Strawberry mirror glaze shortcake

This recipe came about because I wanted to do some sort of take on strawberry shortcake, but I didn’t exactly know what kind of dessert I wanted to do. Then I started to remember this dessert I had at Melisse in Santa Monica a few years back, and it was this pain per du (French toast) with rhubarb, elderflower, and strawberry. It was delicious even though I hate the concept of French toast for dessert and legit only ordered it because I wanted to try elderflower. So I decided to do those flavors in the form of a mirror glaze cake.

Just to make my cake more original, I incorporated beets into the dessert. Mostly because they can be used to dye things red or pink naturally, and that’s something I want for this dessert.

Now this recipe has a shit-ton of components. There are two different kinds of chiffon cakes, one being vanilla, the other being strawberry, a rhubarb compote, strawberry-elderflower gelee, elderflower bavarian cream, a strawberry mirror glaze, and a rhubarb lattice. And on top of that, you need to do two base recipes, being the strawberry coulis and the beet water before you can even do anything else. Yeah, I fucking hate myself for making this difficult welcome a challenge, motherfuckers. Whoops, I guess the adrenaline is still talking. But without further ado, here is easily one of the most challenging recipes I have ever had to write (BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY FUCKING COMPONENTS).

Beet Water:
1 beet, stem removed
2 cups water

Slice beet in half and simmer in water. Bring down to room temperature before using.

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Strawberry Coulis:
1/4 cup chopped strawberries
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup beet water

Combine ingredients and bring to a simmer. Once the liquid has been mostly reduced, strain. Chill down before using.

Vanilla Chiffon Cake:
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip the whites, baking powder, vanilla extract, and sugar until stiff. Combine oil and egg yolk. Sift the flour into the egg whites and mix in the egg yolk mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes. Allow to sit in the oven for an addition 5 minutes, turned off, before removing.

Strawberry Chiffon Cake:
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons strawberry coulis

Whip the whites, baking powder, vanilla extract, and sugar until stiff. Combine oil, strawberry coulis, and egg yolk. Sift the flour into the egg whites and mix in the egg yolk mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes.Allow to sit in the oven for an addition 5 minutes, turned off, before removing. This is literally the same recipe as the vanilla chiffon, but with the strawberry coulis. For the baking vessel, I used an 11-inch cake tin.

Rhubarb Lattice:
1 stalk rhubarb
Beet water*

On a madolin’s thinnest setting, shave a stalk of rhubarb that was bisected lengthwise. For this lattice, you need 12 slices total. Reserve the rest of the rhubarb and the beet water for the compote. Poach slices in the beet water for about 1 minute. You don’t want to fully cook the rhubarb or else it will turn brown and gross.


To assemble the lattice, arrange the slices, 6 horizontally, 6 vertically. Then carefully pull some of horizontal and vertical slices back and begin arranging it. Trim the edges.


Strawberry-Elderflower Gelee:
1/2 cup roughly chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon elderflower liquor
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons agar agar
2 tablespoons beet water
1/4 cup water

Simmer all of the ingredients except for the strawberries. Pour the liquid into a circular container that is less than 11 inches in diameter, and add in your strawberries. Chill until set.

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Rhubarb Compote:
Remainder of your beet water
rhubarb scraps
Beet stems*
Sugar to taste
a pinch of salt

Chop up your rhubarb scraps and beet stems (make sure to remove the leaves from the stems) and simmer in the beet water. Season with salt and sugar, making sure to taste and adjust the compote so that it is tart, but still sweet enough to be edible. Refrigerate.

Elderflower Bavarian Cream:
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon elderflower liquor
2 teaspoons gelatin + 1 tablespoon elderflower liquor
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream; whipped stiff
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bloom the gelatin with liquor. Then melt in the water on a stove. Whip egg yolks with sugar and liquor. Temper and whisk until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with vanilla and salt. Allow to chill and set until firm, then fold in the whipped cream. Keep at room temperature until it is time to assemble.

Strawberry Mirror Glaze:
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/3 cup coconut milk
3/4 tablespoons gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon coconut milk
Remainder of the strawberry coulis
a pinch of salt

Bloom gelatin in the coconut milk. Bring coconut milk and gelatin to a simmer. Add in the white chocolate and strawberry coulis and stir until fully melted. Pass through a sieve to be safe. Season. During assembly, make sure that the glaze is lukewarm.

Assembly: Layer the compote between the two cakes. Top with the gelee and place into an 11-inch diameter entremet mold. Pour on the bavarian cream and freeze solid (4-6 hours). Once frozen solid, remove the mold, transfer the cake to an icing rack, and pour the warmed glaze over the cake, making sure to glaze as much of it as possible. Garnish with the lattice and strawberries. Allow the cake to defrost completely before serving (1-2 hours at room temperature)

 

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