Sonntag, 5. August 2007

Daring to bake ... a Blueberry Mirror Cake

The first time I saw the Strawberry Mirror Cake on the blog of a member of the Daring Bakers I wanted to make it myself. It looked so beautiful and yummy. I am a cooking/baking un-genius, so that idea bordered on megalomania. The instructions sounded relatively easy and straightforward enough. After all, I have made sponge cakes and gelatin-based desserts before. But combined? It sounded like a lot of time-consuming work, but doable. Strawberry season is over, and fresh strawberries are no longer available. Blueberries popped into my mind. I love blueberries! And they provided the perfect excuse for buying Crème de Cassis, a black currant liqueur, I wanted to use to flavour the mirror and the Bavarian Cream (and to use "leftovers" for Kir).
I took care to follow the instructions closely, to measure the ingredients exactly, and to mind the numerous pointers I picked up while browsing the amazing blogs of the Daring Bakers.
The cake came from the oven nice and fluffy. After cutting out two circles I froze the leftovers for Trifle. The gelatin took forever to set. Well, today August decided to play its part and the temperatures rose to summery heights. The kitchen was hot, and I was certainly not speeding matters along by opening the door of the refrigerator every so often to check on the progress of the Bavarian Cream. After some two hours the Cream had set enough. I whipped the heavy cream, folded it into the fruit-custard mixture, placed the first round of cake on the base element of a Tupperware cake taker, positioned a "cream cake brim" (that's what's it called on the package) around and spread half of the purple Bavarian Cream on the cake layer. I forgot to soak the cake! Nothing to be done about it. The second cake circle went in, followed by the rest of the Bavarian Cream. I was careful to create a fairly even surface by using an offset icing spatula. I tapped the sides of the brim a few times with the back of a knife to eliminate air pockets, feeling very accomplished - and then I noticed the cream seeping out onto the platter. Thankfully it was not much. Now the mirror. The moment I poured the Blueberry Juice I knew I had messed up - again. It was already partly set. I spread it as best I could, covering the entire surface of the cake. Hoping for the best, I put the domed upper part of the container on the plate and deposited it in the fridge, the thermostat turned as far as it would go. Only time would tell...
Two hours later I took my would-be mirror cake from the fridge. It had set nicely. The cake was not perfect, but delicious. The Crème de Cassis complemented nicely the taste of the blueberries. The Bavarian Cream was just sweet enough, perfect for the sweeter sponge cake layers. They were just right, I never missed the soaking syrup. I should have folded the whipped cream into the custard more thoroughly. The finished cake showed some white spots, where I mixed not carefully enough. But thankfully the cake still tasted fine.
All in all, I learned a lot by making the Blueberry Mirror Cake, mainly what not to do. My objective was something like "practice makes perfect". There is no other way, is there?

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