Monday, 30 July 2007
strawberry mirror cake
do you know how - for example when you start a new job - you just wanna do good? wear some nice shoes, dress up a little, good hair, perfect lipstick? you just wanna make sure you leave a good impression so you get a good start and you make friends and people love you and say nice things about you. this is how it should be, right?
july was my first month as a daring baker. the daring bakers are a great bunch of people, she is one, so is she - chek out her, too. all good cooks with a good hand at baking. i thought, i can do this too. i can mix butter, eggs and flour, put it in the oven and out comes a cake. so i joined.
the strawberry mirror cake was our recipe for july. really, a wonderful recipe with fresh, sweet strawberries, a light and creamy bavarian cream and on the top of all, a juicy red strawberry mirror. i should have known better, when i read the recipe. i though it was easy peasy. but arent things usually far from easy-peasy when you think they are?
so i bought a couple of eggs, got some flour out of the cupboard and spent a fortune on the best looking strawberries on the market and started baking. that's when the misery started.... a phonecall interrupted my cake-batter-mixing - silly me forgot to check and by the time the cakemix was on the baking sheet, i realised the flour was still sticking to the bowl. that was the first time i used a unholy word and it wasnt the last time. because the cake came out of the oven, lets say... a little deflated. not good looking. no good shoes, no nice lipstick if you know what i mean.
the bavarian cream, i thought would be fun to do. i am a big fan of pastry cream and the bavarian is very similar to pastry cream and hey, i will just do this in a dash... then the egg curdled. once. twice. - by the third time i was cursing so loud, my neighbour called to find out if i was ok. 10 eggs later the cream was done. looking perfect and nice - smeared between the layers of cake, sitting and chilling in the fridge and i was putting my feet up and treating myself to something sweet. - only that little mirror to make, i thought. mixing some strawberry sirup with gelatine, that shouldnt be a problem. i am a food journalist after all. i tell people how to cook so such a little sirup is so NO BIG DEAL for me. until i didnt quite know if it was sirupy enough. i poured it over the cake and it was looking so good, i was feeling like a proud mama. two hours later my mood changed...
the syrup wasnt syrup enough and sunk all the way to the bottom of the caketin. the bavarian was floating on the sirup - it was a big fluffy pink island in my fridge. i was so over with this misery - already thinking about what i should tell the girls from the daring bakers. that maybe i dont belong to that group, maybe my baking just wasnt good enough and that this cake and i just wouldnt belong together. i grabbed a plastic bag and just wanted to chuck that silly little cake into the bin. then half of the cake ended up on my floor. - was this a sign? did this not only mean that my floor was ruined (the cake splashed all over the place - there are still pink spots on my dishcloth...) but also, that the cake wasnt ready for a divorce, yet? - i gathered all the courage i had, scraped the bavarian off the floor - made another sirup that was sirupy enough, made another cake (a tiny one, as you can see), let it sit in the fridge and by the time it came out it was all lovely and soft and shiny on the top. so i put that tiny little darling on a cakestand: it's a strawberry mirror cake after all. one for dwarfs in my case.
and here i am, a proud & brave daring baker. bring on the cakes, they wont scare me, oh nooo!