Fraisier (French strawberry cake)

Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
This classic French patisserie is a delicious assembly of 2 layers of genoa sponge filled with strawberries and crème mousseline (confectioner's custard with butter). The sponge is soaked in strawberry syrup and the cake is topped with a thin layer of marzipan.
169K 4.2/5 based on 22 reviews
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Last modified on: September 18th 2011

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For 2 Fraisiers (French strawberry cake), you will need:
How long will it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationCookingStart to finish
1 hour 43 min.1 hour2 hours 43 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 1 hour
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Begin by preparing the strawberry syrup:

Put 600 g strawberries, cut into pieces, in a bowl which can be used in a bain-marie. Add 200 g caster sugar.

Cover with stretch cooking film to seal the container well and place in a bain-marie over very low heat for one hour.

Stage 2 - 3 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
At the end of this time, you will have a delicious strawberry syrup. Strain through a sieve.

The pieces of strawberry left will not have much flavour, so you can either eat them or throw them away.

Note: French chefs call this "clarified strawberries", rather than a syrup.

Set aside.

Stage 3 - 30 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Prepare 700 g Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream). When it is made and has cooled a little (wait 15 minutes), incorporate 300 g butter very cold and cut into small pieces, beating thoroughly until the butter is well mixed in.

This cream is a "crème mousseline".

Stage 4 - 5 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Prepare 2 Génoise (Genoa sponge). When cooked and cooled, cut this to the shape of your cake, round or square.

You can see that here I have cut it round using a dessert ring. If you do not have one, you can cut round a small plate laid on the sponge.

Stage 5 - 5 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Split the genoa sponge in two through the middle.

Stage 6 - 2 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Place one circle of sponge on the serving plate and place a dessert ring over it.

Stage 7 - 5 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Soak the the top of this sponge circle with half the strawberry syrup.

Stage 8 - 5 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Spread a thin layer of crème mousseline over the sponge.

Stage 9 - 5 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Arrange straberries cut in half around the circle with the cut side towards the outside.

Stage 10 - 10 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Then fill the circle with whole strawberries, placed upright.

Stage 11 - 5 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Spread the remaining crème mousseline over the strawberries; ideally, they should be completely covered.

Tap the plate gently on the worktop to settle the cream.

Stage 12 - 5 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Lay the other circle of genoa sponge on a wire rack and soak with the remaining strawberry syrup, using a brush.

Stage 13 - 5 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Then turn this over onto the dessert inside the ring.

This is a tricky operation, so I advise you to turn it over smartly onto a baking sheet to (along with the rack), then slide it onto the top of the cake.

Press gently on the top to make sure it is flat and even.

Stage 14 - 10 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Roll out 300 g Marzipan (almond paste) thinly (see this page on the subject), then use it to cover the top of the strawberry cake and trim off any excess.

Stage 15 - 5 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
Decorate with a half strawberry and brush with an apricot glaze. This is not essential, but adds an attractive finish and prevents the marzipan from drying out.

Stage 16 - 3 min.
Fraisier (French strawberry cake)
At the last minute, gently remove the cake from the dessert ring. Your "fraisier" is ready to be served and enjoyed.
If you do not have a dessert ring, use a circle of strong card, lined with a piece of stretch plastic film, held in place with a paper clip.

For a quicker finish, you can simply sprinkle the top of the cake with icing sugar in place of the marzipan.

For Gaston Lenôtre, a strawberry cake should be made with butter cream rather than mousseline, and he called it a "Bagatelle".
A day or two in the fridge.
Home made, with Catherine as tester. Her portion is shown in the photo.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
28,690 Kcal or 120,119 Kj934 gr4,752 gr1,939 gr
1,435 %359 %448 %294 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
700 Kcal or 2,931 Kj23 gr116 gr47 gr
35 %9 %11 %7 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Egg, Milk, Gluten, Nuts
How much will it cost?
  • For 2 Fraisiers (French strawberry cake) : 20.71 €
  • Per Fraisier (French strawberry cake) : 10.36 €

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Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.
This recipe uses (among others)
Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream)Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream): You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Strawberry Verveine Tart , Millefeuille, Paris-Brest, Pistachio cream, Diplomat cream, ... All
StrawberriesStrawberries: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: You should not soak strawberries in water, Strawberry, kiwi and mascarpone verrines, Strawberry and kiwi fruit salad, Strawberry feuilleté, Quick Strawberry Millefeuille, ... All
Marzipan (almond paste)Marzipan (almond paste): You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Piped petits-fours, Arizona cupcakes, Little Christmas biscuits, Provençal colombier for Pentecost, Agen prune cake, ... All
ButterButter: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Chocolate sweetcrust pastry, Foie gras fingers, Madeleines, Tatin apples with mascarpone cream, Snow peas sautéed in butter, ... All
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