Let's Start With The Classics
I'm American. I studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu, spent many a weekend in Paris and other French cities, and have worked with many a Frenchman/woman. I love classical French patisserie and let's face it folks, it still is the basis for so many desserts and pastries we see in restaurants and shops today... in any country! Most of my work life centers around the plated dessert, but every once in a while, I'll get a cake order for a birthday or special occasion. On this instance, a guest asked for a strawberry shortcake to serve 30. Yes, I certainly could have gone the homespun American "white sponge and whipped cream" route, but I decided to veer back to my culinary roots. And voila, I gave them a Fraisier! Hey, you can't deny it's a strawberry shortcake! The base is a light but sturdy genoise sponge, soaked with a strawberry syrup, and spread with a thin layer of housemade strawberry jam. Strawberry halves (all of the same height, of course) line the outer edge. A gorgeous mousseline cream holds the strawberries in place. Another layer of soaked genoise spread with jam. More mousseline to spread over the top . Then she gets a Shirley Temple treatment of white chocolate curls to garnish. The Fraisier sliced beautifully and everyone loved it!