used 2 yolks that were left from the chiffon cake instead)
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


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.
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.
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.
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.
Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten minutes stirring occasionally.
Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.
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.
In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften.
Put two inches (55 mm) of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
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.
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.
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.

Simple Syrup

You may choose to flavor the syrup. One way is to use flavored sugar (for example: apple cider sugar,orange sugar, or vanilla sugar) or to stir in 1-2 teaspoons of flavored extract. You may also infuse with herbs or spices, if desired or add four tablespoons (60 ml) of fruit juice or liqueur while the syrup is cooling.

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

Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Stirring is not necessary, but will not harm the syrup.
Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly.
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.

Fraisier Assembly


1 baked 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon cake
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


Line the sides of a 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan.
Cut the cake in half horizontally to form two layers.
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.
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.
Pipe cream in-between strawberries and a thin layer across the top of the cake.
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.
Place the second cake layer on top and moisten with the simple syrup.
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.
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.


  1. The star fruit looks fantastic alongside the strawberries! I really love the photo of the fraisier slice - the soft, fluffy sponge and fruit-filled pastry cream. It looks like such a treat. :)

  2. Delicious, with that star fruit it is amazing. you did very nicely.

  3. Pretty! I bet it tasted great, too.
    Nicely done!

  4. I love the addition of the starfruit - the shape and the color both go so perfectly with the strawberries, and add such a beautiful look to your lovely dessert! Wonderful, wonderful job on the challenge!!

  5. You know what the starfruit is? It is YOU because you're such a star for thinking of it for your cake! Lovely.

  6. Your Frasier cake is just beautiful, Renata! The star fruit is so festive looking. I am always impressed with your creations!
    Best, Sandie

  7. Gorgeous! The starfruit makes it perfect :)

  8. Discovered your blog through DB. I did my 1st one with the this recipe. Love the colorful one you created with starfruit!!

  9. Wow the starfruit and strawberry great combo...hope u guys enjoyed this luscious dessert.. great job on the challenge and its done wonderfully .. hat off Renata.

  10. Your fraisier looks beautiful, Renata! I love the starfruit and strawberries and the abundance of whipped cream. Nice job on the challenge!

  11. I was hoping someone would use star fruit! Yours looks gorgeous, as always! :) Love the amount of strawberries you were able to pack in the middle! Great job!

  12. So beautiful. The starfruit was an inspired addition! I love seeing your creativity come to life. I wish I could be there to enjoy the fruits of your labor of love!

  13. Renata, it looks fabulous! I have never tasted starfruit, so I can't really imagine the combination, but I guess it is great!

  14. I love the use of star fruit
    It looks so beautiful and I am sure it added texture and taste

  15. Starfruit was such a fun idea! I didn't even think of that. I'm enjoying looking at all these different versions and getting great ideas for next time!

  16. Hi Renata, I havent had a starfruit for a long long time. My dad always sprinkle some salt (i know it sounds weird) on top to bring out more sweetness of the starfruit. They are really cheerful on your Fraisier :D

  17. Hi Renata, Your Fraisier looks very cheerful with the starfruits!! :D
    My dad likes to sprinkles some salt on the startfruits to bring out more sweetness!! Yummy Yummy

  18. The star fruit and strawberries look gorgeous together! It makes me realize that I have never had really ripe starfruit, as they are always pale and hard here. This was a light and fluffy cake, and you did a super job!

  19. Just gorgeous Renata...love the colour and flavour combination. It's striking PRETTY!

  20. What a great idea to use starfruit - such a fun shape, it looks so exotic! It also looks awesome against the red strawberries and white cream. YUM!

  21. Beautiful!!!, and also it looks luscious. I love the star fruit, in my country we call it Carambolo. Great job.

  22. How beautiful - the star fruit is gorgeous and makes it look very exotic and enticing :)

  23. O wow really very awesome! I think this is one of the best sites out there. It has so much information. I certainly love this website, keep on it. Have a good day!

  24. Always beautiful and the starfruit are spectacular :)

  25. Great job as always. I especially like the stars :-)

  26. The star fruit looks beautiful. And your entire presentation is absolutely perfect. You never cease to amaze me with your creativity, Renata! Excellent job.

  27. Beautiful! I love the starfruit in your cake.

  28. Gorgeous combination Renata and I love star fruit! A pretty fraisier.

  29. The star fruit is such a neat addition. Nice work!

  30. Beautiful!! The starfruit really pops in terms of colour and shape - what a great addition. Wonderful job on the challenge (as always!!)!

  31. Gorgeous Fraisier, Renata. Love the star fruit, really gives it a festive feel!

  32. The starfruit and strawberries look so pretty together! What a beautiful fraisier, great job Renata!

  33. Beautiful outcome! Starfruits are really great companion for strawberries, both they create such a pretty design!

  34. Renata, I love the combination of starfruit and strawberries! When this challenge was announced I immediately thought of starfruit - if only I could get my hands on some. My family had a tree when I was young but its not there anymore. I think it is perfect for this cake! You did a fantastic job, as ever! I must plant a starfruit tree. Can you buy them in the stores?

  35. I've never had starfruit, but they make a perfect decoration. Love your cake.


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