Cerisier? Is it even a word? How are we supposed to call a fraisier without strawberries? Or without strawberries it is no longer a “- ier” cake?
Anyway, allowed or not, I will insist to call the cake a “Cerisier” and I hope I will not be accused of messing up with the classics.
I did not use strawberries, because I needed something to pair with chocolate – almond flavored chocolate to be precise and with cinnamon. And in my systems the perfect match are cherries, sour cherries. Why almond and why cinnamon? These are my flavors. Whenever I think of any of them I drool. And, from time to time, when I need to feel comfort and homey, I return to them.
For the cake layers
2×24 cm pans
125 g sugar
125 g flour
a pinch of salt
Preheat the oven at 185 degrees. Grease and line the bottoms of 2 24 cm pans with parchment paper.
Whip the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla until white and fluffy. Whip the egg whites with the salt until firm. Gently fold 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture. Fold the rest of the whites and then the flour (the flour should be sifted). Divide the batter between the 2 pans.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the cake springs back when gently pressed.
Let cool for a min and then remove the parchment paper. If not using them on the same day, wrap them well in parchment paper and then in plastic wrap and store in a dry place.
For the chocolate almond mousse
2.5 g gelatin
30 ml water
66 g sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
160 ml heavy cream
56 g bitter sweet chocolate
Place the water, vanilla bean and sugar in a covered pan over medium high heat and bring to a rolling boil. When boiling, uncover, lower the heat and cook to 238 degrees F.
In the meantime soften the gelatin with some cold water, whip the cream with the almond extract and in a separate bowl whip the yolks. Melt the chocolate over a pot of hot water.
When the sugar syrup is almost ready, melt the gelatin (in a microwave or over hot water). Remove the bean and scrape it over the yolks. Pour the syrup over the yolks in a slow stream while mixing on high. Next add the gelatin and continue beating until the mixture cools and thickens. Add the melted chocolate and fold it gently. Then add the cream and incorporate it slowly as well.
For the mascarpone cinnamon mousse
112 g mascarpone cheese (not cold!)
50 g powdered sugar
2 eggs, separated
150 ml. whipping cream
4 g powdered gelatin 2 Tb water
In a small cup, place the gelatin with the water to soften.
Mix the mascarpone with the sugar and beat until creamy. Add the yolks and the cinnamon. Whisk until well blended.
Whip the cream to stiff peaks and set it aside. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside. Melt the gelatin (in a microwave or over hot water).
Add the gelatin to the mascarpone mixture. Then slowly incorporate the egg whites and the cream.
For the cherries
400 g sour cherries (fresh or frozen, depitted)
160 ml Port wine
100 g brown sugar
10 g cornstarch
Boil the first 3 ingredients. When sugar is melted, pour about 80 ml from the syrup into a bowl.
Add the starch mixed with cold water to the fruits. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the sauce becomes thick and shiny. After you take it off the heat, add a few drops of almond extract.
Let cool to room temperature before using.
For the syrup
Add some water to the syrup reserved from above and bring to a boil. Add more sugar if wanted.
Prepare a cake ring (it would be a great idea to check if you have it, not as I did – if I had it at home it would have looked much prettier not as if it will collapse any time) fitted to your cake rounds.
Place one cake round inside the ring, brush with syrup, place cherries in a single layer all around the edge of the cake. Pipe chocolate mousse. Repeat with the cherries and place in the fridge to set. Then, pipe the cinnamon mousse. Brush the second cake layer with syrup and place it on top. Put the cake in the fridge for a few hours to allow the mousses to set.
You can practically use any thing to decorate it. I used a thin layer of marzipan.
100 g blanched almonds
50 g powdered sugar
100 g sugar
45 g honey
35 ml water
Make a sugar syrup by boiling the sugar, water and honey until 117 degrees C.
Powder the almonds in a food processor. Add the powdered sugar and mix some more to combine them well.
Pour the syrup slowly aver the almonds. You may not need all the syrup – I didn’t.
Let it cool. Roll the marzipan into a circle that would fit on top of the cake.