I am officially a Daring Baker! Yippee!
This month's challenge was a Strawberry Mirror Cake, which consisted of a sponge base, Strawberry Bavarian and a gelled layer on top made out of gelatin and freshly made strawberry juice. I scaled the recipe down by two-thirds, just because it made SO MUCH!
I also used my new retractable rectangular cake ring, which LEAKED. Damn it.
Anyhoo, when I realized that this would be the recipe for July, I had mixed emotions. It looked very much like the Strawberry Royale cake I'd made a couple of months ago to sell for Mother's Day.
"Should I proceed with this month's challenge?"
"To bake, or not to bake? That is the question."
Well, time flew by, and before I knew it, it was alredy the 27th of July!!!!! To make things worst, I was in the midst of baking dozens of cupcakes and hundreds of cookies for a bake sale I was holding in school.
And then, due to fate, 20 minutes later, my friend came over with 3 punnets of Organic Strawberries. "Oh no, Looks like I've gotta do it. *sigh*"
So, I did it! A few other daring bakers had problems with the cake being a little shallow, and I guess that was true. The recipe doesn't make a very tall cake at all. I'd say it's only about 2 inches in height. Strangely, the bavarian used a LOT more strawberry puree than my Strawberry Royale did. HOWEVER, I found that my Strawberry Royale had a more intense berry flavour. Weird.
Anyway, I ended up with wayyyyyyy to much gelee for the top of the cake. (Which is probably obvious from the picture). I just poured it on, though, since I didn't want to waste the strawberry juice which was made from SCRATCH.
All in all, a very red cake. Would I make it again? I'm not too sure. Maybe, maybe not. It's not a cake which is totally AMAZING, neither is it terrible. Its just OKAY.
When I was getting ready to take the picture of the cake, I realized that my camera had run out of battery, so I headed to my room to get its charger.
To my DISMAY, it was MISSING. After some shouting and screaming accross the house, I found out that my mother had ACCIDENTALLY THROWN IT AWAY. Who on EARTH would throw a charger away just like that? Anyway, she's out to get me a new one right now.
I ended up having to use my sister's Nikon Coolpix, which I hate using. You'll probably notice a difference in the sharpness, quality and tone in my picture above. But oh well, whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
Strawberry Mirror Cake
-3 egg yolks
-¾ cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3 egg whites
-1/8 tsp cream of tartar
-2 TBSP sugar
-2/3 cup sifted cake flour
-½ cup water
-1/3 cups sugar
-2 TBSP kirsch or strawberry liqueur
Strawberry Bavarian Cream2
-½ TBSP unflavored gelatin
-1 ½ cups strained strawberry puree(1 ½ baskets)
-5 egg yolks
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 ½ cups milk
-1 TBSP lemon juice
- Few drops of red coloring
-1 ¾ cups whipping cream
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 TBSP kirsch
-1 TBSP water
-1 TBSP unflavored gelatin
-Few drops of red food coloring
-1 ½ pints of strawberries(18 oz)
-¾ cup sugar
-¾ cup water
Preheat oven to 450F. Butter and flour the sides of an 11-by-17 inch jelly roll pan. Line bottom of pan with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit bottom pan exactly.
Beat eggs, egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar together in a medium bowl until thick and light. Beat in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, ad cream of tartar and beat until whites begin to form peaks. Add the 2 TBSP sugar and beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks(do not over beat).
Sift flour over the egg yolk mixture and fold in . Stir in one fourth of the whites. Then carefully fold in the remaining whites.Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake until light brown and springy to touch(7 to 10 minutes).
Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife along edge to loosen. Invert cake tin to cut out 8 ¼ inch circles of cake. Wrap the cake layers, separated with waxed paper, and set aside. Cake may be frozen at this point.
To make soaking syrup:
Combine water and the 1/3 cup sugar in saucepan; bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Cool to room temperature; flavor with liqueur. Set aside or refrigerate in glass jar until ready to use.
To assemble cake:
Brush sides of 10-inch springform pan lightly with flavorless salad oil or almond oil. Cut out a cardboard circle that is exactly the same size as the bottom inside of the pan; cover cardboard with aluminum foil and fit into bottom of pan.
Center one layer of the cake bottom of pan. Brush the cake with some of the soaking syrup to just moisten(not drench) the cake; set aside.
Prepare Strawberry Bavarian Cream. Immediately pour about half of the Bavarian Cream over the first layer of cake in the pan. Set the next layer of cake on top of the cream. Pour remaining Bavarian Cream over cake and smooth top of the cream with spatula. Refrigerate until the cream sets(1 to 2 hours).
Prepare the Strawberry Mirror and pour on top of the chilled mousse layer.Let set.
Wrap a hot towel around the outside of springform pan for a few minutes. Run a small sharp knife tip around the edge of the Strawberry Mirror to separate it form the sides of pan. Mirror will tear when sides are unlatched if it is stuck at ANY point. Slowly unlatch the pan and slide it off the cake. Slice cake in wedges and serve in upright slices.
Strawberry Bavarian Cream
Sprinkle the gelatin over the strawberry puree in a small bowl and set aside until spongy.
Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl’ beat until light. Bring milk to a boil in sauce pan. Pour hot milk into yolk mixture ans stir with a wooden spoon.Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until your finger leaves a clear trail in sauce when drawn across the back of the spoon.(Do not boil or mixture will curdle.)
Immediately remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin mixture. Pour into a stainless steel bowl places over a bowl of ice water. Stir in lemon juice and a few drops of red food coloring. Cool over ice water, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens to the consistency of softly whipped cream.
While gelatin mixture is cooling, whip the whipping cream until it holds soft peaks. When the gelatin mixture resembles softly whipped cream, fold the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture.
Prepare strawberry juice.
Place lemon juice, kirsch, and water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over this mixture; set aside until spongy and soft.
Measure 1 ½ cups Strawberry juice into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer; pour over gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve gelatin. Tint to desired color with red food coloring. Place bowl over bowl of ice water and stir occasionally until the mixture is syrupy and just beings to thicken(do not let jell); remove from ice water.
When mixture is syrupy, pour a 1/16-inch layer over the top of cake. Refrigerate until set.
Wash and hull strawberries; coarsely chop. Place strawberries in saucepan; crush to start juices flowing.
Place over low heat; add sugar and water; simmer slowly 10 minutes. Pour juice and pulp through damp jelly bag or cheesecloth-lined colander and drain into a bowl for 15 minutes(Do not press down on fruit).
Adapted from Cakes and Pastries At The Academy by the California Culinary Academy 1993