Thursday, July 7, 2011

A framboisier to celebrate a year aka vanilla sponge layers filled with raspberries and white chocolate buttercream

raspberry cake


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.

framboisier


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.

raspberry cake


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.

raspberry cake


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)


framboisier




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....


raspberry cake




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.


raspberry cake


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


Sponge layers
  • 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)

Soaking syrup
  • 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

Framboisier topping
  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. When the syrup has cooled, add the Chambord (to taste), and stir. Set aside for later.
To make the white chocolate buttercream
  1. 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.
To assemble the framboisier
  1. Place 1 cake round on your cake turntable, cut-side up.
  2. Brush on a couple tablespoons of soaking syrup
  3. Meanwhile, brush the cut-side of the other cake round with a couple more tablespoons of syrup and set aside.
  4. Top the cake round on the turntable with a scant 2/3 cup buttercream, and spread it to cover the surface of the cake.
  5. Sprinkle the raspberries over top
  6. Top with another scant 2/3 cup buttercream, and spread it carefully over the raspberries.
  7. Place the second cake round, cut-side down, over the buttercream layer. Press it down gently.
  8. 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.

22 comments:

  1. It looks gorgeous! My parents always used to buy fraisiers for my birthdays too. Love them!

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  2. happy birthday delicious blog! That cake is heavenly!

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  3. What a lovely and fitting celebratory cake. I love cakes with fruits and cream. They're the best combination. Fantastic photos. Happy blog-versary. Many, many more blogging years to come.

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  4. A very happy birthday to your blog! i am so glad you have continued blogging! this cake of yours and all your other desserts look outstanding :)

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  5. Happy blogoversary! You did it right too-lovey and elegant cake.
    Be glad you are a hobbyist and can enjoy your passion. Some bloggers pressure themselves so much to be famous they lose their passion and blogging becomes work.

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  6. Happy blogoversary!! And thank you for sharing this gorgeous cake with us!!

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  7. Happy Blogoversary! Your cake looks so beautiful!! :)

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  8. Congrats for your hard work. I miss your baking! :(

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  9. I think the cake is just perfect! Happy Anniversary - I like you just the way you are! Keep on baking, girlfriend!

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  10. I love your cake and love your attitude for your blog :) It should be about your passion, and that comes through. Happy Anniversary!

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  11. Your cake looks delicious! It is so much fun eating dessert on fancy dishes. Love it! Happy First year!

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  12. This looks phenomenal! Caught my eye on Tastespotting and I was happy to see that it was yours. Your blog is wonderful, so congrats for a year. I don't know if I can put into words why I blog either. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I hate it (kinda depends on the time of the month, quite honestly). But loving it is the predominant theme so I stick with it!

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  13. This looks so beautiful. My mouth is watering. Such a simple, elegant cake.

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  14. Such a pretty cake - wish I had some for a bedtime snack.

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  15. I love those kind of cake, really pretty and really tasty!

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  16. The cake looks *almost* too beautiful to eat! Happy Blog Anniversary! You're doing a lovely job.

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  17. Happy Blogiversary! I would go crazy for a cake like that. It's got all my fave flavors. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till tomorrow night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your cake up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/07/sweets-for-saturday-25.html

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  18. For whatever reason you decide that you did create your blog a year ago, I thank you. For this cake alone I'd give you a hug and beg you to never stop. I wouldn't have even noticed that raspberries were different sizes or some were weeping if you hadn't mentioned those things and I had to search carefully to find them. It's absolutely gorgeous and my favorite kind of dessert; cake, fruit, something gooey, and no milk chocolate!

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  19. I savoured this post like I would a good meal. It was heart felt and so enjoyable to read. Your photo styling is lovely, and your cake looks divine.

    Isn't it amazing how food becomes intertwined with memories? For me, it is a certain chocolate cake my Mom bakes that will forever remind me of family gatherings and birthdays.

    Happy bloggily birthday to you! I am so glad that blogger's burn-out didn't stop you from writing, because then this post would never have existed, and that would have been a great loss.

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  20. Oh, congratulations on a year! That's a great achievement and a reason to celebrate with this gorgeous cake! I love fraisier and making it with raspberries is beautiful!

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  21. Congrats on your 1 year!! Big accomplishment! This cake looks perfect to me! Sounds delicious!

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  22. Congratulations on your blogoversary! This cake looks so pretty and the white chocolate buttercream sounds gorgeous.

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