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Still I am in Vacation mood even after my India trip and we are slowly settling down with the normal routines.  I really did not had idea of doing this months challenge.  But this is truly last minute work and sudden plan which I started yesterday afternoon and finished late evening, the weather in Memphis is very hot that I was not able to handle cream.  I didn’t even give the setting time for the dessert... Somehow managed to finish them in time as I did not do last 2 month challenges :(.   Moreover I love Fraisier so I just don't want to miss this challenge and luckily strawberry was in the refrigerator .  The recipe for the basic chiffon cake which Jana gave is sure a keeper.  Thanks for the wonderful Challenge. 

I did not have marzipan in hand yesterday since I planned them to do suddenly.  So I made the whipped cream roses on the top.

Blog-checking lines: 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.


Basic Chiffon Cake


All-purpose flour - 1 cup + 2 tablespoons
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
Sugar - 3/4 cups
Salt, preferably kosher - 1/2 teaspoon
Vegetable oil - 1/4 cup
Egg whites - 5 large
Egg yolks - 3 large
Water - 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon
Pure vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
Lemon zest - 3/4 teaspoon
Cream of tartar - ¼ teaspoon 


   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 ? 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.

Pastry Cream Filling


Whole milk - 1 cup
Pure vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt, preferably kosher - 1/8 teaspoon
Cornstarch - 2 tablespoons
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1 large
Unsalted butter - 2 tablespoons
Gelatin - 3/4 teaspoon
Water - 1/2 tablespoon
Heavy cream - 1 cup 


   1. Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and scald, bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally.
   2. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine.
   3. Add the eggs to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
   4. When the milk is ready, gently and slowly while the stand mixer is whisking, pour the heated milk down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture.
   5. Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over a medium heat until the custard is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon.
   6. Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten minutes stirring occasionally.
   7. Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.
   8. Cover the cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to five days.
   9. In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften.
  10. Put two inches (55 mm) of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
  11. Measure 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 ml) of the chilled pastry cream into a small stainless steel bowl that will sit across the sauce pan with the simmering water, without touching the water.
  12. Heat the cream until it is 120 F (48.8 C). Add the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Remove from the water bath, and whisk the remaining cold pastry cream in to incorporate in two batches.
  13. In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it holds medium-stiff peaks. Immediately fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula.

Simple Syrup

You may choose to flavor the syrup. One way is to use flavored sugar (for example: apple cider sugar, orange sugar, or vanilla sugar) or to stir in 1-2 teaspoons of flavored extract. You may also infuse with herbs or spices, if desired or add four tablespoons (60 ml) of fruit juice or liqueur while the syrup is cooling.


Sugar, flavored or white - 1/3 cup
Water - 1/3 cup


   1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
   2. Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Stirring is not necessary, but will not harm the syrup.
   3. Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly.
   4. Transfer syrup to a lidded container or jar that can be stored in the refrigerator. Simple syrup can be stored for up to one month.

Fraisier Assembly


1 baked 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon cake
1 recipe pastry cream filling
1/3 cup simple syrup or flavored syrup
2 lbs strawberries
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
½ cup Almond paste


   1. Line the sides of a 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan.
   2. Cut the cake in half horizontally to form two layers.
   3. Fit the bottom layer into the prepared spring form pan. Moisten the layer evenly with the simple syrup. When the cake has absorbed enough syrup to resemble a squishy sponge, you have enough.
   4. Hull and slice in half enough strawberries to arrange around the sides of the cake pan. Place the cut side of the strawberry against the sides of the pan, point side up forming a ring.
   5. Pipe cream in-between strawberries and a thin layer across the top of the cake.
   6. Hull and quarter your remaining strawberries and place them in the middle of the cake. Cover the strawberries and entirely with the all but 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of the pastry cream.
   7. Place the second cake layer on top and moisten with the simple syrup.
   8. Lightly dust a work surface with confectioners' sugar and roll out the almond paste to a 10-inch (25 cm) round 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) thick. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pastry cream on the top of the cake and cover with the round of almond paste.
   9. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  10. To serve release the sides of the spring form pan and peel away the plastic wrap.
  11. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Some Variations to the Basic Chiffon Cake

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Ingredient Alterations:
Reduce water to 1/4 cup (60 ml)
Add 1/8 cup (30 ml) lemon juice
Increase lemon zest to 1½ teaspoon (7½ ml) (5 gm)
Remove the vanilla from the recipe

Direction Alterations:
Follow the directions, same as above, adding the lemon juice and zest to the oil, egg yolks and water in step 4.
Orange Chiffon Cake

Ingredient Alterations:
Replace the full amount of water with orange juice
Replace lemon zest with the zest of one orange
Remove the vanilla from the recipe

Direction Alterations:
Follow the directions, same as above, adding the orange juice and zest to the oil, and egg yolks in step 4.
Coconut Chiffon Cake

Ingredient Alterations:
Add ¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) freshly ground nutmeg
Reduce oil to 1/8 cup (1 fl oz/30ml)
Reduce water to 1/8 cup (1 fl oz/30ml)
Add 1/3 cup (2 ?fl oz/80 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
Remove the vanilla from the recipe

Direction Alterations:
Follow the directions, same as above, adding the nutmeg to the flour mixture in step 3, and the coconut milk to the oil, water and egg yolks in step 4.
Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Ingredient Alterations:
Reduce all-purpose flour to ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (195 ml) (4 oz/110 g)
Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) (3/4 oz/20 g) cocoa powder

Direction Alterations:
Follow the directions, same as above, adding the cocoa to the flour mixture in step 3.

Radhika  – (July 27, 2011 at 9:17 AM)  

You have excelled Pavithra. Clicks are just too good.

Radhika @ foodfor7stages  – (July 27, 2011 at 9:26 AM)  

You are just back from vacation and whipped up this luscious and pretty looking dessert. You are awesome Pavi. Loved the pics and the recipe.

Daisy Roshan  – (July 27, 2011 at 9:33 AM)  

superb!! love to dig in rightawy!! awesome clicks too...

Chitra  – (July 27, 2011 at 9:40 AM)  

lovely presentation and cake looks very inviting...

Rachana  – (July 27, 2011 at 9:58 AM)  

Wow! This is simply picture perfect... Would love to have a slice of this awesome cake:-)

Nish  – (July 27, 2011 at 10:02 AM)  

what a gorgeous cake! great job!

Umm Mymoonah  – (July 27, 2011 at 10:05 AM)  

As always gorgeous presentation, Yumm! Yumm!

aipi  – (July 27, 2011 at 10:37 AM) coming there Pavi ~ The cake is a stunner, very very hard to resist.Wonderful n rocking presentation as always n really glad to see you back dear :)Hope you had a fun filled trip!
US Masala

chef and her kitchen  – (July 27, 2011 at 10:59 AM)  

good 2 c u doing this month's DB's challenge...that looks stunning...worth the effort..

Anonymous –   – (July 27, 2011 at 11:21 AM)  

It looks so decadent with the whipped cream on top! Yum :)

Hamaree Rasoi  – (July 27, 2011 at 11:41 AM)  

cake looks so lavish and delicious. Excellent preparation.

Hamaree Rasoi

Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi  – (July 27, 2011 at 11:45 AM)  

such a beautiful looking desssert. gorgeous and head turner.

Finla  – (July 27, 2011 at 11:56 AM)  

I loved this months challenge, yours look so so good.

GEETHA ACHAL  – (July 27, 2011 at 11:58 AM)  

wow...really tempting cake..

The decoration and the roses are so cute....Love the pebbles effect on the roses...

Santosh Bangar  – (July 27, 2011 at 12:12 PM)  

wow lovely cake with beautiful decoration

divya  – (July 27, 2011 at 12:25 PM)  

what a gorgeous cake! great job dear!

Bourbonnatrix  – (July 27, 2011 at 1:03 PM)  

your cake is beautiful! love the roses and sugar pearls! great job on the challenge!

Nandita SS  – (July 27, 2011 at 1:06 PM)  

The fraisier looks so fluffy and gorgeous. Lovely shots as usual:)

Rinku Naveen  – (July 27, 2011 at 1:27 PM)  

Pavi this is just BEAUTIFUL!!! Amazing...Loved those roses,pearls, strawberry cream and everything...Lovely!!

Colleen Mahal  – (July 27, 2011 at 1:29 PM)  

this looks amazing! I just got some fresh strawberries and have been wondering what to do with them. This would be the perfect solution. The pictures are beautiful too. I may have to find myself a cake stand :)

Unknown  – (July 27, 2011 at 1:41 PM)  

wow, what an amazing looking cake. Great job dear.

Nithya  – (July 27, 2011 at 1:46 PM)  

Pretty looking cake :) The fresh strawberries are damn tempting :)

Sushma Mallya  – (July 27, 2011 at 1:50 PM)  

wow this is so beautiful and elegant ....yummy ..I am sure ur family loved this :)

Reshmi Mahesh  – (July 27, 2011 at 2:23 PM)  

Beautiful cake...Amazing clicks...Great work..

Renata  – (July 27, 2011 at 7:27 PM)  

Wow, if this is your "last minute" accomplishment, I wonder what you would have done if you had more time! Amazing work, it looks delicious!

Pam  – (July 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM)  

Wow - it looks beautiful and so delicious.

Rama  – (July 27, 2011 at 8:04 PM)  

oh I am out of words to describe this presentation and picture. This is out of world. The intricate work on the cream is Awesome. Yet another excellent presentation from a specialist. Keep it going.

shelley c.  – (July 27, 2011 at 8:33 PM)  

Wow, I wish that dishes that I made "last minute" turned out that beautiful! You really did a wonderful job!

Prema  – (July 27, 2011 at 9:32 PM)  

Wow thats a yummy cake,luks gorgeous...

Unknown  – (July 27, 2011 at 11:05 PM)  

OMG! I am drooling.....awesome clicks dear....u rock...

my first time here.... you rock with your recipes and clicks...

happy to follow you....

visit my space too:

Kris Ngoei  – (July 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM)  

This is fabulous! Mine is still in the fridge ..

veena  – (July 27, 2011 at 11:31 PM)  

the presentation and photography are amazing. cake looks so yummy. it is so detailed.

Rekha shoban  – (July 27, 2011 at 11:46 PM)  

wow!!perfect n creamy cake!!lovely click!

Jeyashris Kitchen  – (July 28, 2011 at 1:15 AM)  

awesome pics and wonderful cake.Cake is so tempting and inviting too

Tina  – (July 28, 2011 at 1:55 AM)  

Wow..beautiful Cake and clicks dear...

Parita  – (July 28, 2011 at 1:58 AM)  

Cake looks grt.oh i so miss participating in DBs...continue the grt work!

Gayathri Kumar  – (July 28, 2011 at 2:45 AM)  

Fraisier looks awesome. The cream roses are beautiful...

Heather  – (July 28, 2011 at 4:52 AM)  

Last minute looks fantastic - bet it tasted delicious too.

chef_d  – (July 28, 2011 at 6:39 AM)  

Looks so delicious...the strawberries look luscious! Great job on this month's challenge!

Love2cook Malaysia  – (July 28, 2011 at 7:55 AM)  

Just one word...EXCELLENT!!! Need to learn lots from you!!! :D

 – (July 28, 2011 at 10:26 AM)  

Wow, looks beautiful :) I love the whipped cream roses. Never knew about the whipped cream roses and thought they can be made only with butter cream. Great job!

Vardhini  – (July 28, 2011 at 10:53 AM)  

Wow .. looks terrific .. love the pictures too.

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Shabitha Karthikeyan  – (July 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM)  

Looks so good Pavithra !!! You have done an excellent job.

Evelyn  – (July 28, 2011 at 9:07 PM)  

Nice nice frasier. I loved the b/w and color versions side by side. Great idea to top with cream. I felt mine needed it!

jayasree  – (July 29, 2011 at 5:58 AM)  

Gorgeous pics...the pristine whipped cream and the strawberries makes it stunning.

Sashquatch  – (July 29, 2011 at 9:12 AM)  

oh woww, this is truly gorgeous! Id be elated if i ever produced something as beautiful as this, and lets be fair im pretty sure it tastes AMAZING too :)

Ambreen (Simply Sweet n Savory)  – (July 30, 2011 at 1:03 AM)  

Delicious and oh so beautiful, great work! Thank you Pavithra for visiting & liking my post :)

Sweet Artichoke  – (July 31, 2011 at 2:54 AM)  

Waow! Your fraisier looks stunning! This was an awesome challenge and you did it so well!

Unknown  – (July 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM)  

wow pavi supera iruku!!!u always rock!!

Archana  – (February 14, 2012 at 9:51 AM)  

Terrific cake. Its beautiful. Cannot take my eyes off it.

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