Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Second Time is a Charm - Strawberry Mirror Cake

The day after the Big Cake Disaster, I decided that I still had most of the parts - the cake, the soaking liquid, the strawberry juice, and the strawberry puree with added gelatin - I had to at least try twice.

I remember when making the original recipe, I thought medium was too high for cooking the eggs and milk mixture since it specifically said not to let it come to boil. I followed the recipe instead of my instincts, which happens more than I like to admit. The second time, I followed my instincts and ended up with a frothy, thick bavarian cream mixture to fold in with the whipped cream. It actually cooked really quickly too, not a lot of stirring required.

Knowing I would let the bavarian cream set up overnight this time, I didn't wait as long as I could have for the mixture to firm up in the ice bath. I also figured that since the strawberries had been sitting in the gelatin overnight, that was bound to add some firmness to the cake. And it seemed to be fine.

This challenge, by the way, is the monthly challenge for the Daring Bakers. We are an ever-growing group of bakers who do one challenge together every month. If you want to see the host's blog for this month and also to see the recipe, please go here,. The recipe is much too long to copy and paste over. The overview though - a white cake, brushed with a flavored simple syrup, cut smaller than the springform pan, layered and surrounded by a strawberry bavarian cream, and topped with a strawberry gelatin mirror. The only modification I made to the recipe was to replace the kirsch with strawberry extract. I didn't want the mother-to-be to have to worry about consuming alcohol, no matter how negligible of an amount it would have been. (Strawberry extract was surprisingly hard to find - only one grocery store out of four that I went to had it!)

We were allowed to decorate the top as long as you could still see the mirror. I was making this for a baby shower at work, and decorated it accordingly.
Top of Strawberry Mirror Cake

Like many of the other Daring Bakers, I think the cake looks more impressive than it tastes. The gelatinous layer on top was a little strange, and I thought the bavarian cream could have had SO much more flavor. The worst part was the cake - it really didn't have much flavor, even with the soaking syrup, and I would probably use a different cake recipe if I were to make this again.

Here is a picture of the cake on a plate with other treats from the baby shower. It ended up looking pretty uniform on the side view, even if the outside was pretty lumpy. Slice of strawberry mirror cake The theme of the shower was pink pink pink, and the cake definitely fit the bill in that regard.

One thing I am most impressed by when looking at some of the other Daring Bakers blogs is how perfect what they have made looks. I really want to start focusing in on finessing the look of what I make. I could have spent more time smoothing the surface of the bavarian cream before pouring the gelatin, for instance, and been more careful when cutting the circles of cake. I want things to look good, not just taste good!

I'm glad I stuck with it and followed the recipe through. Next time I won't wait nearly as long before trying the recipe for the first time, and I'll also pay attention to my instincts!

Brought to you by the Daring Bakers. Please look at other DB blogs on the list to the left! Daring Bakers Blue Logo

Categories: Cake, Daring Bakers, Strawberry

15 comments:

Anne said...

Sometimes we end up with something we don't really like but most importanly we learn new things out of the process. I'm glad you made the cake... it's simply lovely!

Deborah said...

Yay! I'm glad you got to finish it, and I think it looks lovely!

Andrea said...

Congrats! I'm glad you were able to make it work! Great Daring Bakers spirit!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Well done! The mummy to be must have been very pleased.

the pastry princess said...

congrats! i'm so happy you made a lovely and successful cake!

Nazca said...

Well done for trying again, I'm not sure I would have bothered! Nice floral plates, but it's not really a contest with mine though are they? ;-)

Chris said...

Way to perservere! :)

Lis said...

Yay Jenny! I'm so happy you gave it another shot -hell just conquering the custard was worth it (to me - custard hates me hee)!

Congrats sweetie =)

xoxo

breadchick said...

YEA!!! Way to go there!!!

Kelly-Jane said...

It looks lovely :) The writing on it really enhances the colour.

Quellia said...

Aren't you glad Peabody picked something that fit so neatly into the baby shower's theme? Good work!

Patricia Scarpin said...

You are so courageous, Jenny! Congratulations on the cake, it's beautiful!

Tartelette said...

I am glad you stuck with it and made it. Nice addition to a baby shower!

Amy said...

Kudos to you for trying again! Your cake looks deliciously spongy!

Elle said...

Perseverence pays off. That is a nice cake and truly pink in keeping with the baby shower theme. Sorry you didn't enjoy the texture that much. Glad you are among the DBs and sorry it took me so long to comment.