Tuesday, June 14, 2016
TWD - Rose Fraisier
In the Northern hemisphere, it is summer - days filled with warmth and sunshine. Accordingly, for Tuesdays with Dorie this month, two very summery desserts have been chosen as our recipes - Rose Fraisier, and Rice Pudding, Strawberries and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup.
I am aware that in Australia, we are very lucky - our winters are very mild compared with much of the rest of the world. However, that doesn't mean that I enjoy them. Grey, cold and wet days do not for happiness make, and I will impatiently wait for the next 5 months or so to pass (because once it gets cold in Victoria, it stays cold) and for the warmth and sunshine to bless us once again.
In the meantime, I will enjoy the Northern hemisphere summer by proxy through reading everyone's wonderful summery posts, and by creating my own little splash of summer with a summery dessert or two. For my first pick, I went with the Rose Fraisier. I chose this one first because it seemed to have the most steps/be the most time consuming, and I know that later in the month, time will not be my friend. "Fraisier" means "strawberry bush", and refers to the many, many strawberries in this luxurious dessert.
I have made a Fraisier once before, for Daring Bakers way back in 2011. That one was a different beast altogether, made with chiffon cake and filled with pastry cream, and assembled in a spring form pan. Dorie's Fraisier is made with a rose flavoured yoghurt cake base, and filled freeform with a mixture of pastry cream and whipped cream to make it light and fluffy. Dorie herself has tweaked her Fraisier recipe from the traditional Fraisier you will find in France, so I feel OK that I accidentally tweaked Dorie's recipe by putting my strawberries the wrong way around. This was not a deliberate act of rebellion - more an act of inattention, but I still think it looks pretty.
The photo of the Fraisier in the book does not reflect what you will get if you follow the method in the recipe, because (a) the pastry cream is tinted pink - however, there is nothing in the filling recipe that would make it pink; and (b) the straight sides of the Fraisier indicate that it was constructed in a springform pan like the Daring Bakers version, rather than assembled freeform as per the Chez Moi instructions. I mention this so that if you subsequently make this, you are not disheartened because your Fraisier does not turn out just like the photo - rather, it seems that the food stylist here went for the prettiest result.
My Fraisier was never going to look like the photo because I placed the strawberries the wrong way around on the perimeter of the cake, and didn't even realise until it was fully assembled. Also, I couldn't have a forest of strawberries inside my cake because I didn't have enough strawberries - I had more of an ordered garden of strawberries planted carefully in circular beds. (Strawberries were $4.99 a punnet, so I could not justify buying more than 2 punnets.) Nonetheless, I was happy with my Fraisier - I am a huge advocate of putting your own spin on recipes so that they are uniquely yours, and that certainly applies in this case. As a final twist, I glazed my Fraisier with apricot jam - red currant jelly or, for that matter, anything containing red currants, is as rare as hen's teeth in Australia, so the good old baker's fallback of apricot jam worked a treat here.
Here is the rose/lime/ginger flavoured yoghurt cake which forms the foundation for the Fraisier:
And here is a look inside my Fraisier:
And here is my slice:
I can't say that I really noticed the rose flavour in the cake. The creamy filling and the strawberries were the standout impression that I had, but I guess that is as it is meant to be. As Dorie says, "This sweet is all about the berries and cream and the skinny cake is just there to frame them."
I enjoyed this dessert. Although I like pastry cream without the added cream better, I think the whipped cream added a lightness that is well suited to a dessert like this.
To see whether the other Doristas made rice puddings or Fraisiers this week, and what they thought of them, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.