Fraisiers and framboisiers may be two of my favorite cakes. They feature two layers of sponge cake (génoise) with a buttercream filling or even "chantilly" cream, and a layer of fruits (fraises—strawberries, or framboises—raspberries). The cake is traditionally topped with marzipan, dyed a lovely shade of pastel pink, though sometimes it is simply topped with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar.
In my mind, the fraisier is definitely a celebration cake. When I was baptised, my parents served a fraisier in celebration to our family. Fraisiers were served at countless birthdays, and always from the same patisserie in town. And today is my blog's first birthday, so I felt a framboisier (the raspberry version of the fraisier) was called for to mark the occasion.
I'm both proud and amazed that my little blog made it to a year. At the 6-month mark, I was ready to quit. I was drained from work and couldn't take a photo for my life (in fact, I think at some point, my photography actually got worse instead of improving). Somewhere between the exhaustion and frustration of it all, my blog just wasn't me anymore, or the "me" was gone from my blog. It was kind of sad. I was disappointed.
My blog means a lot to me. I'm not blogging because I want to be the next Food Network star (hell no!). I'm not looking for fame as others are. I'm not really looking for fortune either (though I do have some google ads on the site, they may never pay even a single bill....). I'm pretty sure that I'm not here with the goal of publishing a cookbook either.
I have no idea what makes a good blog. All I know is that I have a blog as an outlet, mainly for all the baking I do. I love to bake. Baking is my passion. It has been for years. I want to bake for others. I want to share my baking with you (and maybe a story or two about how I can't change a lightbulb, or that I'm thinking about taking up tennis just to meet my potential-future-husband).
My blog is not perfect, and neither am I. My framboisier is not perfect either. When I began putting together this post, I had visions of a perfect layer cake that did not quite become reality. I should probably have been more vigilant with the placement of the raspberries. Perhaps I could have been a little more careful when photographing because a couple of the raspberries got "weepy," and dribbled a little of their juice. I could've selected raspberries from the pint that were more close in size, and not a mix of big ones and small ones....
Well. It is what it is. I'm not going to fret over it more, and it tastes really good, so really, what am I complaining about? This is my go-to celebration cake, and I love it just the way it is.
Here's the recipe to make a framboisier. It's got a lot of parts, but you can actually make it in an afternoon, so don't freak out on me. This cake is worth the time spent. You can use any berry you'd like, really, but I much prefer to use raspberries because their tart flavor cuts through the buttery sweetness of the white chocolate buttercream. I applied a little boozy syrup to the layers to moisten them. I went fancy-schmancy and used Chambord, a raspberry liqueur. Of course, you don't have to add booze to the syrup, but really, the cake is so much better with it. Trust me. Oh and if you are feeling ambitious, you can color some marzipan to a pastel pink with some food dye, and roll, cut, and top the cake with it to make this layer cake into a true framboisier. I was lazy. So I sprinkled powdered sugar generously over top. Now, I think I'll celebrate with a slice of cake!
Framboisier (vanilla sponge layers filled with raspberries and white chocolate buttercream)
Makes one 8-inch cake
- 1 génoise cake, trimmed and split into two (I use this recipe from Ricardo, and I baked it in an 8-inch springform greased and lined with parchment for 35 min at 350°F)
- 50 grams (~1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 100 mL (~3/8 cup, ie less than 1/2 cup) water
- 2–4 tbsp Chambord (or any liqueur you'd like to use)
White chocolate buttercream (I used about half of this recipe and froze the rest for another day)
- 1 batch swiss meringue buttercream (I used Sweetapolita's recipe
- 114 grams (4 oz) white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 200 grams marzipan, dyed with a few drops red food coloring, rolled and cut to fit the top of the cake OR
- Powdered sugar
To make the soaking syrup
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water on medium-high heat. Bring it just to a simmer, and leave it to simmer, swirling often, until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat to cool completely.
- When the syrup has cooled, add the Chambord (to taste), and stir. Set aside for later.
- Combine the swiss meringue buttercream with the melted chocolate. You can do this in your mixer with the paddle attachment, or with a spatula by hand. Personally, I like to do this with the mixer. It's easier.
- Place 1 cake round on your cake turntable, cut-side up.
- Brush on a couple tablespoons of soaking syrup
- Meanwhile, brush the cut-side of the other cake round with a couple more tablespoons of syrup and set aside.
- Top the cake round on the turntable with a scant 2/3 cup buttercream, and spread it to cover the surface of the cake.
- Sprinkle the raspberries over top
- Top with another scant 2/3 cup buttercream, and spread it carefully over the raspberries.
- Place the second cake round, cut-side down, over the buttercream layer. Press it down gently.
- If you are topping your cake with a marzipan layer, spread a thin layer of buttercream over top to adhere the marzipan. If not, dust generously with powdered sugar just before celebrating.