Le Fraisier French Strawberry Cake

The name for this classic comes from fraise (French for strawberry), and celebrates the sweetness of French strawberries. It typically starts with a sponge cake (or Génoise), split in half, doused with simple syrup, filled with cream and almond paste, and garnished with sliced strawberries. Here’s our simplified take on the classic.

Le Fraisier French Strawberry Cake
 
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) dried gourmet lavender
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup (113 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Sugar Syrup (recipe follows)
  • Crème Diplomat (recipe follows)
  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
  • ⅓ cup almond paste
  • 3 tablespoons red currant jelly
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease bottom and sides of pan with 2 tablespoons (28 grams) melted butter.
  2. In the work bowl of a food processor, process sugar and lavender 8 to 10 times until lavender is finely chopped.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs and lavender mixture at medium-high speed until fluffy and tripled in volume, 6 to 8 minutes. (Batter should be pale yellow, thickened, and at a ribbon consistency.) Fold in ½ cup (113 grams) melted butter. Sift flour over batter, and gently fold in. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Run a knife around edges of cake to loosen from pan.
  5. Using a serrated knife, cut cake into 2 layers. Brush each layer with Sugar Syrup. Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate, and spread about half of Crème Diplomat over bottom cake layer.(Reserve remaining Crème Diplomat for another use.) Arrange half of strawberries over custard, and top with second cake layer.
  6. Roll out almond paste on parchment paper into an 8-inch circle, about ⅛ inch thick. Place almond paste round on top of cake layer. Top with remaining strawberries, and brush with currant jelly.

Sugar Syrup
 
Makes ¼ cup
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, cook all ingredients over medium heat until sugar is melted, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely.

Crème Diplomat
 
Makes 1½ cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (24 grams) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1¼ cups cream and vanilla bean seeds to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch.
  3. When cream begins to come to a boil, pour over egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until bubbling and very thick. Whisk in butter. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of custard, and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat remaining ¾ cup cream at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into custard. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

2 COMMENTS

    • Ally,

      Thanks for reaching out! The ingredients for the Cream Diplomat do not have to be room temperature, unless specified in the actual recipe. For example, the butter needs to be softened so leaving that at room temperature would work fine. Everything else is fine to pull straight from the refrigerator.
      Happy Baking!

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