Chocolate Mirror Glaze

I’ve been seeing some gorgeous cakes lately that are covered with a chocolate mirror glaze. This is a new baking term for me, as I’d never heard of a mirror glaze before. Essentially, it seems similar to a watered down ganache, with gelatin added to give it its characteristic shine.

I looked at a few recipes before settling on this one. To be honest, I chose it partly because the picture of the completed cake looked so professional. I didn’t have much to go on with the ingredients, other than noting that some recipes used corn syrup and others used only gelatin. I’m not sure how that affects the final consistency of the glaze, so I sort of just went with my gut based on the pictures.

For the cake, I wanted to use up some of the ingredients from my second chocolate dream cake, so I made a 6″ chocolate cake (cut into 3 layers) and filled each layer with the leftover fudge sauce.

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So. Much. Fudge.

For the frosting, I took my usual vanilla buttercream recipe and added in around 2tbsp of dulce de leche to make a caramel buttercream. I considered adding salt to make this a salted caramel buttercream, but I decided to play it safe and leave it out this time.

From what I read about mirror glazes, you want a very smooth finish on the buttercream so the glaze has a nice flat base, so I put extra care into smoothing out the sides. I think I skimped a little on the buttercream here, so next time I’ll go for a thicker coating.

While the cake sat in the fridge to cool, I heated up the glaze to 110 degrees F, which is the temperature you’d want for pouring. Technically, the cake is supposed to chill in the freezer while you do this, but I only have a small freezer (which was full of meringues and sugar cookies), so I decided the fridge would have to do.

I think I’ve noted that I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my Christmas gifts from last year, especially the rotating cake stand and dough scraper. For this project, I got to use a gift I bought for my boyfriend, which was a roasting pan with a rack. Sitting the cake on the rack allowed the glaze to drip off the sides so I could get a nice even coat.

Once the cake was covered, I took my squeeze bottle of sweetened condensed milk (also left over from the dream cake) and piped on four crossed lines.

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I’m pretty pleased with the result, though I would love to learn how to start a line without getting that little blob at one end. I’m assuming I’d have to start the line off the cake, them drag it across, but I’ll have to experiment with this in future.

I wanted a little more for this design, so I made a few white chocolate curls and a pink buttercream flower to finish off the top. I accidentally touched the top of the cake while doing this, so I dropped on another chocolate curl to hide the imperfection.

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The glaze is so shiny, you can actually see my hands and the camera reflected in it!

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I had a chance to try some of the leftover glaze, and my boyfriend and I both agree it tastes like brownie mix, so I know it’s going to be super delicious.

Towards the end, I noticed that I’d missed a small section of the cake, and the caramel icing was visible under the glaze. I just made this the “back” of my cake, as it was too late to fix it, but next time I’ll be sure to turn my cake all the way around while pouring on the glaze so I can be sure I’ve covered the whole thing.

My boyfriend and I are still finishing off the coffee caramel rosette cake, so I’ve decided to bring this into work and share it with my co-workers tomorrow. I’ve been so caught up in all my baking projects I haven’t brought anything into work in a while, so I think it’s about time my co-workers get to see my improved baking and decorating skills.

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