Cooking Through "The Baker's Man": Mirror Glaze
The origin of the word mirror comes from the Latin word mirare meaning “to wonder at.” This brings to my mind mirrors used in fiction and how characters wondered at the reflections they saw. Alice steps through the looking glass into a wonderland. Harry Potter obsesses over the reflection of his parents that he sees in the Mirror of Erised. The Wicked Queen is consumed by who the magic mirror reveals to be the fairest in the land.
One of the definitions of mirror is “an object that faithfully reflects or gives a true picture of something else.” But what one sees in a reflection is often subjective. Sometimes we see what we want to see, especially when it comes to reflections of ourselves.
In Chapter 9: Mirror Glaze, the reflection Anna sees is shifting. She’s letting go of what she believed her life would be, and she’s seeing the changes with newfound clarity. Not only is Anna facing new challenges, but so are her closest friends. And Anna is determined to persevere.
Difficulty Level: Difficult, Patience Tester Ingredients For the strawberry juice: 1 ½ pints strawberries (18 oz.) ¾ c sugar ¾ c water
For the strawberry mirror: 1 ½ c strawberry juice 1 tsp lemon juice 1 tbsp kirsch 1 tbsp water 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin red food coloring How to Make To make the strawberry juice:
Wash and hull strawberries; coarsely chop.
Place strawberries in a saucepan; crush to start juices flowing. Place over low heat; add sugar and water; simmer slowly for 10 minutes.
Pour juice and pulp into a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl. Allow to drain for 15 minutes. Do not press down on fruit.
To make the mirror glaze:
Place lemon juice, water and kirsch in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over this mixture; set aside until spongy and soft.
Measure 1 ½ cups strawberry juice into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Pour over gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve gelatin.
Tint to desired color with red food coloring. Note: I used 10 drops.
Place bowl over a bowl of ice water and stir occasionally until the mixture is syrupy and just begins to thicken (Do not let jell.).
Remove from the ice water.
When the mixture is syrupy, pour a 1/16-inch layer over the top of the assembled cake. Note: I poured this over a homemade strawberry cheesecake.
Refrigerate until set.
The Baker's Man can be purchased paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and other major retailers.
Chapter 1: Peanut Brittle
Chapter 2: Rum Cake
Chapter 3: Morning Glory Muffins