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I love summer in France. The days get longer and Parisians start to linger along the Seine or on café terraces with a bottle of rosé and a wedge or two of a good cheese. Summer also means berry season is in full swing. White currants from Lorraine and wild strawberries from Provence start showing up in food stalls all over Paris. This invariably leads to thoughts about how best to bake with the season's variety of tart and sweet offerings.
Is there a more alluring combination than dark chocolate and practically any berry? Especially when talking about a double dark chocolate cake that's filled with both Dutch cocoa powder and an entire bar of 75% dark chocolate. To brighten up the cake and create an extra layer of delicious, I added a fresh whipped cream frosting to the mix.
For this cake I was inspired by the famous "Tomboy" cake from San Francisco's most darling cake shop Miette. I swapped out the buttercream frosting for a more summery whipped cream with a dollop of creme fraîche for more structure. I topped mine with a pile of summer berries but I imagine cherries or wild strawberries would be just as good.
Whipped Cream Frosting With Crème Fraîche
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1/3 cup of crème fraîche
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean)
- 2 tbs of icing sugar
- In a large bowl whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form
- In a small bowl whisk the crème fraîche, vanilla and icing sugar together
- Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the crème fraîche mixture into the whipped cream until smooth
*All photography by Joann Pai