Food, glorious food... done my way. Pretence of perfection

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Daring Bakers - July: Strawberry Mirror Cake


I had mixed feelings about this cake. After my last contact with gelatine, Bavarian cream and the Daring Bakers I knew I had to make this work. And try to follow the recipe exactly (or risk incurring the [justified] Cream Puff Rough Justice(TM)) . So this is why, this time, I did my best to omit the booze from the cake.

The various shops/liquor stores/distilleries I visited trying to find the kirsch were all out. I knew I'd regret that strawberry liqueur bender I went on around the last days of June... who knew it would be so easy to dry up all the sources within 50 miles... and what chronic bad timing!

Anyway, as you can see the recipe was followed precisely. Apart from the big flat rectangular sponge bit. And the measuring the dimensions of cake tins bit. And American
cup sizes bit... oh and the powdered gelatine bit... hmm precisely... what's baking without a little edge of your seat re-jigging of things hey? Hey?!?!?!

A few DBs had there birthdays this month, I decided to take my cake into work. bet none used plates like this!:


Yes, I bet my bosses were very impressed... :-)

I don't even like Pooh et al but it's a birthday cake, novelty plates were called for!

The smart (or picky) people reading this would notice that there was a slight darkening of the sponge along the bottom. Any chef worth her/his weight in salt would have removed these. But I thought, no, it's up to me to show people what happens when you make basic errors. Consider yourselves taught, I won't be showing you again... The recipe called for a large flat sponge. I didn't have a baking sheet like that so I improvised. I put it in a cake time and made it twice (plus) as tall and sliced it in half...

Also, measure how high your sponges are before putting them into your cake mould. Otherwise you'll look like a right Muppet when you can see a halo of cake under your mirror... ha ha... *cue much nervous laughter*

The cake was a right pain getting to work (it's tradition to buy everyone cakes at our office). I took pics of the mirror top before I wrapped it to take to work. It was perfect when straight from the fridge, in it's little cocoon... The top got a little smudged on the way to work, I think it hadn't set properly... it was super concentrated strawberry syrup it was made from, maybe that didn't help...
The concentrated topping was needed since I'm not a big sponge fan... bit bland for me. I'm not a big cream fan either to be honest... still, how many people had one of these for their birthdays!

Would I make it again? No. Was it fun to make? I certainly wasn't bored! It was different. I'm usually a stickler for perfection, but I don't feel the need to perfect this cake like I do the Gateau St Honore...

Anyway, thanks to Peabody for choosing this challenge. It was certainly something I've never seen before, and I guess I enjoyed making it too. :-)

Check out the other Darers here!

29 comments:

Deborah said...

It's all about the journey!! I'm with you - I will probably never make this again, but it did keep me entertained!

Marce said...

well, that´s some very special serving plate, i tell you! haha

Meeta said...

Lovely plates. I think you did a great job. But I too think will not be making it soon again.

Tartelette said...

Great job! Like everybody else I love the plates, believe it or not I would totally take plates like that to my boss. The cake looks very rich and the mirror is a beauty!

breadchick said...

I absolutely ADORE your Pooh plates! They make the cake!! Your cake does look lovely as well. Did I mention I love the plates?

Lis said...

Ha! Those plates are priceless!

Looks like you did an outstanding job converting measurements and working with powdered gelatin. My only advice for next time is don't listen to the voices that tell you NOT to drink while baking.

hehe

xoxox

Nazca said...

LOL Yeah, I think I win the best plate award :-D

My boss did use the plates, not sure if he approved or not though lol

Just for you lis, I'll get hammered on the next mission... I hope it doesn't involve flambé-ing! Actually I hope it does, it's gonna be on fire whatever happens :-D

Andrea said...

Alcohol consumption while cooking is always encouraged! Nice job on the cake!

Anita said...

I think you did a wonderful job even if it wasn't your thing - now you can say you've done it, and beautifully too!

Laura said...

And I thought you didn't like to share! The cake looks fantastic and Tigger has always been my favourite!

veron said...

what fun plates to serve this snazzy looking cake in. Well done!

Peabody said...

"risk incurring the [justified] Cream Puff Rough Justice(TM"...lol, I spit out some of my soda when I read that.
I like the Pooh plates, very cute.
Way to hang in there with the cake.

Hilda said...

I love the Pooh plates and I made the cake again the next week to take to a big party, but it's not a cake I would make often, so many eggs, so much gelatin (I think I'll only make it again if I can figure out how to make it with agar-agar).

Ivonne said...

I love that you trademarked by "brand of justice".

This was too funny. It's why I'm so glad you're part of the group. And despite your modesty, you did a fantastic job.

I certainly hope the bosses were impressed!

Anne said...

I had fun reading your post and the cake looks good to me. Great job!

Quellia said...

Love the plates - they were a nice color match to the cake! Good work!

Mary said...

I had to make a foil collar contraption to transport my cake to work safely. I really like those Pooh plates too!

Kelly-Jane said...

Your cake looks lovely! and your plates are pretty too :)

Cat B said...

caaaaaaaaaaaaake

Patricia Scarpin said...

It looks beautiful!

Nazca said...

Cat, Thanks for your considered thoughts...

Stuie72 said...

if you want NOT to have a golden brown topping on your sponge I think you had better cook it in the mcrowave.....YUK. All the best cooks and bakers try fro a golden topping, it would be fake and plastic not to have one. BTW it was gorgeous. I think I will order 2 for the wedding

Elle said...

Aw, don't pick on Cream Puff.
Great job and your cake looks great even if the cute plates sort of mask the beauty of it all :)

Nazca said...

Stu, I know a few people who could whip one up for you! ;-)

Culinarily Curious said...

Cream-puff-rough justice! I LOVE it! :)

And I'm with the others who appreciate your festive plates.

I love reading your challenge posts -- this group wouldn't be the same without you as a part of it.

Cheryl said...

I love the cake, I love the plates. And now that I see you should drink while baking, I am very excited.

Inne said...

Your cake looks great Mark and I love love love the plates! I'm sure they made it taste even better :)

Nazca said...

Hmm I think I might start selling these plates... anyone interested? ;-)

Jenny said...

I still really like the IDEA of this cake. I wonder how it could be improved. Definitely the cake needs more flavor. Maybe a layer of fresh fruit between the cake and bavarian cream?