Technical Challenge – week 9. Gluten and dairy free Fraisier cake.
I’ve really been enjoying adapting the technical challenges. I’ve been able to bake lovely things for my family that I probably wouldn’t have made otherwise.
This weeks challenge is my kind of pudding. I remember the first time I tasted crème pâtissière, I thought it was the nicest thing I had ever eaten.
20 cm/8 inch cake
For the genoise sponge
150g caster sugar
75g ground almonds
40g dairy free margarine, melted and cooled
For the crème pâtissière
570 ml almond milk
100g caster sugar
20g gluten free custard powder
a few drops of vanilla extract
For the lemon syrup
75g/2¾oz caster sugar
2 lemons, juice only
To finish the cake
50g/2oz dairy and gluten free dark chocolate, for decoration
50g/2oz dairy and gluten free white chocolate, for decoration
600g/1lb 5oz medium sized strawberries
For the genoise sponge
Preheat the oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas mark 5.
Grease and line 2 x 20cm/ 8in cake tins.
Melt the dairy free margarine in the microwave on a low setting.
If you are using a food mixer – place the caster sugar and eggs into the machine bowl, fit the whisk attachment and whisk on a fast speed for 8 – 10 minutes. It is whisked enough when you lift up the whisk it leaves a trail on the top of the mixture for a second. This is called a sabayon.
If you are using a hand whisk or electric hand whisk – find a large saucepan and a large heatproof bowl that will sit on top.
Fill the saucepan with 1 inch of water. Bring the water to the boil. Take off the heat.
Place the caster sugar and eggs into the bowl and whisk together.
Place on top of the saucepan and whisk for 10 minutes until when you lift up the whisk it leaves a trail on top of the mixture.
Using the pan of hot water speeds up this process.
Sift together the ground almonds and cornflour. Use a spoon to add the flour and melted, cooled dairy free margarine to the sabayon and fold in carefully. You want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible so try not to bang the bowl!
Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until firm to touch.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling wire.
For the crème pâtissière
Pour the almond milk into a large saucepan and place on the heat.
Beat the sugar and eggs together until white and creamy.
Stir the cornflour and custard powder into the egg.
When the almond milk has come to the boil whisk half the milk into the egg mixture then pour this back into the hot milk. Stir over a low heat until the mixture thickens then beat until smooth.
Cool and store in a fridge until needed.
The custard can be made thinner by whisking in more almond milk to the cold crème pâtissière until it is the required consistency.
I have taken the rest of the recipe from Mary Berry’s recipe used on The Great British Bake Off
Place the ingredients for the lemon syrup in a small saucepan with 70ml/4½ tbsp water. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then boil rapidly for two minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, roll out a thin disc of marzipan to fit a 20cm/8in circumference circle. It is best if you draw around the 20cm/8in base of another loose bottomed tin for the perfect circle. For best results and a perfectly flat surface, chill it in the fridge until it is needed.
Place a strip of acetate plastic or a double strip of baking parchment around the inside of the springform tin. Or line the base and sides with cling film or parchment lined foil.
Place one layer of sponge cake in the bottom of the cake tin. Then liberally brush the sponge with half the syrup. With the back of a spoon, gently squash the edges of the cake down so that they are pushed directly against the sides of the tin, creating the defined edges necessary for the Fraisier cake.
Rinse, hull and halve about 12 strawberries, try and make sure they are all the same height.
Place the cut sides of the strawberries against the plastic on the inside of the tin. The strawberry halves should be sitting snugly beside each other, so it looks like a little crown inside the tin.
Take the chilled crème pâtissière out of the fridge and spoon two thirds of the crème into a piping bag, fitted with a 1cm/½in nozzle.
Pipe a swirl covering the exposed sponge completely in the bottom of the tin.
Then pipe between each of the strawberries so the gaps are filled right to the top with the crème pâtissière.
Set about 3-5 strawberries to one side for decoration, then hull and quarter the rest of them and place on top of the crème, so it raises the inside of the cake by about an inch.
Pipe another swirl of crème pâtissière on top of the cut strawberries to cover the whole surface. Then smooth with a palette knife.
Place the other disc of sponge on top of this, with the cut side uppermost, so it has a completely flat top. Brush with the remaining syrup.
Gently press the top down quite firmly, so that the cake and filling push against the acetate to create the distinctive smooth and defined sides of the Fraisier cake.
Lay the chilled marzipan circle on top of the cake and put the whole thing back in the fridge to set.
Make some pretty decorations of your choice with melted chocolate.
When ready to serve, remove the cake from fridge.
Very carefully release the spring tin/loose bottom and remove the cake from the tin and from the acetate or cling film.
Place onto a serving plate and decorate with reserved strawberries, chocolate decoration and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve chilled.