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.
The fraisier cake is a layer cake made from two layers of spongecake with a buttercream filling that anchors the fresh strawberries (fraises) between the layers of sponge. Fraisiers are either topped with powdered sugar or a layer of marzipan.
One variation is to replace the strawberries with fresh raspberries (framboises). The raspberry version of the fraisier is called a framboisier cake for this reason.
Below is the recipe to make a framboisier, which is a fraisier cake with raspberries instead of strawberries. 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 flavour 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 colour 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.
- 1 warm milk sponge cake baked in an 8-inch springform for 35 min at 350°F, cooled, then split into two even layers
- 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar ~¼ cup
- 85 mL (⅓ cup) water ~⅜ cup, ie less than ½ cup
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) Chambord liqueur 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 (½ lb) marzipan optional (you can dye it with a few drops red food colouring)
- icing 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 (more or less than suggested above, depending on how flavourful you want the syrup), and stir. Set aside for later.
To make the white chocolate buttercream
- 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. Make sure the two components are roughly the same temperature so that the emulsion doesn't break.
To assemble the framboisier
- Place 1 cake round on your cake turntable, cut-side up.
- Brush on a half of soaking syrup
- Meanwhile, brush the cut-side of the other cake round with the rest of syrup and set aside.
- Top the cake round on the turntable with a scant ⅔ cup buttercream, and spread it to cover the surface of the cake.
- Place the raspberries over top.
- Top with another scant ⅔ cup buttercream, and spread it carefully over the raspberries, without pressing too much.
- Place the second cake round, cut-side down, over the buttercream layer. Press it down very gently.
- If you are topping your cake with a marzipan layer, roll it out to fit the top of the cake. You'll need to spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top of the cake to glue the marzipan down. If not using marzipan, dust generously with powdered sugar just before celebrating.