Le Fraisier (French-Style Strawberry Shortcake)

Le Fraisier (French-Style Strawberry Shortcake)

This is a French-style shortcake that even looks beautiful. The butter and eggs make it extravagant It's full of tart strawberries, but surprisingly light.

Ingredients: one 18 cm round cake

Almond Sponge Cake
Whole egg
Granulated sugar
90 g
Cake flour
60 g
Almond flour
60 g
※If using just cake flour
120 g of cake flour
Unsalted (or salted) butter
20 g
Granulated sugar
40 g
30 ml
Kirsch (if you don't have it, you can use rum or something else)
40 ml
Butter Custard (Cream Mousseline)
Egg yolks
Granulated sugar
80~100 g
Cake flour
70 g
400 ml
Vanilla oil or beans
a few drops (1/2 pod)
Kirsch (may be omitted)
20 ml
Unsalted butter (brought to room temperature)
200 g
※Egg whites
※Mizuame starch based sweet syrup (sugar syrup)
30 g
The ※ ingredients may be omitted
see Step 44
as needed
Strawberry jam
as needed
Nappage (if you have it)
as needed


1. < Make the sponge cake > Combine the almond flour and cake flour and sift. Preheat the oven to 170℃.
2. Beat the eggs in a double boiler until they have warmed a bit (about 40℃) and thickened.
3. Once it has thickened, remove from the double boiler. Keep beating until it returns to room temperature. Don't worry too much about the exact temperature.
4. Use the hot water from Step 2 to melt the butter. Remove from the water once it melts so that it doesn't get too hot.
5. Add all the sifted flour at once to Step 3 and fold with a spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl. When the powder has mostly been combined, it's ready.
6. Add the butter from Step 4 and mix until no lumps remain. Don't mix too much or you'll remove too much air from the batter.
7. Line a cake mold with kitchen parchment paper and pour the batter into it. Tap the sides to break up the large air bubbles.
8. If you can, use a 20 cm cake mold. When you bake it, it will shrink a bit, so if you start with an 18 cm mold, it will be too small..
9. Bake at 170℃ for 30 minutes. If you bake it in an 18 cm cake mold, bake for 5 additional minutes.
10. Remove from the cake mold, wrap with plastic wrap, and let cool.
11. Depending on how much it expands, it should be good for about 3 slices.
12. < Make the syrup > Combine the water and granulated sugar in a pot and turn on the heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the Kirsch and let cool.
13. < Make the mousseline > First, make the custard. Combine the egg yolks, granulated sugar, cake flour, and milk (about 2 tablespoons) in a bowl.
14. Warm the remaining milk in a pot , then add to Step 13. If using vanilla beans, remove from the pods and warm together with the milk.
15. If you can, strain the milk back into the pot, then heat over medium while continuously stirring. Adjust the heat to keep it from burning!!
16. It's ready when it has all thickened. You now have stiff custard. Add some vanilla oil and Kirsch if you like and let cool.
17. If you can, strain to make it smoother.
18. It's not necessary to chill the custard in the refrigerator. You'll be mixing it together with the buttercream later, so it's best to leave it at room temperature.
19. Next, make the buttercream. Bring the butter to room temperature and knead until creamy.
20. Beat the egg whites in a bowl. Heat the mizuame in the microwave until it begins to bubble, then add it to the egg whites. Keep beating as you add it!
21. Keep beating until you make a sturdy Italian meringue.
22. Add Step 20 to Step 18 a little at a time, mixing in each addition with an electric mixer. It might seem like it will separate along the way, but keep beating until it's smooth.
23. Stir the cooled custard until smooth, then mix into Step 22. Transfer to a pastry bag.
24. < Assembly > Place 2 slices (or 1) of the sponge cake into an 18 cm circular cake mold.
25. Brush the sponge cake with the syrup. Top with a thin layer of Step 23's cream. Cut some strawberries in half vertically and arrange around the outside of the cake.
26. Fill in the center with whole strawberries. If you leave the very center open, it will be easier to cut.
27. Use the remaining cream to fill in the gaps between the strawberries. It's easy to leave gaps, so be careful!!
28. You can also probably fill the cake halfway up with the cream before arranging the whole strawberries in Step 25.
29. Add more cream to cover the strawberries, then smooth the surface. This time, I had a shorter cake mold, so the tips kind of poked through.
30. If layering another layer of sponge cake on top, reserve a little bit of the cream to use on top of the final layer. This time, I used a shortcake mold, so I only used one layer.
31. If you layer another layer as stated in Step 30, then spread the syrup on top of the spongecake, then spread cream on top.
32. Chill well in the refrigerator, then remove from the cake mold. You can warm the sides of the cake mold with a warmed wrung-out towel to make it easier to take out.
33. Use a palette knife to lightly smooth the sides if needed.
34. < Finishing > This time, I mixed together strained strawberry jam and nappage. You can also simply use strained jam if you like ♪
35. If the color is too faint, you can add some food coloring dissolved in water. If you're worried about it staying on the cake, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap before chilling.
36. Chill it well, then garnish as you like to finish!!
37. You can decorate it like this after cutting if you like ♪
38. When cutting, warm the knife a bit to get a clean cut. By warming the knife with hot water between each cut, you'll also get rid of any bits of cream or strawberry that cling to the knife.
39. No matter how you cut it, it is full of strawberries. If you have some leftover cream, try spreading it on the unused sponge cake. It's really yummy.
40. To use up leftover sponge cake and egg whites, try my snowy white cheese cake at Recipe ID: 2431334. You can also use any leftover strawberries and jam in this, so there's no waste!
41. Here's a roll cake version! If you don't want leftover sponge cake, give this roll cake a try!
42. Roll up the strawberries and cream in your favorite roll cake, spread more cream on top, and chill.
43. Once chilled well, spread nappage or jam on top and it's ready ♪ Using a 30 x 30 cm roll cake, you won't have any leftover cream, either ^ ^
44. If you don't eat it all the same day and store it in the refrigerator, it will become dry and crumbly.
45. This would cause the meringue to become watery, but if you don't feel like you can eat all of it the same day, mix the butter with the custard as-is right after kneading it.
46. You can skip Steps 20~22 if you like. In that case, adjust the sugar in the custard to 100 g.
47. Also, if you bring it to room temperature just before eating, the butter in the cream will become soft and delicious to eat.

Story Behind this Recipe

This is a simplified version of a recipe taught to me by a French pastry chef It uses buttercream, but somehow it's still light because it's full of strawberries. The cream and nappage is just a little difficult for beginners, but it's so pretty and part of it's charm.