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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Strawberry Mirror Cake 草莓镜子蛋糕

I was captivated the moment I saw the picture!! And I hadn't even tasted it!! I'd just got to try out this cake. Pink with strawberries, layered with a nice yellow sponge... Yummy yummy. The picture is in Well, it was a Daring Baker's challenge, and the recipe can be found at

Well, I'm a novice at making cakes, other than pound cakes or chiffon cakes. And I've never whipped cream using dairy whipping cream, never made real custard with egg yolks and milk.... Yet, I'm determined to try this out, all because I love strawberries.

My first attempt :
Made several mistakes with the bavarian cream, but the sponge cake and mirror was good.
1. Over beat the whipping cream, and made butter instead. But I still dumped them into the filling. Looked ugly, but still tasted alright.
2. Boiled the custard, so it curdled... looks grainy.. ugly, but still tasted alright.
3. Made manila card sqaure spring form pans. And they were too soft that they didn't remain a square when filled, but bulged by the sides.
4. Didn't wait for the custard to cool down enough before mixing with the curdled whipping cream and the whole bavarian cream was too liquidy when poured onto the frozen sponge. My sponge cake floated..

2nd attempt: Successful!!! In terms of assemby and taste.
And I made one in a springform and one in a square cake tin. It was my niece's birthday and I'm glad I didn't spoil her cake..... totally. But... I don't know why there are white streaks on the mirror.. and me, being worried that I won't be able to unmould the cake properly, put cling film on the sides of the spring form pan. when I did unmould it, there were lines on the sides of the cake from the cling film... looked pretty ugly that way. I should've prepared some whipped cream to cover up the streaky sides.

3rd attempt. Changed the assembly method and made a single layer of each.. I find that I like it this way better as I can serve it in smaller cuts without having to prepare plates and knife. It's easy to hold with fingers. Nice party dessert.

Some Daring Baker's blogs had some negative comment on the cake saying that it was not flavourful enough, I think, it might be due to the quality of the strawberries. I found that imported strawberries are not that fragrant and Cameron's strawberries are really really flavourful and fragrant. (Cameron's strawberries ripen on the plant, which is why they are so nice but spoils easily), I didn't even use colouring at all!! It was so red! So, for those who are not from Malaysia, try to use local strawberries that you know ripens on the plant. And if u ever go to Camerons, bring along a water tight container, so that u can get those so so ripe strawberries that goes on sale when it's almost closing hours for the Saturday night market at Brinchang. Wash, hull and freeze them. They are still yummy the next time u may need them. The problem of bringing down so so ripe strawberries from Camerons is that they better clean and place them in a water tight container when u bring them down so that u can retain those yummy juices.

I made some ammendments to the portions of the recipe and eliminated the kirsch. And I wrote the modified instructions based on my experience.

Strawberry Mirror Cake Recipe
The sponge:-
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
100gm sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
1 tbsp sugar
50gm sifted cake flour

Moisting syrup:- mix and cool down.
50ml hot water
1 tsbp sugar

Strawberry Bavarian Cream:-
1 ½ tbsp unflavored gelatin
150 gm fresh strawberries + strained strawberries from preparing the mirror.(pureed)
2 egg yolks
70gm sugar
180 ml milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
200ml whipping cream

Strawberry Mirror:-
250 gm fresh strawberries
150 gm sugar
180ml water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin

**I did this cake in less than 4 hours with lotsa breaks in between. I know the list of ingredients and the instructions seemed so long.... but once u get the hang of it, it's actually pretty easy to make.


Assembling the cake.
1. Prepare cake. Place trimmed cake onto a 10 x 10 jelly roll pan. Put in the freezer.
2. Prepare strawberry juice.
3. Prepare bavarian cream.
4. Moisten cake with moisting sugar syrup and pour bavarian cream onto cake. Level the cream. Put in the fridge to set.
5. Prepare strawberry mirror and when mirror mixture has turned syrupy pour onto the bavarian cream layer. Place cake in the fridge to set.

Sponge cake:-
1. Preheat oven to 180/200C. Line a 10 X10 inch jelly roll pan.
2. Beat eggs whites until foamy, then add in cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks, then add in 1 tbsp of sugar and beat until stiff and glossy.
3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until creamy, pale and light. Beat in vanilla.
4. Sift cake flour. Fold into egg yolk mixture.
5. Stir in 1/3 of beaten egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
6. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
7. When cake has cooled, remove baking paper, trim cake so that cake will have an even surface and remove the brown upper skin. Cover and place in freezer.

Bavarian Cream:-
1. Puree strawberries and sprinkle in gelatine powder. Stir it until the gelatine is well blended in well with the puree.
2. Whip egg yolks and sugar until pale and light.
3. Bring milk to a boil and pour in 1/4 of the milk into the egg yolk mixture while still beating with a mixer. Pour in the rest of the milk slowly. Mix well.
4. Return this mixture to the fire and cook with a low fire, 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.)
5. Immediately remove from heat and stir in strawberry mixture.
6. Pour into a stainless steel bowl and place over a bowl of ice water. Stir in lemon juice. Stir once a while to prevent the sides from solidifying.
7. While waiting for the strawberry custard mixture to cool down, whip whipping cream to soft peaks. Do not overbeat!!
8. When strawberry gelatin mixture has cooled and thickened to the consistency of softly whipped cream, fold whipped cream into strawberry custard mixture.

Strawberry Mirror:-
**I prepare strawberry juice(step 1-3) in advance because I `recycle' the strained strawberry pulp from the juice into the bavarian cream.
1. Chop strawberries into large chunks.
2. Place strawberries, sugar and water into a saucepan. Lightly press the strawberries to release juice. Bring to a boil.
3. Strain the juice with a strainer and don't press the fruits at this point.
** this step to be done only after bavarian cream has set on the cake.
4. Bring the strawberry juice that was prepared earlier to a boil. Remove from fire. Sprinkle in gelatine powder and stir to ensure the gelatine has melted.
5. Put in lemon juice. Stir. Wait for it to cool down and turn syrupy.

3rd attempt....

2nd attempt : -My niece's birthday cake

Made a base out of old milk powder packaging. Look at the ugly streaks at the side from the cling film. This assembly is based on the recipe from the Daring Bakers.


  1. CNY special meal for MHS gathering... taste it... love it!

  2. Choy and C, which happened to be the same person..You didn't eat much what..hehehe... Maybe no spring onions on it.. Maybe should make a spring onion flan for you instead!

  3. This cake is my youngest son's favorite :) Your cake looks pretty and deicious!

  4. Anne,
    Hahaha, now only you saw it.
    I told you about this long ago in your blog :)
    I guess you might have been very very busy that time :)

    It was your cake that inspired me to try this, thank you very much.

  5. Hi Wendy,
    I would love to try this recipe. Can I use a springform tin instead using jelly roll pan

    Do you use a blender to puree strawberries?

    Do you also use blender to puree the strained strawberries from preparing the mirror?

    Home Cakery

  6. Home Cakery,
    Somehow this cake doesn't taste that nice when baked thick. It's tasted best when it was baked 1 inch thick only in a shallow pan.
    If you want to do 2 layers, I suggest you use 2 shallow round pans.

    No blender for the mirror cos you want the mirror to look clear. Just do as the instruction says, the strawberries will bleed everything will turn red.

  7. Do you think it will be okay using 10 x 10 springform tin? Thanks

    Home Cakery

  8. Home Cakery,
    A spring form tin could be too high. The baked cake might not be even, but you can try.

  9. Sorry Wendy, but I'm referring to 'puree strawberry in step 1 of preparing bavarian cream. How do you prepare the puree?

    Home Cakery

  10. HomeCakery,
    I used a stick blender.

  11. I thought it would be the same as using a 10inch jelly roll pan and a 10 inch springform tin as I don't have a jelly roll pan. So I just have to try using the 10inch springform tin.Hope it will turn out nice.


  12. Home Cakery,
    The high sides of the spring form tin will create uneven heating for the thin cake. That's the reason.
    What about those 1 inch tall pans that is normally used to bake cookies? Just line the paper higher then can use :)

  13. Thanks Wendy for your suggestion. I have one tin which is 13 x 9 inch! So whole process can be completed in one tin, right?

    May I ask you what do you mean by 'remove the brown upper skin'. What's the purpose of putting the sponge cake into freezer?

    Does it take long for the bavarian cream to set?


  14. HomeCakery,
    1. yes, one tin, but 13X9 will make the cake thinner. Maybe you want to make it into a 4 egg recipe. Adjust the % accordingly.
    2. The cake, when baked, has this brown skin on top right? You can leave it on if you want, or turn it up side down (so that the base will be top). Just to make things prettier, the skin looks brown :)
    3. It's ok if you don't want to freeze it (air tight pls) but the bavarian cream will set faster this way. Few hours to set in fridge. Won't set in tropical room temperature.

  15. Thank you so much Wendy for sharing your tips, experience, and of course this amazing recipe! :D
    This cake looks absolutely outstanding, just like the ones found in bakeries!
    I can't wait to try making it myself, but first I have a question and I hope you can answer it:
    When cooling the bavarian cream over a bowl of ice water, does that mean to place the bavarian cream into a bowl of ice water?

    Thanks in advance,

  16. Good day Wendy,
    I was most glad I had made this cake. Reading through the details you had shared about making this pretty cake encouraged me to give it a try. I made it for my husband birthday and he said it was the best cake I had made LOL (well, I'm not a half past six baker at home ;>). It was the first time I whipped whipping cream. Oh my! I made butter in first try, second try was about to turn into butter and 3rd try I think its about there ;) I took the whole day to make it because I had to search about cooking custard which I have not cook before this. And still I do not know if the custard I had cooked was correct or not. When adding the gelatin into the strawberry juice to make the mirror, I had the problem of the gelatin turning into lumps and I ended sifting it away. The mirror turned out really soft. I wondered was it due to my earlier problem when adding gelatin. How can I prevent the gelatin powder from turning into lumps when I add it into the hot juice? I did this cake in a 8" springform pan because I have no idea how to assemble the whole cake with a 1" depth 11"x11" pan. The sponge cake I only used half of it. Hope you can share how to assemble and unmold the assembled cake from a jelly roll pan or a rectangular 1" pan.

    Thank you for your sharing of this recipe.

  17. Lynn,
    The butter that formed from the overwhipped cream need not be discarded, but eaten like butter.

    Try sprinkling the gelatin in a thin layer over the surface. Don't worry about the lumps as they will melt over time. It won't set at our room temp, but remains as liquid. If it still doesn't melt after it has cooled down, just zap in microwave. It is soft because of the gelatin you discarded. Not enough, surely will be softer than it should.

    I baked my sponge in the jelly roll pan and so I used back the same pan. The cake isn't that thick. There's no secret to it, I just poured everything in, like making jelly layer by layer.
    that cake wasn't served whole but in pieces, so I just release the sides with a knife and separate the cake in pan into 4 long pieces. Lift each piece out with the help of a spatula and slice on my cutting board. Just like cutting kuih.

  18. Sorry, typo error in my previous comment. Should be I'm only a half past six baker at home.
    I see, thank you for the pointers. I shall make it in a rectangular pan for easy individual servings.


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