Mirror glaze (or "glacage mirroir") is a gorgeous technique for decorating cakes. Unlike frosting or fondant, mirror glaze starts as a very viscous liquid which gels as it cools. While somewhat similar to ganache, the gelatin transforms it into something else entirely.
Mirror glaze is delicious relative to the more bland fondant but it also tends to be very sweet, so you should factor this into the final sweetness of your cake. Aside from appearance and taste, it also acts like a crusting buttercream by sealing in the layers.
And not to mention, pouring the glaze is an oddly satisfying feeling that never gets old.
Makes glaze for a dozen 10-inch cakes. You can halve or quarter the recipe for a smaller yield.
(half portion below)
An immersion blender will allow you to get a very smooth blend and a sieve will remove any imperfections from the glaze.
First, ensure you have a completely frozen cake, which means keeping your cake in the freezer overnight. Also make sure the sides and tops are completely smooth. Any dips, bumps, or imperfections will show in the final result.
Once your cake is ready, begin to prepare the mirror glaze. Bloom the gelatin in cold water and set it aside while you heat the liquids.
When the sugar is fully dissolved and the liquid is hot, turn off the heat and stir in the gelatin.
Wait about 5 minutes for the chocolate to melt. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend this mixture until smooth. Strain this through a sieve and allow to cool, gently stirring every so often to prevent a film from forming on top. Depending on the container you are using and your starting temperature, the cooling can take up to 2 hours, which an ice bath can accelerate. Your target temperature is about 92°F (33°C).
When the glaze is between 90°F and 94°F (32°C - 34°C), it is ready to be poured over the cake. At this point be very careful not to introduce bubbles since the glaze is very viscous and they will not pop on their own. You must manually pop them or strain the mixture through a sieve.
You can pour starting at the sides in a circular motion working towards the center, or start from the center and work out to the sides.
Once it's poured, it's done! There is no fixing a bad poor on mirror glaze unless you rip off the entire layer and refreeze the cake. If all goes well, you should have a smooth top and sides. It may take some practice to get a feel for how to pour the glaze, or it might come out perfect on the first try.
Transfer the cake to the serving dish or a cake base, whatever you are using for its final presentation. After an hour chilling in the refrigerator, it is ready for decorating.
White chocolate mirror glaze is used in my Milk Peach Entremet.
The recipe is the same for Dark Chocolate Mirror Glaze, but instead substitute out dark chocolate.
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