I stuck to the given recipes but adapted them a bit. I couldn’t make a “true” fraisier because strawberry season, here, is still about 6 months away. It is still the season for mangoes so I decided to make what would technically be a Gateau Mangue (am I correct?).
I read somewhere that while making a sponge/ chiffon cake, I could use equal number of whites and yolks, if I didn’t want to waste the extra yolks from more egg whites, so I used 3 egg whites and yolks. I flavoured my pastry cream with cardamom and used agar to set the pastry cream.
My sister had brought me some matcha powder on her last visit, so I used some of that in my sponge cake and since Finla had sent me some readymade almond paste/ marzipan, this was the perfect chance to use that as well.
Matcha & Mangoes!
The challenge in itself wasn’t all that difficult as it entailed making a sponge cake and splitting into two, making pastry cream some sugar syrup, chopping up fruit and putting it all together. For me the difficult part was assembling the cake.
I realised I didn’t have a springform pan of required size and had to use my regular cake tin. I got around this by lining it with cling wrap which made the unmoulding a bit easier but somewhat messy. The rains here have brought down temperatures but it is still warm enough to make the pastry cream (with whipped cream) soften once it was outside the fridge! And the humidity was threatening to make my sponge cake sticky!
Still I triumphed even though I did not have a professionally finished cake, but then I consoled myself that I was a home baker and not running a patisserie (not that I wouldn’t like to)!!
You can find the original challenge recipe here , and what follows is the my adapted version.
Matcha Chiffon Cake
I’m happy I managed to do this challenge because we found this to be a light and airy dessert, taste-wise, though my daughter didn’t quite like the taste of matcha. I personally liked the idea of incorporating fresh fruit into a dessert of this kind. My mangoes were sweet with a tang so my fraisier wasn’t too sweet.
It’s a great make-ahead that isn’t too difficult to make. One can use whatever fruit is in season and pair it up with complimentary flavours in the chiffon cake and the pastry cream to create a dessert that is pleasing to the eye and the tongue.
For really good ideas on making beautiful fraisiers do take a look at what my fellow bakers have done.