When the strawberries are out, I will get the thrill and urge to make pretty looking cakes. So far, I have only used them in mostly mousse cakes and should try other types of desserts in the future. But the fruit itself is just perfect on its own, to be eaten as it is with little extra on the sides. I wanted these cakes to have the peek-a-boo effect with the strawberries exposed, drapped over with sweet pink mousse and red lingonberry preserve jelly.
I managed to buy some smaller moulding cake rings in Hong Kong during my last trip in December. My springform pans are still perfect but I just needed to get the size of the cakes smaller to individual serving sizes which can be more work to decorate and mould each one but the end product is aesthetically more appealing than a big round cake.
Most of the mousse cakes I learned from observation of the structures of the cake itself, from its sponge base up to the top part decoration and just create the recipe for every layers and put them together. It is more work than any other types of cakes but the fun is doing it step by step and seeing the layers coming together in perfect unison with the right colors combination and ending with the perfect touch of decoration. This year I have taken the liking to using pre-made mini decorative icing flowers, wafers, non pareils and mini candies to complete the look of my cakes and I wish I had known about their usefulness earlier! They can really jazz up even the most mundane looking cakes!
I made a soft sponge base first in a rectangular pan and cut up pieces to fit into each of the cake rings. I spreaded some lingonberry preserves on the cake bases and arrange the halved and quartered strawberries around the rings. It was pretty difficult to arrange them in the small rings and I should have placed them cut sides facing out for a better and even distribution of the mousse. My idea was to let the mousse drip in between the strawberries cut and still expose the fruit itself. The mousse was made up of whipped cream with pureed and cooked strawberries and gelatin added to it. I love the lingonberry preserve from IKEA partly because it is not too sweet as with any other brands of preserves and a slight tartness is present . The preserve was cooked with a little water and sugar to make it watery and then passed through a sieve to get rid of any remaining berries in it. Dissolved gelatin was then added to it and let cool to room temperature before pouring onto the pink strawberry mousse. I used dill to decorate instead of mint to complement the frilly look on the cakes
It was a wet start for Spring today. Despite the rain, I am looking forward to visit the strawberry fields soon with my kids. We are just fortunate over here and spoiled with many places to pick the first berries of the year!