I’m sure you’ve seen them by now. Those cake finishes that should be on a wall for you to look at yourself in.
Super-glossy, bright colors, almost too pretty to eat. (Almost. Nothing is ever too pretty to actually eat.)
After plenty of painstaking hours of testing recipes and half-assed finishes, I finally mastered the shimmering sweet skill.
Keep reading to find out how you can make your own mirror glaze finish for your cakes and desserts. It’s actually not all that tough, after all.
You can use this glazing technique on just about anything, but it certainly works best for cakes in the entremet category. Entremets are French cakes that are traditionally multi-layered and covered in a mousse mixture. It’s really pretty simple.
You bake a cake, toss it into a mold that is a bit larger than the cake, cover it with mousse and pop it in the fridge and have yourself a couple drinks to celebrate.
The next day, you glaze it and have another drink since you made something so pretty to impress that other baker in the office that thinks she just won the Great British Bake Off. You’ve earned it.
These mousse-covered cakes leave the perfect silky texture to leave a flawless finish. You could also give this a go on a regular ol’ cake with a solid crumb coat of buttercream. Just be sure that you chill it well before glazing.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Can I use this technique on a regular frosted cake?
Yes! Well, sort of. You can certainly glaze just about any dessert with this recipe. You will still want to freeze the cake for best results, and know that every single bump will show through. You may end up with a finished surface that isn’t quite as smooth as a mousse/entremet cake. Fondant finish, smoothed completely, will work well.
My mix was too thin and ran off of the cake! Why did you sell me this horrible recipe?!
This could be the result of a few things. When it comes to chocolate and pastry skills, precision in following the instructions to the letter is critical. Most of the poor results I have had sent to me so far have been found to be the fault of not using a candy thermometer to the instructed temperatures or are from not checking the chocolate to be sure it is true chocolate. Real chocolate will contain cocoa butter in the ingredients list. Preferably without any added oils (palm oil, coconut oil, etc.). Greta quality ingredients are expensive, but worth the result.
What is glucose syrup? Can I use something else?
This is a bit tricky. All corn syrup is glucose-based, but not all glucose syrup is corn syrup. Glucose (click to find on Amazon) syrup is great for candy-making and pastry products. I prefer to use it in it’s pure form, but for most applications, you can swap it out for corn syrup. In this case, you can swap it out without any issues.
Can I use regular chocolate instead of white chocolate?
Sure! But only if you send me a piece of your cake.
What chocolate do you recommend?
Using great quality REAL chocolate (see too thin above) will elevate your bakes to a new level. If you are going to put in this much effort, you might as well spend another few dollars and do it right. I typically use Callebaut, Valrhona, Guittard, or Ghirardelli for pastry projects. Many of these you can find on Amazon. Some you can find in chips at your grocery. Be sure to check the ingredients list to be sure you are buying real chocolate (cocoa butter listed without palm or other oils).
Can I make the glaze ahead of time to use later?
Absolutely! I actually like to make larger batches to use for later. Keep it in an airtight container, chilled until use. Before using, be sure you SLOWLY warm back to the necessary temperature to glaze. Be careful to not overheat.
Check out the recipe below for details on how to create that lovely shine.
- 15g gelatin powder (2 packets of traditional US packaged gelatin)
- 80g cold water (1/3 cup)
- 100g water (1/3 cup + 1½ tablespoons)
- 200g sugar (slightly under 1 cup white granulated sugar)
- 200g glucose or corn syrup (2/3 cup) (I prefer to use pure glucose, which has less water)
- 150g (1/2 cup) sweetened condensed milk
- 200g chocolate (1¼ cup chopped or chips) (I prefer to use white chocolate for this, but you can use either - it must be REAL chocolate, not melts or oil-based)
- food coloring (I prefer the gel here)
- Make the cake. If using a traditional buttercream, leave a thin, very cleanly done crumbcoat. For best results, freeze cake. Entremet or mousse cakes are best.
- Note: Your best results will be had by using a kitchen scale. Baking is all about precision!
- Bloom gelatin in the cold water. Allow to sit.
- Boil water, sugar, glucose in a saucepan over medium heat until fully dissolved.
- Remove from heat and add in gelatin.
- Add the condensed milk to the mixture.
- Pour entire warm mixture over chocolate. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- For best results, use an immersion blender to combine until perfectly smooth and shiny.
- Alternatively, you can stir carefully.
- Check the temperature of the mix. Use when the temperature reaches 32C/90F. This is important to not get to correct texture and pour. It may take a while to cool. Stir carefully while waiting. I like this thermometer for this.
- When ready to glaze the cake, cover a surface or rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap for easy cleanup. I use a large glass to place the cake (keeping the bottom of a spring form pan or small plate on the bottom of the cake) above the pan. You want to be able to pour and have the excess run off.
- You can color the glaze in individual containers with gel food coloring. Have all of your colors ready and at 90-95F before starting. They will maintain temperature for a decent amount of time, but you will want to work quickly.
- To get a gradient or different color design, pour the base color completely around the top of the cake. Use plenty to cover all spots. Immediately pour other colors.
- To finish, take a long offset spatula and hold it perfectly level to the top. Swipe the spatula across the top, just barely above the cake level to remove excess. This will leave your finish looking flat and perfect.
- Allow to sit before moving cake.
- Rest to set. You may refrigerate before serving.
- Find more recipe on SouthernFATTY.com