Saturday, February 12, 2011
Chef Karen's Sweet Frasier Tortes
Frasier Torte is French for strawberry cake, though no much is known about its origin. Call me a cake nerd, I like knowing the history behind my cakes, be they tributes to buildings (Gateau Opéra), saints (Saint Honoré), religion (Croquembouche), or simply created to be so darn pretty (Raspberry Mousse Gateau).
Mise En Place 1: Aerating Eggs & Sugar For Lighter-Than-Air Génoise Sponge
We first made génoise in Basic, and have not done so since, despite or likely due to its delicate structure. Eggs and sugar are vigorously whipped over a bain-marie until foamy and warmed up to 60'C to sterilize the eggs. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let the machine do the rest of the work, aerating it further until a gazillion tiny air bubbles form and the mix quadruples in volume. It's an amazing transformation to witness.
Next, thoroughly mix in flour (for stability) and melted butter (for flavor and moisture), careful not to knock out too much of the hard-earned air bubbles. It is now ready to be baked.
Baked Génoise: Golden Brown & Delicious, Sliced For The Torte
Mise En Place 2: Mousseline Cream, Marzipan
Mousseline cream is made by mixing crème pâtissière with 4 times the usual amount of butter for extra richness, shine and a silky smooth finish. To this we added kirsch, a beautiful cherry liquor that goes very well with fresh berries.
Tin Lined With Berries & Kirsch Syrup-Soaked Sponge
Layer On Mousseline & 2nd Slice Of Drunkard Sponge
More Moussline & Final Slice Of Boozed-Up Sponge
Clean Finish With Mousseline Cream
The cake is chilled to set the cream, then finished with a layer of marzipan and an assortment of berries, marzipan roses and chocolate decorations.
Behold! My Darling Frasier Tortes
I am a beemingly proud parent of my Frasiers. To the plain mousseline I added pistachio paste for a more fetching bright green appearance and a hint of my favorite flavor and fragrance. I also stenciled a decorative pattern on the marzipan round, it's a look I like, rather than leaving it plain but not over doing it with anything fussy.
& A Sweet Pink One, Just Coz
This one reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake, the sweetest cartoon of my childhood. :)