This recipe is by the fabulous Eric Lanlard who I met at a masterclass organised by the lovely people at Neilsen Massey Vanilla.
It’s a wonderfully rich sponge which holds itself very well with the velvety smooth creme mousseline.
For the sponge
- 350g unsalted butter, softened
- 350g golden caster sugar
- 5 medium eggs, beaten and left at room temperature
- 350g plain flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
- 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla extract
- 2/3rd tbsp whole milk
For the créme mousseline
- 3 medium eggs
- 120g golden caster sugar
- 25g cornflour
- 250ml whole milk
- 200g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp kirsch
- 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey pur vanilla bean paste
For the decoration
- 1200g 3 punnets strawberries (saving a few for the top)
- 200g marzipan
- 100g dark chocolate, melted
To make it
- Pre heat oven to 180c / gas mark 4
- Butter and line 2x 20 cm round sandwich tins and set aside
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and super fluffy. Almost white – it’s better to over beat.
- Very gradually add the beaten eggs, then fold in the flour and baking powder along with the vanilla bean paste, pure vanilla extract and milk. Eric did this in one go but if you prefer then do it in thirds.
- Turn the sponge mixture into the tins and bake for aprox. 30 mins until golden brown and springy to the touch.
- Leave the sponges to cool in the tin for about 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
- To make a créme mousseline, you need to make a créme patissiere first. Beat the eggs, sugar and flour together in a bowl.
- Heat up the milk in a pan and then add the egg mixture while continually stirring until you’ve reached a smooth and thick consistency.
- When the créme patissiere is thickened and smooth, add half of the softened butter, mix well and leave to cool.
- When the mixture has cooled, incorporate the rest of the butter and hand whisk until you have a smooth créme mousseline, then add the kirsch and vanilla bean paste and whisk until stiff and fluffy.
- To assemble, slice the top layer off the cakes and discard. This is to give you an even surface. Place one of the sponges into the bottom of a cake ring.With a palette knife, spread a thin layer of créme mousseline over the sponge layer in the bottom of the cake ring.
- Cut the strawberries in half and place the cut half around the edge of the ring. Fill the centre with strawberries standing upright.
- Spread the créme mousseline on top of the strawberries and fill any gaps. Then place the second sponge on top and press down.
- On a dusted surface, roll out the marzipan to 3m thick. Crimp the edges and if you like add a little texture by using a blow torch to bring out the crimps.
- Lay it on top of the cake, still in the ring and smooth it out.
- Make a baking paper cornet and fill with melted chocolate. Cut off the top and write “Frasier” on the top of marzipan.
- Finally, dip the remaining strawberries into the rest of the chocolate and secure the on the marzipan and serve.