The Daring Baker's go Fruity!

Hehehe Like we weren't a silly enough bunch already!

In this months continuing saga of the Daring Baker's, we turned to Peabody as our hostess for the month. It was her turn to choose what we would make this month. And then would get to sit back and see if we failed or succeeded, cursed or cheered her.

Her choice, a Strawberry Mirror Cake. A combination of thin sponge cake, bavarian cream, and a gelatin top, all flavored with strawberries. With strawberries in peak season right now, this was a great time to have this recipe as our challenge.

Peabody deserves an extra small accolade - she managed to get me to enter a liquor store! And buy something!

While Peabody allowed for people to omit the liquor from the recipe, I wanted to try the recipe as close as I could. Including a liquor in it.

Of course I didn't notice that only one portion of the recipe said kirsch or strawberry liquor, while the other item said kirsch. Oh well, I used the strawberry liquor in all portions of the recipe. My liquor came with little tiny wild strawberries floating in the bottle. What fun!

I didn't exactly have major problems with this cake, but a few minor things along the way.

The recipe called for the cake to be baked in a jelly roll pan and then cut out. I don't own a pan that would have worked for the cake, so tried making them in my cake pans. Knowing I should be getting two cakes, I divided the batter into two pans and baked.

I didn't trust myself when I saw how high the cakes came out. My instinct was to cut one in half, or at least reduce the height on both cakes. I didn't do it though, and instead went with the cakes as is. That left me with cakes that were very high, so high in fact that when I added the cream later, my cakes were so high that I could not cover them with enough of the cream to have a flat top. I had cream left over, so after a good nights chill in the fridge, I used the left over cream to try and create a border around the cake. I needed something to hold in my mirror!

As you can see from the pictures, I only partially succeeded with blocking in the gel. I might have had more luck with it if I had let my gel set longer. I had been afraid the gel would set before I could put it on, so slowly spooned some in, let it spread, spooned more, let it spread, rinse repeat..... When I was happy with what I had for a mirror, I left the rest of the gel out on the counter. Three hours later it still hadn't totally set. So I guess I would have had time to let it set more before I put it on the cake, which might have stopped it from flowing into the border.

Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it?

I made my cake much later in the month than I would have liked. I was on vacation and while I had access to a kitchen while I was gone, there were too many limitations to allow me to make this cake away from home. Otherwise I would have tried again. Instead I felt like I was rushed doing the cake, rushed presenting it, rushed taking photos of it.

Which is why I didn't notice my butter tray in the picture behind the slice I was taking a picture of. I had a friend over for some cake, and 4 children waiting for pieces, so let myself again be rushed into taking an awful picture.

Excuses, excuses! If I didn't have some things to work hard on, it wouldn't be a challenge, would it?

The strawberry flavor in this cake was good. I enjoyed that. The cream portion was a little too solid to feel like a cream or a mouse for me, but had good flavor, despite the odd texture. The cake was good, just larger than it should have been (and the only part of the cake that all 4 children liked - they inhaled the cake and left everything else on the plate. I should have taken a picture of the the cream, still held in shape, as well as the mirror on top, but all the cake eaten out of the slice!) The mirror, again, it tasted good, but had an odd texture.

This is my 7th Daring Baker's challenge. While I haven't necessarily liked the taste of all the recipes, I haven't regretted making any of them. I have learned from each of them, and I think I've gained major baking confidence from being part of a group of wonderful bakers and cooks!

Thanks so much for pushing me into something I might not have tried again Peabody! I'm sorry I did not do your recipe justice! (And if you want the recipe, I'm pretty sure that Peabody will be listing it on her site!)

Due to the size of our growing group of Baker's, it has been getting harder and harder each month to keep up with the list of Baker's who complete the challenge. A task that becomes more difficult with each challenge. So if you'd like to see what bloggers joined in and conquered this month's challenge, click through here, to the Daring Baker's Blogroll, and get comfy! You are in for a long, sweet read! Mirror cakes ahead!












27 comments:

Pille said...

Quite impressed that you've done seven DB challenges already, and well done for pleasing all four kids!!! I used a Swiss roll tin for baking the sponge layers, and couldn't get 2 whole circles out of it, so had to mix'n'match one of them :)

Ilva said...

I think your cake looks wonderful! Thanks for the blog roll link, I didn't know about it!

Andrea said...

You were quite daring to add a cream border around the top! I thought about it but was afraid I would mess it up. :-)

Congrats on your cake!

breadchick said...

Wow! 7 DB Challenges!!! As usual, you made me laugh at your post. I agree the "mirror" part did have a funny texture. Great fun though.

Laura said...

Great cake Jenny, how did you get your cakes to rise so high?!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I agree with Laura, your cakes rose really high. Looks very impressive to me.

Anne said...

I agree that not all challenge we end up liking the end product but whats more important is what we learned out of the whole process. lovely cake and it's good to know the kids liked it :)

Janet said...

This month it looks like it was a LOT of work. Looks really good though!

Sara said...

Your big fluffy cakes put my paper thin layers to shame! Looks like a great job.

sher said...

I also wanted to decorate the edge, but chickened out. Yours looks wonderful. And I can barely see that butter dish! :)

Deborah said...

What a creative way to try to keep the mirror in!! I wish my cake layers would have been thicker, as that was my favorite part!

Lis said...

Way to go, Jenny =) Your cake looks wonderful.. so tall and fluffy! I like your idea of piping the cream on top.. very nice!!

And oh man.. I am so headed to the liquor store to get me a bottle of that. :D

xoxo

Heather said...

I think I would have liked mine with a little more cake, so to me yours looks perfect!

Hilda said...

What a beautiful way to decorate the edge of the cake! I'm so amazed at how thick and fluffy other bakers' cake layers were. Mine were a normal size so I wonder how you all got that much air in them.

Mary said...

I know exactly how you feel about being rushed especially when taking photos. But I don't usually have hungry children waiting for cake! I like that your sponge cake layers rose so high.

Peabody said...

Glad I could corupt you and get you into a liquor store :)
Your cake looks great.

Ivonne said...

Way to booze up your cake, Jenny! I love it and I love your thoughts on being a Daring Baker. Great job!

Culinarily Curious said...

I agree with the others who actually like your taller cakes... they provide light and airy balance to the dense (but delicious) Bavarian cream.

And I love the decoration you added to meet the challenge of making your mirror fit. It gives your cake great character!

Patricia Scarpin said...

It looks delicious, Quellia!

Alice Q. said...

This looks great, I like that your cake is so tall - nice job!

Inne said...

Your cake looks great, Quellia, especially with the little mousse-y bits piped all around the edge. I also had to bake my sponge in two tins and they rose quite a bit, but while cooling they sunk a bit again and after that I kinda pressed them down a bit more.

Belinda said...

It looks wonderful...and I really like the thicker layers of cake, to be honest! And so, apparently, did the children at your cake party. :-)

Nazca said...

I love the creamy swirls at the edge. Very daring :-)

sunita said...

The cake looks great...especially the cake layers...they rose beautifully.

Amy said...

I love your big fluffy cakes! My cake pales in comparison!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh so right you are Jenny, if it was easy and everything just worked, it would be missing the challenge.
Great lead into the blogroll . . . it's getting to be a really huge group.
Looks like a wonderful shiny mirror and I think I'd have liked more cake like you got!

Kevin said...

This looks really good and the recipe sounds challenging.