Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Mini pistachio fraisier cakes

I received a pleasant surprise a couple of weeks ago from a good friend coming back from Switzerland.  He bought me a copy of Ladurée's Sucré: The Recipes!  

I've been wanting to get myself a copy for some time now, particularly after acquiring Ladurée's Savoury: The Recipes from a very charming bookshop in Duxton Hill (Singapore) called Littered with Books, which by the way is worth a visit.  The obvious lure of Ladurée recipes aside, these books are a delight to have for a number of other reasons: gorgeous pictures accompanying all recipes, it comes beautifully wrapped in soft crepe paper, has silver / gold page edges, velvety covers and packed in classic Ladurée pastel pink / mint green boxes.  You have to see it to know what I mean!  I almost bought a copy when I was in Ladurée's Zurich shop earlier in March but stopped myself when I realised it costs CHF60 and I could get it cheaper via amazon.co.uk at around GBP20.  Unknown to me my friend went to the same shop in Zurich a week after and got me a copy! I've now promised all sorts of dessert treats to him and his wife in return for the awesome gift!

The first recipe that I tried from the book is the pistachio Fraisier, which comprises almond génoise soaked with kirsch syrup, pistahio mousseline cream, fresh strawberries and pistachio almond paste.  The recipe is for an 8-inch round cake, but I had these new hexagonal mini cake rings that I've been wanting to use and decided to make mini versions of the Fraisier instead.  I also omitted the pistachio almond paste layer.

I thought the hexagonal shape moulds were quite suited given how the strawberries were laid out.  Taste wise, the pistachio mousseline turned out a little too sweet for my liking and I would definitely reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe if I were to make this again.  Other than that I think a pistachio lover would definitely take to this cake.  Strawberries could also be replaced with raspberries to make a Framboisier. 

Recipe below adapted from Ladurée's Sucré: The Recipes, makes around 3 mini cakes

Almond génoise cake
17g butter
67g cake flour
2 eggs
67g granulated sugar
17g ground almonds

Kirsch syrup
25ml water
25ml sugar
10ml kirsch liqueur
10ml raspberry liqueur

12 strawberries, of approximately equal size

Pistachio mousseline cream
45g butter
90g whole milk
1 egg yolk
25g granulated sugar
7g cornstarch
30g pistachio paste

Gel mirror & fruits as desired

1. Almond génoise cake
Melt butter.  Whisk eggs and sugar over bain marie till it is about 50C, thick, pale and tripled in volume.  Remove from heat and continue whisking till mixture has cooled down.  Fold in flour, then ground almonds and butter.  Pour into cake pan (around 9-inch round to get 1cm thick génoise) and bake for approximately 20 minutes in 170C preheated oven.  Allow to cool before cutting out 3 pieces exactly the same size as the mini cake rings and 3 slightly smaller (i.e. 2 pieces per mini cake, 1 slightly smaller than the other).

2. Kirsch syrup
Bring water and sugar to a boil.  Allow to cool before adding in kirsch and raspberry liqueur.  

3. Strawberries
Slice 9 of the strawberries into halves, 6 halves for each mini cake.  Cut remaining 3 strawberries into thin slices.

4. Pistachio mousseline cream
Leave butter out to soften at room temperature.  Bring milk to a boil.  Whisk yolk and sugar till it pales slightly, mix in cornstarch.  Pour about a third of the hot milk into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly throughout to temper the yolk, then pour mixture back into rest of milk and bring to a boil., stiring constantly.  Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before mixing in half of the butter.  When cream has cooled to room temperature blend in pistachio paste and other half of the butter, using a electric mixer if necessary, till cream is smooth. 

5. Assembly
Place larger pieces of cut génoise pieces at bottom of mini cake rings and lightly soak with syrup.  Pour a thin layer of pistachio mousseline cream over génoise up to about 1cm high.  Arrange strawberry halves along the inside of the cake ring (as shown in pictures), cut side against the side of the cake ring, pushing them down into the cream.  Fill centre with thinly sliced strawberries, also pushing into the cream.  Cover strawberries with more mousseline cream, then place in second (smaller) piece of cut génoise on the cream before filling with remaining mousseline cream till top of cake ring.  Refridgerate till set before removing from cake ring.  Top with gel mirror and fruits as desired.


  1. You are truly talented! You simply make the most amazing desserts. Everything in your blog looks wonderfully fragile, beautiful and delicious.
    One day I might dare to try out one of your recipes, but for now I'll stick to admiring everything here (:

  2. I'm curious - did you use acetate within the molds? If not, how did they come out so cleanly? Beautiful!



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