Fraisier – Strawberry Squares

Light layers of fatless sponge, soaked in a kirsch syrup, sandwiched together with vanilla cream and topped with a fresh strawberry.

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This recipe comes from my Richard Bertinet Patisserie cookbook. Usually fraisier is made in a circular tin,  with creme patisserie and strawberries lining the outside, however this is a much simpler version that is very easy to make.

I really enjoyed making these cakes, because they were so easy to put together, but they taste and look much more sophisticated than a victoria sponge!

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This is the perfect recipe for using some fresh, seasonal strawberries during the summer.

Variations: You could use a different fruit or liquor for these, I think cherries would be really good.

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Cakes

The Sponge:

  • 6 eggs
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 180g plain flour

The Syrup:

  • 100g sugar
  • 100g water
  • 2tbsp kirsch

The Cream:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 1tbsp icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 6 strawberries

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a rectangular baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add 90g caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy. Pour into the egg whites and fold in. Then fold in the flour.

Spoon into the prepared baking tray and level out.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before assembling.

The Syrup:

Combine the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat for about five minutes, until it is slightly reduced.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Kirsch.

The Cream Filling:

Whip the double cream untill it forms stiff peaks, then add the vanilla and icing sugar, and whisk for a further minute until everything is combined.

Assembling:

Cut the sponge into 12 evenly sized squares, then slice each square into two though the middle to make two sponge layers.

Brush the top half of each layer with the kirsch syrup.

Spoon the cream into a piping bag with a circular nozzle, and pipe dots of cream into the bottom half of each cake, filling the entire surface.

Then pipe the same onto the top half of the sponge and smooth out with a knife.

Place the sponges on top of each other, then place half a strawberry ontop of each cake.

Serve and enjoy!

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German Strawberry Cake

Light ladyfinger sponges, sandwiched together with sweet, vanillary creme patisserie, topped with fresh strawberries and jelly, coated in freshly whipped cream and toasted almonds.

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Strawberry cake is one of my must have desserts when I’m holiday in Germany. It’s such a lovely summery cake to have after a long walk!

I’ve been trying to recreate it at home for a few years now, but I never felt like I had quite got it right. But now I am a bit more experienced in different techniques, I thought I’d try again. And this time I think I’ve finally nailled it!

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I think the key to this dessert is making the sponge really light, so the cake is not stodgy or dense under all the cream and fruit.

I found the jelly topping the most difficult part of this dessert. First time round I had a bit of a disaster when I took it out of the fridge to early and it collapsed! So I would recommend making up the jelly with more gelatine or less water so that it sets very firmly. I used half the amount of water suggested on the packaging the second time round, and it came out really well.

As my family enjoyed this cake so much I thought I would bring it along to Fiesta Friday #75 hosted by  and co-hosted by Josette @ thebrookcook and Julie @ Hostess at Heart. Happy Friday everyone!

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Variations: You could use a different summer fruit for the top of the cake, raspberries or cherries would be really good. You could also exchange the creme patisserie for whipped cream and strawberry jam, to make this a bit simpler to make!

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Ingredients: Serves 8-10

The Ladyfinger Sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 120g plain flour

Creme Patisserie:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 220ml full fat milk

Strawberry topping:

  • 12 strawberries, sliced lengthways
  • 1 sachet of strawberry quick jel or strawberry jelly.

Coating:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 100g toasted flaked almonds

Equipment:

  • spring form or loose bottomed cake tin
  • piping bag with star shaped nozzle

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To Make:

The Ladyfinger Sponges:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line three baking trays with greaseproof paper. Draw three circles on the grease proof paper, the same size as your loose bottomed or spring form cake tin.

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add 80g caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy. Pour into the egg whites  and fold in. Then fold in the flour.

Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a circular nozzle. Pipe 3 large circles of batter ono the baking trays, within the lines of the drawn on circles.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown, leave to cool on a wire rack before assembling.

The Creme Patisserie:

Heat the milk over a medium heat until almost boiling. Meanwhile whisk together the eggs, sugar and flours in a large bowl until it forms a smooth paste.

Pour the hot milk over the paste bit at a time, whisking continuously, until completely combined. Return the mixture to the pan, and cook over a medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken.

Remove from the heat and pour back into the bowl. Stir in 1tbsp of butter until melted and combined.

Cover the top of the mixture with clingfilm and chill completely in the fridge before using.

The Strawberry Topping:

Place one of the sponges back into the cake tin, and arrange a layer of strawberries on top, in an overlapping radial pattern.

Make up the jelly according to the packet instructions (Try to use less water/more gelatine to make sure it sets firmly – I used half the amount of suggested water), and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then pour over the strawberries. Leave to set completely in the fridge.

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Assembling:

Place one of the sponges on a cake stand and spread over half the creme patisserie, then place on the second sponge, and spread over the rest of the creme patisserie. take the strawberry layer out of the fridge, and carefully slide this on top of the sponges.

Whip the double cream until stiff peaks form, then use a pallet knife to spread a layer around the sides of the cake. Then coat the outside of the cake with a layer of toasted almonds.

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Spoon the rest of the double cream into a clean piping bag with a star shaped nozzle, and pipe a ring of stars around the top and bottom of the cake.

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Cut into 8-10 slices and serve!

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Fresh Strawberry Doughnuts

Light, fluffy doughnuts, with chunks of strawberries, dipped in a fresh strawberry glaze. 

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The first British strawberries are appearing in the shops, so I decided it was time to make a strawberry themed dessert!

I made doughnuts for the first time a while ago, and they turned out beautifully, so have used the same Richard Bertinet recipe, but I’ve added some fresh strawberry chunks to the dough, and used the strawberries for the icing glaze.

I have made my doughnuts a bit gigantic, but you could make them whatever size you like, some tiny little ones would probably be cute! Just use some smaller cutters!

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Using fresh strawberries in the glaze gives a sweet fruity icing that complements the doughnuts really well. I would recommend this recipe if you’re looking for an exciting thing to do with strawberries in the summer!

The doughnuts are best eaten within 24 hours, but to be honest, you will struggle to have any left after that because they taste so good! Bring them along to a party and they will disappear in minutes!

Variations: You could use a different fruit in the icing, like raspberry or blueberry.

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Ingredients: Makes 14 large doughnuts

The Dough:

  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 40g Butter
  • 30g Caster Sugar
  • 12g Fast Action Yeast
  • 250ml Full-Fat Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g Strawberries

The Icing:

  • 100g Strawberries
  • 400g Icing Sugar

To Make:

Warm the milk to body temperature, in a pan over a low heat. Rub the butter into the flour, then add all the other dough ingredients (except the strawberries) and mix to form a rough ball of dough.

Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl, and leave to prove for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Finely chop the strawberries and knead into the proved dough – the dough will go very sticky at this point! – return to the bowl and prove for a further hour, until doubled in size.

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Turn out the proved dough, knock out the air, and roll out into a large rectangle, about 2cm thick. Use 2 circular cutters (one about 5cm diameter, and one about 2cm diameter) to cut out disks and then cut out the hole in the middle (I used a shot glass for the smaller hole). Transfer to a floured surface, cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for half an hour, until the doughnuts have expanded.

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Fill a pan with vegetable oil, so it is about 5cm deep, and heat to about 180C. Drop each doughnut into the oil, and cook on either side for a few minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to some kitchen paper to drain and then coat in caster sugar, leave to cool on a wire rack.

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Blitz the remaining strawberries in a small blender, then transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in the icing sugar, bit at a time, until it forms a thick paste that coats the back of a spoon.

Dip the doughnuts into the icing, coving the top half of the doughnut, then leave the icing to set before serving.

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