Glazing is something that you will need to practice, and perfection can only come from doing again and again. You’ll get a feel for when the glaze is the right consistency, if you’ve used enough colour, and if the temperature is just right.
Glaze colour is vital. Ensuring you have a strong enough hue is the key to a rich, shiny mirror glaze. Use too little and it’ll either have a transparency or be pale. The best way of avoiding this is to use a professional product. To get the most vibrant of colours, I use Pro gel from RainbowDust which is cheap, available in a huge range of colours and available to buy in most hobby and cooking shops.
If you use more of a weaker colouring it will simply make your glaze gloopy. The most important thing to remember is always have more than enough food colouring than what you need. There is nothing more disappointing, and I speak from experience here, than not having enough colouring for the task at hand. What was meant to be a deep, shiny black turned into a pale grey let-down. Be prepared!
The glazing process needs to be started around 2 hours before it is needed as the most crucial aspect for glazing is temperature.
- Start off by soaking your gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes until softened.
- While it is soaking, combine the double cream, milk and sugar in a saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring constantly until the sugar has melted (about 2 minutes).
- Remove the gelatine from the cold water and squeeze out any excess.
- Add the gelatine to the saucepan and keep on the heat, stirring always.
- As soon as it starts to boil, remove from the heat and add in your white chocolate.
- Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted, then whisk in the olive oil (this will help with the consistency and shine).
- Finally, whisk in your colour gel of choice.
- Pass your glaze through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl or container and put to one side.
It is vital at this stage to check you have the colour right. The best way of doing this is to take some glaze on a spoon and pour back into the container. If the poured mix is not as bright as wanted, whisk in some more colouring.
Now, here is the crucial bit
Put your glaze somewhere cool in the kitchen, but not in the fridge. You need to cover your glaze container with clingfilm, to avoid a skin forming, but stir every 10 minutes to keep its fluidity. After around an hour, check the temperature with an electronic probe. The glaze is ready to use at 31℃.
- Any cooler, it won’t give an even coat and will turn gloopy.
- Any hotter and it won’t give a thick enough coating and the bavarois will show through.
Don’t worry if it cools down too much, simply give it about 10 seconds in the microwave, pass through a sieve and try again.
In my experience, it takes between an hour and a half and 2 hours to come to temperature. When you hit 31℃, give it a quick blitz with a stick blender and you’re ready to glaze.
The actual glazing
So you’ve got your mirror glaze. It’s at the right temperature. You’ve got whatever it is that you want to glaze ready and frozen.
But what now? How do you actually go about glazing? There are two methods.
The first method is To Dip something into your glaze.
- Make sure that the glaze is in a narrow container so your frozen dessert will be fully submerged.
- Insert a skewer or cocktail stick into the bavarois (or whatever you are using) and dunk it in and out of the glaze.
- Count 4 seconds as you do it; 2 seconds going in, 2 seconds coming out.
- If you feel that it needs a thicker layer of glaze, repeat immediately with the same method.
- Leave suspended above the pot of glaze for around 6-8 seconds to drain off any excess, then place carefully onto baking parchment. It is vital that you put onto parchment and not just onto a plate or tray as you will need to lift it off again once set.
- Leave in the fridge for around 1 hour so the glaze can set and the dessert itself can defrost.
- Then, simply lift off the parchment with the use of a spatula and the cocktail stick, place on your plate, and carefully slide the spatula out from underneath, while putting pressure on the cocktail stick.
- Remove the stick and you’re good to go!
The second method is The Pour
Click here to watch how.
This is better suited for desserts that are too big to dip into a pot of glaze, such as mirror glazed mousse cakes (a subject not covered in this book, but well worth looking into).
- You make and cool your glaze exactly as before.
- This time, take your frozen dessert out of the freezer and sit it on a upturned cup which is sitting in a tray. (The cup is so the glaze can drip off freely, leaving you a nice clean edge, and the tray is to catch all the glaze that will drip off. The leftover drips can either be saved for another use or discarded. Either way, the tray saves a lot of mess!)
- Once you have your dessert positioned on top of the cup give your glaze a final stir and pour slowly onto the very top of your cake, from a height of about 15cm.
- The idea is to keep pouring until the glaze has completely covered your dessert with a nice even coating.
- You will need to pour in small circles to ensure even coverage.
- Once you are happy, take a small spatula or knife and run it round the bottom rim of the dessert, to remove most of the drips. Transfer the whole tray carefully to the fridge and leave for at least 1 hour, depending on the size of the dessert, to defrost.
- The simplest way to finish a glazed cake is to take some chocolate or cake crumbs and press around the bottom of the dessert to tidy up any drips that have remained. Carefully lift off of the cup it is resting on and serve!