Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July Daring Bakers Challenge - Fresh Frasiers

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

Wheeeeee, my first post in a long time! And my first post for Daring Bakers! =D

Ok excitement over. I was SUPER excited about this challenge cause of a few reasons. First, it is my first challenge for DB *omgexcites* and second, its a cake I've never seen, heard nor done before!

So this was my final product. A very simple and ugly Durian Frasier. I made it 2 layers instead of 1 so that I can stuff more durian in it! because I wanted to be, uh, different.

A Frasier is a beautiful layered sponge cake with pastry cream in the middle, with fruits in the middle and exposed. It's SOMEWHAT like a Japanese Strawberry Shortcake, but with pastry cream instead of whipped cream. Omg typing that description just made me tingle in foodcitement.

Having said all those however, I am just immensely disappointed with my photos this month. The cake doesn't look as pretty as the other Daring Bakers'! =( *hangs head down in shame*. I got so much to go in food styling. Sigh!

I was back in lovely Singapore for my winter holidays and man was it enjoyable. Being in Dental school means that my holidays are shortened considerably as compared to other courses so that sucks epicly. We had to return 2 weeks earlier than the rest of the school for lectures and lab work. URGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On top of that, we had a test on the following Monday after school starts. Yes, 1 week after school starts, and I've got a test AND assignment due. CRIESSS

ANYWAY, I was on a mini baking and cooking frenzy in Singapore. Before I knew it, I had to come back to Perth. So July in Singapore only meant one fruit, and that is The Durian. Omg. People who know me knows my list of loves. And durian is right up there with chocolate. I wanted to make my Durian Frasier WITH chocolate cream on top but I got shot flabbergasted looks. Since I was making the cake for more than just ME, I had to hold my chocolate fingers at bay.

So the mention of durian induces 2 extreme responses. Either the OMGILOVEIT or the OMGIHATEIT. Some weird people in the world think it's too pungent and disgusting. (I'm kidding! =P) Personally I'd bottle the fragrance and spray it everywhere in my house. There's something about durian that sends my nose into overdrive, my soul into excitement, and my salivary glands into active secretion. The creamy rich thick delicious fruit has the texture of puree.

Sigh. I weep with forlorn desire.

To be honest, the cake is not much, really. It's all about celebrating the durian, and my short time in Singapore. I should have cut and taken a picture of the slice perhaps it'll be better. But you know.... Circumstances.... I ended up eating the cake directly with a fork. Well, I was sharing with family alright! They don't mind fork marks! I hope..

Recipe for the Chiffon Cake

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (270 ml) (51⁄2 oz/155 gm) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) baking powder
3/4 cups (180 ml) (6 oz /170 gm) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (21⁄2 ml) (11⁄2 gm) salt, preferably kosher

1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) vegetable oil
3 large egg yolks
1⁄3 cup + 1 tablespoon (3.17 fl oz/95 ml) water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon (33⁄4 ml) (3 gm) lemon zest, grated
5 large egg whites
1⁄4 teaspoon (11⁄4 ml) (1 gm) cream of tartar


1. Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F (160°C/gas mark 3).

2. Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the
sides of the pan.

3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add in all but 3 tablespoons (45
ml.) of sugar, and all of the salt. Stir to combine.

4. In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly.

5. Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth.

6. Put the egg whites into a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed using a whisk attachment on a
medium speed, until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on a medium speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on a medium-high speed until the whites hold firm and form shiny peaks.

7. Using a grease free rubber spatula, scoop about 1⁄3 of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in gently. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined.

8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

9. Removed the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.

10. To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring form
sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Let me say that this chiffon recipe is a KEEPER! Really. I've never smiled so much, for so long, after eating a sponge. It's.... Just sheer beauty. The fluff, the flavor, the caramelized crumb, the fluff, the fragrance. lovessss

For the filling, I mixed in copious amounts of durian flesh and a cup of whipped cream to lighten the mixture. Then I also made a simple syrup of 2 tablespoon sugar to 2 tablespoon water to brush over the sponge layers to keep them moist and excited. The assembling is pretty straightforward, as I smeared durian flesh all around the sides and spread my durian filling in the middle.

Oh what I would give to have even a mouthful of that cake right now. Should've taken more pictures. Drats. NOT a good first post, at all. Pretty, it definitely isn't. But as a vehicle for the best fruit (no its not healthy, unlike other fruits. this is Calorific with a capital C.) in the world, damn that was a fine one.

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