This year I was spoilt for choice since I had 2 boxes of delicious strawberries on hand as they are just showing up in the market. Also have been fortunate enough to receive many new baking books I was itching to try out, and exciting dessert ideas off blogs and web sites. This is what the holiday season does to you; spoils you with so much visible eye candy, that you want to try everything at once. Strawberries in the market doesn’t seem to make it simpler, just widens the horizon!
I grabbed 2 books of my shelf for inspiration. One the Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Cakes’, and the other Roland Meisner’s ‘Basic to Beautiful Cakes’. The latter is a beautiful cake decoration book that I won at a cake decoration competition run by Lis and Ivonne at the Daring Kitchen for this Cinnamon Buttercream Autmn Cake. Both books are bursting with great cake ideas, and I eventually zeroed on the second one. Basic to Beautiful Cakes shows how to create desserts that can be beautifully embellished to serve any occasion by using a small set of foolproof cake recipes.
I saw the Summertime Strawberry Cake in his book (yes I am aware this is the peak of winter, LOL), and that inspired my Bavarian cream cake. My cake is similar in essence and would have made the base cake from the book, had it not been for the added 1 stick of butter. Decided to fall back on my Swiss roll cake recipe, an airy and light fatless option, I wasn’t sure it would work well as a cake base, but it certainly did.
For the filling I decided on a Bavarian cream for many reasons. Primarily because of the power failure. Also because the kids loved it when I had made it earlier from Tartlettes for this Peaches and Cream Cake, and finally, because I needed to collect whites for making macarons for MacTweets! Three birds with one stone …yes!
The Bavarian cream is inspired by this recipe by Michale Symon on Food Network. Not sure if it was supposed to be firmer, but worked fine for me even though I used 25% low fat cream. I think you could decrease the gelatin by a 1/4 tbsp if you use whipping cream.
I did initially want to leave the strawberries peeking out of the sides of the cake, but was inspired by Ria‘s post to try making a different border. I had already topped the cake with a dark chocolate ganache, as we can’t have a birthday cake sans chocolate, so I tried a white chocolate piped border. The white chocolate we get here doesn’t melt as easily and smoothly as the dark chocolate, so it wasn’t a very easy task. I managed something anyway, and here’s what it looks like…