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Strawberry Mirror Cake

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I am not always into fruity desserts, but I think that it is necessary for Easter.  We got together with our friends and each contributed something to the meal.  David was in charge of the meat, and I made pineapple casserole (David can’t have Easter without it!), a bread (to be posted later), and this cake.  I’ve had my eye on this cake for a long time, and I thought that Easter would be a great occasion to make it.  It was a complex and time-consuming process, but I learned a lot from it and was very happy with the outcome.

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This cake has three main components: the cake itself, the strawberry cream, and the strawberry mirror.  The cake was very simple.  I would recommend first mixing the egg whites, placing them in a separate bowl, and then moving on to the other egg mixture so you don’t have to clean the bowl in between (this recipe dirties a LOT of dishes, so you’ll want to save yourself if you can!).  The cream was the most challenging part, and since I had no experience making this type of cream, it frustrated and worried me the most.  I am still not totally confident working with gelatin- something about the texture always makes me think I am doing something wrong.  I put the mixture together and knew it was supposed to be the consistency of softly whipped cream.  For some reason I didn’t think it looked right and thought it would never get to the right consistency.  I got frustrated, left the bowl on the counter, and left the room to go fold some laundry and forget about it.  David asked me what was wrong and I told him that the consistency was off.  He went in the kitchen to investigate, and said that it was starting to thicken.  I went in the kitchen and saw that he was right- this would turn out well after all!  The mixture thickened fairly quickly, so I added the whipping cream and knew that all would be well with the Bavarian Cream.

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The mirror component went very smoothly.  I did this step just before midnight when I was ready to go to bed.  I poured the mixture over the chilled cream, put it in the refrigerator, and checked on it Easter morning and saw that it turned out just how I had hoped.  The recipe says to loosen the sides of the springform pan with a warm towel, but David had the idea of using a torch to warm the sides, which was very effective.  It came off with no problem!  This dessert was enjoyed by all and I was so happy to have conquered this complex but satisfying recipe!  This recipe was chosen by Peabody for the July 2007 Daring Bakers challenge, before I was a member.  There are several recipes I want to go back and make, so this made my list one item shorter :)  I hope everyone had a very Happy Easter!  What a great day to celebrate!

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Strawberry Mirror Cake

3 eggs
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 (I used 2/3 cup millet flour plus 1 teaspoon xanthan gum)
½ cup water
1/3 cups sugar
2 TBSP kirsch or strawberry liqueur

Strawberry Bavarian Cream
2 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
several drops of red food coloring
1 ¾ cups whipping cream

Strawberry Mirror
1 tsp lemon juice
1 TBSP kirsch
1 TBSP water
1 TBSP unflavored gelatin
Few drops of red food coloring

Strawberry Juice
1 ½ pints of strawberries(18 oz)
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water

1.Preheat oven to 450F. Butter and flour the sides of an 11-by-17 inch jelly roll pan(rimmed baking sheet). Line bottom of pan with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit bottom pan exactly.
2.Beat eggs, egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar together in a medium bowl until thick and light. Beat in the vanilla.
3.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).
4.Sift flour over the egg yolk mixture and fold in . Stir in one fourth of the whites. Then carefully fold in the remaining whites.
5.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.
6.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.
7.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.
8.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).
9.Prepare the Strawberry Mirror.
10.To serve: 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.
Prep Work

Strawberry Bavarian Cream
1.Sprinkle the gelatin over the strawberry puree in a small bowl and set aside until spongy.
2.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 and stir with a wooden spoon(it doesn’t say so but I would temper the egg mixture first to be safe). 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.
3.White 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.

Strawberry Mirror
1.Prepare strawberry juice.
2.Place lemon juice, kirsch, and water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over this mixture; set aside until spongy and soft.
3.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.
4.When mixture is syrupy, pour a 1/16-inch layer over the top of cake. Refrigerate until set.

Strawberry Juice

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,
Seen on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody


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19 Responses

  1. Wow! This cake looks amazing. It’s totally worth the work and time. I love that strawberry cream, too. Mmm, a perfect Easter treat. By the way, I adore pineapple casserole, too :) Happy Easter!

  2. Wow, this looks amazing! You did a fantastic job!

  3. I still remember when the Daring Bakers did that challenge – such an impressive cake!!

  4. This looks heavenly. You must have worked so hard, but I bet it was so worth it. Truly gorgeous!

  5. Beautiful job! This was one of the DB challenges that scared me – both the cream part and the mirror. Yours looks like it turned out perfectly!

  6. oh my goodness. what a luscious cake for a special occasion. I would love to make this sometime for someone special. it the strawberry liquor absolutely necessary though?

  7. It looks gorgeous, and so perfect for Spring!

  8. Wow, just lovely! What a gorgeous addition to your Easter!

  9. Great job! This is a recipe I have been meaning to try for a while.

  10. I don’t think the liqueur is absolutely necessary- I’m sure you could leave it out with no problems!

  11. This is way too pretty and doesn’t need to be just for Easter – I am thinking all spring celebrations would do. I will try it.

  12. Gorgeous job on your cake!

  13. wow, great job!! i have always admired this cake.

  14. This looks amazing!

  15. Wow! It’s gorgeous! You did a very fantastic job!

  16. wow i’ve never heard of mirror cake before but it sounds delicious! its so pretty!

  17. [...] neglected this one.  We hosted Easter dinner for some of our friends this year, and along with Strawberry Mirror Cake and Pineapple Casserole, I wanted to make a bread.  Even though I don’t eat much bread these [...]

  18. [...] bit different.  Two years ago, I made Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake, and last year I made this Strawberry Mirror Cake.  This year we had a small Easter celebration with my parents, and since carrot cake is a family [...]

  19. how much would it cost of making this cake?pls.. i really need to know how for a strawberry mirror cake..

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