Yield: On 8-inch cake; 8 to 10 servings
- ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons cake flour
- ¼ cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 large egg whites
- ¾ cup sugar
- 8 large egg yolks, beaten
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 ½ cups fresh large strawberries
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 sheets gelatin or 1 envelope powdered
- ½ cup Strawberry flavored vodka or water
For the Chocolate Ladyfingers:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift the flour
and cocoa powder in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whip with
an electric mixer set on medium speed until foamy. Add the
granulated sugar slowly. Increase the mixer speed o medium-high
and whip to stiff but not dry peaks, about 5 minutes.
Very gently fold the egg yolks into the whipped egg whites
with a rubber spatula until they are partially incorporated.
Carefully fold the sifted mixture into the egg mixture. It
is important to fold as gently as possible to avoid deflating
Place the batter in a pastry bag fitted with a ¾" plain
tip. Pipe evenly shaped ladyfingers about 2 ½" long on a parchment
paper-covered baking sheet. Space them about ½" apart to allow
them room to spread as they bake.
Bake the ladyfingers until light and evenly browned, about
5 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and immediately
remove them to a wire rack to prevent heat of the pan from
continuing to bake the ladyfingers. Set them aside until ready
to use. When cooled, the lady fingers can be stored in an
airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or
in the freezer, well wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2
For the Strawberry Bavarian:
Clean and hull the strawberries and place them in a large
container. Use a hand-immersion blender, food processor, or
blender to puree the strawberries until smooth. Reserve.
Place the heavy cream and sugar in a large mixing bowl and
whip to soft peaks with an electric mixer set on medium-high
speed. Refrigerate until use.
If you are using gelatin sheets, place them in a medium size
bowl with enough cold water to cover them. Let stand for about
5 minutes to allow the gelatin to soften and hydrate. Remove
the gelatin leaves and squeeze out the excess water. If you
are using gelatin powder, sprinkle it over ¼ cup of cold water.
Place the hydrated gelatin and the strawberry vodka (or water)
in a 1-quart, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat until
the gelatin dissolves. Pour it into the cold strawberry puree
and mix immediately. Carefully fold the puree mixture into
the whipped cream with a rubber spatula.
Place an 8" cake pan on a parchment covered baking sheet.
Place the ladyfingers, flat side in, around the inside of
the cake ring. Press them tightly next to one another, but
do not overlap. Cover the bottom of the cake ring with some
of the remaining ladyfingers. Gently press down to make an
Fill the cake ring halfway with the strawberry Bavarian cream.
Add another layer of ladyfingers, covering the Bavarian as
completely as possible. Press down gently. Soak this layer
with the remaining flavored simple syrup. Fill the cake mold
to the top with the remaining Bavarian. Place in the refrigerator
or freezer for several hours to set the Bavarian. Unmold the
cake by simply lifting off the cake ring. Decorate the top
with some strawberries and ladyfingers. Serve.