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. So sorry to hear about your foot. Your cake looks great and I really liked the cake! My husband was verry impressed.

  2. Peabody,
    You picked a great challenge! Your cake turned out very pretty.

  3. The cake looks great…I enjoyed the challenge, this being my first one. Take care…

  4. Wow…yet another reason I am not a part of the daring bakers, but WOW that is lovely and summery.

    Beautiful Peabody!

    Hope the ankle is on the mend…I dislocated an ankle at 14 and it took a few years to be totally ok (taped up for sports, etc.) and that was when I was SUPER young and healthy, so I know how that injury can feel endless. Best wishes for happy ankles and good baking! :)

  5. Your cake is beautiful! I really need to buy some mini springforms so I can make cute mini cakes. :) Thanks for picking this challenge, I learned so much making the sponge and Bavarian. Take care of your ankle!

  6. peabody i’m speachless!! that is STUNNING!

  7. I think this was a good challenge. I used the cake for a baby shower and the light, sweet, strawberry flavor was perfect I think. :)

  8. What a beautiful, fresh looking cake! So light & airy………yum!!

  9. You chose a most beautiful challenge! I’ve never had a cake like this. I’m not an official Daring Baker, but I’m going to have to give this lovely treat a try!

  10. you picked a winning recipe! loved baking this cake…thanks!

  11. Love the looks of this cake will be trying it soon and will post on my blog.
    Love your blog

  12. Hi,
    ummm can you use an alternative to kirsch?I dont drink( im a teenager =D) GREAT CAKE….

  13. Gorgeous photos. I love the one with the cake slice being removed. Well done! Bravo!

  14. I made this today.. Time consuming but very good. Thanks


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