Stage 4: Montpellier Le Tour arrives in the colourful Languedoc-Roussilon region and Gabriel Gaté presents some of the area’s most interesting regional food. Young pâtissier, Pierrick Boyer, prepares a stunning French gâteau with strawberries. French sommelier, Christian Maier, matches the cake with a luscious local sweet wine.
Recipe prepared by Pierrick Boyer. Written by Gabriel Gaté. For more Tour news visit the Tour de France website at tdf.sbs.com.au. More Taste Le Tour recipes
3 gelatine leaves
400 ml milk
1 vanilla pod, split open lengthwise
50 g caster sugar
50 g corn flour
2 whole eggs
100 g butter, cut into cubes
400 ml whipped cream
2 layers, each about 1 1/2 cm thick, of a 22cm plain sponge cake
about 500 g medium to large strawberries
30 g caster sugar boiled with 30 ml of water for 2 minutes to make a sugar syrup
a little icing sugar for dusting, from a shaker
250 g marzipan
To garnish the cake:
100 ml whipped cream
a few strawberries or raspberries
2 or 3 chocolate curls
a few caramelised almonds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 2 hours
Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soften.
Place the milk in a pan with the vanilla pod and bring almost to the boil.
In a bowl, mix together 50 g caster sugar, 50 g corn flour and the eggs. Whisk in the hot milk, then transfer to a pan and cook the custard on low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens.
Remove the gelatine leaves from the water and squeeze out the excess water. Whisk the gelatine leaves into the custard, then whisk in the cubed butter until smooth. Pour the custard into a large tray to allow it to cool quickly.
When the custard is cold, but not set, fold in the whipped cream. Transfer the preparation into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm round nozzle.
Trim a bit more than 1 cm from the edges of each sponge layer.
Line a 22 cm cake ring with a special strip of plastic to stop the cake from sticking. Place the cake ring on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Place a layer of sponge in the centre of the cake ring, then pipe a little custard in the space between the sponge and the sides of the ring. Line the sides of the ring with medium sized strawberries, cut in half.
Pipe a little custard on top of the sponge and between each strawberry, and spread some custard on the sides of the ring. Top with a layer of strawberry halves, then with another layer of sponge. Brush the sponge with a little sugar syrup.
Top with a layer of custard, smooth the top and refrigerate for 2 hours to set.
Dust the bench with a little icing sugar. Roll the marzipan to a circle the same size as the cake, and place it on top of the set cake.
Very carefully un-mould the cake. Pierrick decorates his Gâteau Fraisier with whipped cream quenelles, a few halved strawberries and a few raspberries dusted with icing sugar, a chocolate curl or two and caramelised almonds.
Carefully remove the strip of plastic and serve.