Mirror, mirror…on the wall

…who almost missed her own challenge and all? Yep, that would be me. I am the host of this month’s Daring Bakers challenge and I almost didn’t get the challenge done. You see, my ankle isn’t all that fond of being stood on for long periods of time, and well, this cake is a little time consuming.
Deciding what to do for the challenge is quite a daunting experience. It’s your one chance to try to pick something that will be difficult enough that people feel challenged by but not overwhelmed by. Something that taste good and they will actually eat. And something that says a little something about you the host(pink is my favorite color and strawberries are my favorite fruit).
I chose this Strawberry Mirror Cake mainly for the fact that, here in the states, it is Summer, and this cake said Summer to me. Even though it uses a ton of eggs you wouldn’t really know it. It is light and airy and scented with strawberries.
Other than standing on my ankle and it getting mad and swelling up, I had no problems with this challenge at all. I know others did though(you can read about their adventures by visiting the Daring Baker blog roll…see end of this post). Since it was time consuming, I did break it up into 2 days. Cake( froze the layers) and made the puree one day. Then did everything else the next day. I chose to make mini ones, using 4 ½ inch spring form pans. It worked out perfectly as I ate them for breakfast, lunch and for dessert with dinner :P
Sorry such a short post but I have a killer migraine and starring at a computer screen isn’t really helping all that much!

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
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 ans 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

To see all the different ways this mirror cake was made visit the Daring Bakers Blog Roll site to see all of the Daring Bakers.




  1. Thanks Peabody for a fun challenge. I was able to make it twice in 2 different states in 2 different shapes. Yours look fabulous! And I am so with you on the 4 inches wide pans…minis again rock!
    Hope your ankle heals soon.

  2. looks lovely!

  3. Peabody, Thanks for the challenge – it was a lot of fun! And your cake looks fabulous! Take care of that ankle. I can sympathise as my ankle was all ‘clicky’ after making the cake too – like you my ankle is messed up!!

  4. Looking gorgeous! Thanks for choosing this pretty cake, I enjoyed this challenge a lot too :)

  5. Wow! I knew yours would be fabulous!!!! Thank you for the great challenge. Despite all my problems making the cake, I was so happy to take part. My foot has also been causing me trouble, so I know how that is. Hope yours is better soon!

  6. That looks wonderful – I love the colours! And thanks for the challenge – I don’t think I would have ever attempted a mirror cake otherwise :)

  7. Thanks for choosing such a great cake for us this month. Hope your ankle is better and that nasty migraine has gone away.

  8. What a beautiful cake you made. Thanks for a great challenge. I hope you are feeling better.

  9. Wow wow wow! Your cake is perfect, Peabody! very well-done. take care of your health, and thanks so much for this wonderful challenge! :)

  10. Peabody, that is seriously awesome! What an awesome challenge, this sounds like a trial to make, but the results look MORE than worthwhile!

  11. Thanks a lot for making me do this cake, I’ll make it again because I liked it a lot! And take care of your foot!

  12. Thank you for the wonderful challenge. Everybody in my family loved the cake :)

  13. Wheeeee! Wow! Whopee! You do have that ankle elevated now.
    I’m spinning thinking about Strawberry Mirror Cake for breakfast lunch and dinner.
    Great challenge and tons of fun.
    Yes, I think I’ll always remember this cake whenever I smell strawberries. I loved cream and the jelly for that overwhelming beautiful strawberry dream like smell, so lovely. And then there it was again with the cake!
    Always your cake is a knock out!
    Thanks for the Peabody!

  14. Your cake looks so lovely! I particularly like that last photo, with the slice pulled away from the cake. Thanks so much for choosing this challenge for us, I truly had a great time making the cake (stumbles and all)!

  15. Wow, I love the colours! Thanks for choosing this challenge, I had a lot of fun. Take care of your ankle!

  16. It’s a very beautiful cake. Sorry I was unable to join in this month. Yours looks wonderful! I can’t decide which I prefer looking around at the others, decorated or just left plain. They all look great! Again, apologies for not rising to the challenge – it was a great one. Hope your ankle gets better quickly.

  17. Peabody, for someone with an injured ankle you sure whipped up a wonderful strawberry mirror cake. Thanks for this challenge, it was fun to make and I got to practice my pastry cream making skills. :)

  18. Thank you Pea for this challenge. It was fun! Your cake looks completely stunning. Incredible!

  19. What a lovely cake! I’ve never heard of this — what is the origin?

  20. what a wonderful cake, Peabody. This one was certainly a real challenge for me…

  21. Peabody, thanks for a wonderful challenge. The pastry cream was so yummy I could have eaten it for days. I hope your ankle feels better soon!

  22. Thanks again for hosting this challenge Peabody! Despite my snark, I had a great time putting this together and it really did taste fabulous! I love your photos – very cute!

  23. That is one perfect mirro cake Peabody.

  24. Oh Peabody it looks like its ready for the red carpet. I hope to make it this weekend after payday!

  25. Adorable, Pea! I just love your miniature versions of the cake! And thanks again so much for the challenge, I completely enjoyed the process, and of course, the sweet, sweet rewards!

  26. Your babies are beautiful as always Peabody! Thanks for a great challenge and feel better soon.

  27. Peabody,
    Thanks for choosing such a gorgeous challenge for us! Your cake looks so wonderfully vibrant!

  28. Well strawberry girl, this was a great and fun challenge, your cake is beautiful, and I hope that your migraine is gone so that you can enjoy seeing all of the variations the DBs have made. I’m glad that you tinted your mirror a deep red, too. Such a great challenge! Hope the ankle is better, too.

  29. Good choice and lovely job on your cake. I love the idea of making it in miniature.

  30. What a beautiful cake. Pink is my favorite color! Hope you feel better soon. :)

  31. I loved this challenge. Thanks for chosing it. Of course yours is picture perfect.

  32. Great pictures as always. Thanks for the challenge. I have to admit, it didn’t appeal to me at first, but I am very glad I made it. I’ll be making this again for sure. Hope your head feels better!

  33. Thanks for the challenge! I really did learn a lot with this cake, and would like to try it with some alterations. Your cake is gorgeous!

  34. Your sponge is so airy. Maybe I should have bought the proper equipment!

  35. Hi Peabody,

    Great cake! Your cake, along with the other submissions’ cakes, look wonderful!

    I wanted to let you know Recipe4Living.com is hosting a Strawberry Surprise contest! You should submit this recipe! Let me know if you need any help doing this.

  36. How does a wobbler make such a pretty cake?? :P

    It’s beautiful (as if I had any doubts) and looks very creamy delish!

    Special skates, eh? Mmm hmm.. first time I hear you tripping in them, I’m coming up there. (shakes finger at you) :P


  37. yours looks so much cuter than mine.

  38. VallartaTiffany says:

    Peabody! Your photos just keep getting better and better with each entry. What a fun recipe, thank you for sharing. I’m trying to get a little food blog off the ground, hoping it will get me in the kitchen 3-4 times a week to cook a good dinner for DH. I’ll keep you posted. Take care! Tiff

  39. Thanks for the challenge, Peabody! It certainly was different and I definitely found it “challenging”. And kudos to you for doing it on an injured ankle!!!

  40. you know how to tempt someone. Today, I feel totally sugar high by seeing this gorgeous cake on so many blogs! Superb idea Peabody! I wish I could have tasted it.

  41. I hope you are feeling better soon, ankle and head!
    Thanks for the challenge!

  42. annie : ) says:

    GOOD HEAVENS you evil woman!!! I just found you & have spent the last 2 hrs. drooling over every photo & recipe! They will haunt me until I make each & every one, & I will eat far too much of all of them! Out of a very crowded food blog world, you are a true jewel! Thanks for sharing your monumental talents with us!

  43. Wow, that looks so professional, great job. I just want to reach in to the monitor and scoop out a piece!

  44. This is beautiful… Thanks for an Awesome 1st challenge.

  45. This was a great challenge! Thanks Peabody! I have really liked seeing everyone’s version. The different shades of red are interesting. Yours is so bright! Perfect for a summer day. :) Now – let yourself heel up, would ya? :)

  46. What a gorgeous cake! Strawberries are always so fetching in pretty sweet confections. :-) You Daring Bakers fascinate me! I love reading about the collective baking challenges you take on. And it amazes me how beautifully everything turns out. :-)

  47. This is my first visit to your blog and I dont have words to explain how much I loved that cake. You are a fantastic baker.

  48. It looks fantastic, Peabody – I’m sorry I couldn’t make it.

  49. Goodness gracious this is fantastically beautiful Peabody. Great choice for a challenge!


  50. Your cake looks terrific! Hope you feel better soon! :)


  1. […] The next morning, I made the mirror part of the cake by combining strawberry juice with unflavoured gelatin, oh bother…go read the recipe over at Peabody’s. Anyways, it was easy-peasy and set up really nice. Loosely covering the cake, I put it in the fridge to finish. A few hours later, I decided to check on the cake and to my horror I found that my loose covering had deflated itself onto the gelatin mirror! I had a smuged and splotched mirror!!! […]

  2. […] So a special trip into the big city brings me to this post.  Yes, it’s that time again… the DB’s are back in full swing, this time with a gorgeous selection from Peabody.  Nothing says summer like strawberries, and her Strawberry Mirror Cake suggestion had me completely enamoured from the moment I laid my eyes on the recipe.  Given that K and I served strawberry shortcake at our wedding in lieu of wedding cake is demonstrative of my love of this most perfect berry and all of her sweet accompaniments.  Before you could say ’strawberry bavarian cream’ I was into my vehicle racing towards town for supplies!  […]

  3. […] mirror here Jump to Comments Well, I haven´t been cooking all that much lately and I´m finally running out of older recipes,and I´m not even participating in the Daring Bakers challenge this month, but I couldn´t let this day go by without telling you to check out the Strawberry Mirror Cake they made this month. Yes, go ahead, I´ll wait right here. […]

  4. […] For the recipe, you can see it listed on Peabody’s site. […]

  5. […] And talking of daring, I stumbled upon the ‘Daring Bakers’ Blogs http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com/  a fantastic group of food bloggers who set themselves a collective challenge every month to make some new and courageous confection and their results are displayed for all to see how they performed. The Bavarian Mirror cake demonstrates how just a little bit of jelly can be a very beautiful thing – here’s a couple of the bloggers attempts – so kitschly appealing  don’t you agree?   http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/2007/07/30/mirror-mirroron-the-wall/ http://creampuffsinvenice.ca/2007/07/30/the-cake-in-the-mirror/   […]

  6. […] The Daring Bakers are a group of bloggers who get together every month to make some challenging baked good or another.  In previous months they’ve attempted everything from croissants and breads to cakes and tarts.  All recipes are challenging in some way, requiring many steps or ingredients or making things from scratch we might normally just buy boxed instead (like, say, the ‘mirror’ topping on the Strawberry Mirror Cake). […]

  7. […] 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 […]

  8. […] finally gave up, and decided to keep it simple.  I’d always wanted to try the Strawberry Mirror Cake  from a past DB Challenge B.L.J (before Lisa joined). so I figured I’d make the mirror part […]

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