Have you tried ‘mirror glazing’ a dessert?

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How often you may have looked at a photo of a delicious cake or some doughnuts and longed to bite into that shiny rich exterior? That effect is courtesy mirror glazing. A technique that’s extremely popular with chefs and foodies, mirror glazing involves brushing the dessert with a sticky and sweet (can be savoury) substance to give it that shining finish. This glaze usually just needs condensed milk, water, gelatin and some chocolate as well as flavour or colour. We got chef Sanjana Patel to share how it’s made from scratch and how one can achieve endless colour and creativity using the simple ingredients…

‘You can experiment with colours, textures and pouring techniques’

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So what is the lure about mirror glazing desserts? Says Sanjana, “I truly believe that less is more, which is why I enjoy working with glazes. There are a variety of glazing techniques one may use – like mirror glazing, marble glazing, spider web glazing etc, all of which lend such beautiful finishes to a dessert. There is a lot of room for creativity when it comes to glazes; you can experiment with colours, textures and pouring techniques. What I love about glazes has to be the fact that it makes each cake so unique. The patterns that you can create on one cake using the same glaze in different colours are endless.”

Looking appealing is one thing, but would that affect the taste of the actual dessert? She replies, “I think it comes down to the ingredients you put in your glaze. I don’t prefer to use a lot of colours and artificial ingredients in my glazes. What I like to do is pour a nice, even layer of glaze on my cake, let it drip and then avoid adding too much garnish over the cake. I prefer to let the design and the simplicity of the cake pattern come through. Glazes are meant to enhance the beauty of a good cake, not take away from the flavours of the dessert itself.”

‘Ensure that your dessert is at the right temperature and your glaze is warmed’

You can one create a mirror glaze dessert at home using basic ingredients and equipment. She says, “I recently taught a class on Spray Painting and Glazes, which covered various techniques of glazing and the equipment required to create smooth, shiny glazes at home. For mirror glazing, you just need to ensure that your dessert is at the right temperature and your glaze is warmed and kept ready in a jug. Use an upside-down vessel to add height to your cake and keep a GN pan or tray at the bottom to catch the glaze as it drips from the cake. Once you’re aware of the fundamentals of glazing and have a go-to glaze recipe, you can experiment with pouring techniques and colours – that’s where the real fun begins!”

Tips for beginners experimenting with this medium

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If you are new to this, it’s not difficult to get. Sanjana shares a few tips to help. She informs, “When experimenting with glazes, always ensure that your temperatures are correct. Too hot and your glaze will melt the cake, too cold and you won’t get the best finish. Moreover, remember that it is all about practice. Make sure not to go over your cake multiple times to achieve a desired result, you will only end up making things worse. Instead, start afresh and try again. You can always reuse the glaze that gets collected in the pan on another cake to ensure minimum wastage. You may not achieve the best designs right at the start and that’s okay. With practice, you will be able to create your own signature style and colour palettes.”

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