Harry Potter and the Scarlet Mirror

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        It’s time again for our monthly Daring Baker’s challenge! This time it’s hosted by Peabody of the delectable blog, Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. I was really excited to make this challenge because I’ve never made a Strawberry Mirror cake much less a sponge cake. There was one foreseeable obstacle though. Harry Potter. My copy arrived last Wednesday and the only time I could make the mirror was that following Saturday.

            Okay, let’s see. If I started reading right away and stayed up late all the nights leading up to the weekend, I could probably finish the book by then. So Wednesday night, I had read three chapters, Thursday I was more than halfway through the book. Speed reading took on a new meaning and no I did not peek at the ending. By Friday, I knew I would be done reading the book. Yehey! Now let’s just hope no hexes and spells fall upon my mirror cake!

            I did encounter several problems in the making of the cake, but most of them could have been avoided. First, I overwhipped my egg whites. I was eager to use the new Kitchenaid 11-wire whisk but I was not used to its superior whisking power and ended up with slightly broken egg whites. This was probably why my cake did not rise much because I had squeezed all the air out of the whites. Second, I nearly used the pulp of the puree instead of the strained material; this would have made my cream full of strawberry bits without the flavor. It was a good thing I realized my mistake and had extra strawberries to redo the puree – still those were really good strawberries inadvertently dumped down the drain. Third, I forgot to apply oil on my springform-pan which made it difficult to unmold the cake.

            I took immense pleasure in making the Bavarian cream. It was so good and the aroma of the strawberries so spellbinding I kept dragging the “Hungry” hubby to take a whiff of the heavenly mixture. “Here smell this…it is soo good!,” I would exclaim. I started to assemble the cake, pouring a layer of delicious cream on the top and the sides. Of course I couldn’t help licking the spatula and leftover cream from the bowl. It almost tasted like strawberry soft-served ice cream!

            As I waited for my cake to set, I re-read some highlights of “The Deathly Hallows”. HH kept on interrogating me about who lived and who perished. I was tempted to keep him in suspense and make him read the book instead, but I relented and told him what he wanted to know. After going thru  “The Missing Mirror” chapter, I thought I’d better prepare my own mirror – namely the strawberry mirror.  What a fitting book to read together with this challenge. Harry Potter had encountered his own share of reflective surfaces. For example, the mirror of Erised was a mystical mirror that shows one’s utmost desperate desires. Well, what my heart desires most right now was to complete this challenge, I thought.            

            I think I poured too much food coloring than what I intended into the strawberry juice because it turned a really deep scarlet shade. When it cooled down to a syrupy consistency I poured it on top of the set cake. There were bubbles that settled on the surface so I used a spoon gently to coax the bubbles to the side and scooped that up.

Strawmir

            When the time finally came to sample my creation, I knew after the first bite that this cake was a keeper; one you can take to parties and potlucks and be a hit. I say this because the hubby, who dislikes cakes and whipped cream with a passion, finished an entire slice on his own. That in itself was a miracle. He said he liked it because it was not too sweet, very light and the flavor of the strawberries came through cleanly. 

            I served mine with strawberries, blackberries, and a side of Harry Potter trivia.

My thanks to Peabody who picked this challenge; this fabulous recipe is on her blog.  Please go and check out the different renditions of my fellow Daring Bakers, the link to the blog roll is at my sidebar.

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