I admit that lately I have a bit of an obsession with cardamom.
In a food tv-show I saw this strawberry and cardamom coulis and it seemed a really interesting combination. Looking for ways to use it in a cake, I opted for an Italia sponge cake (Pan di Spagna) with a cardamom syrup.
The result is this strawberry and cardamom Bavarian cake. I tried a version with a chocolate sponge cake and it was maybe even better but I had already took the pictures so I might save that version for the future.
In truth this was meant to be a classic sponge cake with layers and custard cream, glazed with white chocolate. But the Bavarian cream came out very fluffy and it didn’t fill the cavities around the sponge cake discs, therefore creating that weird effect.
At the end I liked this unwanted effect and left it that way. I only have put some strawberries all around to cover the imperfection.
Accidentally we consumed the cake cold, almost like a semifreddo and we loved it.
Strawberry and Cardamom Bavarian Cake
- 2 Sponge cake discs 18 cm (7 in) for the recipe see here
For the strawberry coulis:
- 250 g strawberries 8.8 oz
- 40 g sugar 1.4 oz
- 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Strawberry Bavarian cream:
- 150 g custard cream 5.3 oz
- 120 g mascarpone 4.2 oz
- 80 g strawberry coulis 2.8 oz
- 300 g fresh whipping cream 11 oz
- 20 g sugar 0.7 oz
- 80 g fresh strawberries diced (2.8 oz)
For the cardamom syrup:
- 200 g water 7.1 oz
- 100 g sugar 3.5 oz
- 4 or 5 cardamom pods
For the coulis:
- Wash the strawberries and cut them into chunks. Put them in a large pan on low heat.
- When they start releasing their water add the sugar and lemon.
- Cook on low heat stirring every once in a while, until the water will be evaporated and the coulis will be more dense.
- Pass through a strainer and set aside.
For the cardamom syrup:
- In a small pot put the water and sugar on low medium heat.
- Meanwhile open the cardamom pods and extract the seeds.
- When the sugar is dissolved remove from heat and add the cardamom seeds. Leave the seeds in the syrup for at least 10 minutes. Filter the syrup before using it.
For the Bavarian cream:
- Using a handheld mixer beat the mascarpone cheese, the custard cream, 50g (1.8 oz) of the whipping cream and the coulis. Beat until the cream is smooth and the ingredients combined.
- Whip the remaining 250g (9.2 oz) of the whipping cream. When the cream starts to increase its volume add 20g (0.7 oz) of sugar and keep whipping until ready.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the Bavarian cream, in two or three rounds.
- Position the cake ring on a cake board, and cover the inside of the ring with cake tape. Alternatively use a stripe of baking paper, using butter to make it stick to the ring.
- Position a sponge cake disc in the center and moisten the top with the cardamom syrup.
- Pour part of the Bavarian cream (slightly more than half) to cover the top of sponge cake and distribute evenly, filling the gap around the disc too.
- Distribute the fresh strawberries on the cream.
- Place the second sponge cake on top and gently press down. Moisten like the first layer with the syrup.
- Pour the rest of the cream and level with a long spatula.
- Put in the freezer at least for 2 hours, 3 if you plan to glaze it.
- With the help of a blow torch (or just by rubbing with your hands) heat the sides of the ring and remove the cake. Also remove the tape.
- Garnish with fresh strawberries.
- Store in the fridge. Leave 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.
When the cream is close to boil pour it over the chopped white chocolate and whisk firmly.
Keep whisking until smooth and the two ingredients well combined.
Proceed to glaze the cake. For best result do a double glaze: after the first glazing, put in the fridge for 30 minutes and then do the second glazing. Refrigerate at least for 2 hours before serving.