What is a pastry icing?
Frosting a cake is the last step in your recipe. This is the topping of your entremets which will cover all of your pastry. It is liquid but not too much in order to adhere to the surface of the cake to sublimate it and often add an enticing color! There is, however, a neutral glaze on some fruit pies to make them shine and prevent them from falling out of their pie. Not to be confused with the white pastry fondant with which pastry chefs coat eclairs and millefeuilles. Fortunately, there are several icing recipes that we will explain in detail in this article.
There are 3 main types of Cake Icing :
This royal icing is a simple white topping made from egg white and icing sugar. Some bakers add a little lemon juice to make it brighter and less sweet . Not to be confused with lemon mirror glaze, it is more of an icing sugar glaze.
It is often found on cake decoration such as Christmas cookie icing , donuts or even cupcake icing because it hardens on contact with the cake to freeze and bring a dose of sugar to a sugar-free cake . So it's best not to over-sweeten your homemade cake recipe .
By adding food coloring to your homemade royal icing you can create a flowing topping effect on your layer cake to give it a surprising and gourmet style.
This buttercream icing is America's favorite cake icing to decorate their layer cakes, cupcakes and all their XXL cakes!
As its name suggests, this icing is essentially composed of butter and icing sugar to which an additional color is often added.
In order to make this homemade buttercream icing a success, it is best to equip yourself with an adjustable spatula and a turntable to smooth the cake and remove the excess buttercream to prevent the cake from being disgusting in the mouth.
If you prefer a frosting without butter , you can substitute it with mascarpone or cream cheese. A piping bag will be very practical to make pretty decorations on your dessert because this thicker icing than the others will bring volume to your sweet decorations .
If you prefer white icing or neutral icing , we recommend using a food airbrush to add colors to your homemade dessert in a playful way by spraying liquid food coloring on it and creating velvet effects , for example.
This mirror icing is surely the most impressive cake icing . Its topping leaves no second chance for mistakes! Its more fluid texture than other pastry icings will bring a shiny effect to your dessert so much that you can see yourself in it as if in front of a mirror.
This homemade mirror icing will be placed on your cake like a tailor-made garment if you follow all the steps of its recipe that we will see together.
Composed mainly of water, sugar and gelatin, it is the star of pastry icings and will bring a smooth and shiny appearance to your homemade dessert . It is of course possible and preferable to add a dose of edible coloring in order to sublimate.
Let's get down to business and see together: How to make mirror glaze?
Here is the video of our infallible chocolate mirror glaze , the result of which is a shiny mirror glaze without colouring :
How to make cake icing?
The recipe for homemade mirror icing often frightens amateurs because it must be poured hot over a cold entremets in sufficient quantity to cover the cake in a single shiny and bubble-free topping.
After reading our advice from pastry chefs below, shiny mirror icing will have no more secrets for you!
This mirror topping will not add extra texture to your cake. In addition to its shiny effect , it can bring a sweeter and more gourmet flavor by adding chocolate and you get a chocolate mirror glaze .
To obtain an optimal shine result, your dessert should preferably be frozen. It is therefore essential to use a silicone dessert mold to make a perfect mirror glaze . The food-grade silicone mold is the only type of cake mold that will allow you to unmold your frozen dessert without risk.
So that your mirror glaze is not too hot and melts your dessert, it is best to control its temperature using a digital thermometer .
Discover the recipe for our chocolate red mirror glaze in the video below:
Chocolate Mirror Glaze Recipe
Ingredients for the red mirror glaze :
- 100g water
- 170 g of sugar
- 125 g of glucose (or acacia honey)
- 125 g of 35% fat liquid cream
- 100g white chocolate (good quality)
- 6 g gelatin (3 sheets)
- Red food coloring in gel or powder
For the entremets glaze :
- Bring to a boil; water, sugar, glucose and cream.
- Pour over the white chocolate and the previously rehydrated gelatin and mix everything without making air bubbles.
- Reserve at least 4 hours in the fridge.
- Melt at 26-28°C and use.
What type of dye for a mirror glaze?
Neutral mirror glaze is a white glaze . It is possible to add colors to it once it has cooled by adhering to your dessert using the food airbrush . It's about spraying edible dyes on your cake by creating visual effects, gradients, velvet, etc... The end result is inimitable!
Colored mirror glaze is a neutral glaze to which liquid or powdered food coloring is added. The powder coloring is more difficult to dilute in the icing and is rather reserved for professionals who make large quantities.
Before buying your food coloring for your homemade icing, make sure it is a water-soluble coloring that can be mixed in water (red coloring, yellow coloring, etc.)
If you add chocolate to your mirror glaze, then you will need a natural coloring that is also a fat-soluble coloring that can be mixed with fats such as the cocoa butter present in the pastry chocolate couverture .
Usually white chocolate is used instead to make a colored chocolate mirror glaze . But it is also possible to use dark chocolate or milk chocolate to prepare your chocolate mirror glaze recipe . These cocoa-rich chocolates make it possible to obtain original colored mirror glazes. Mix milk chocolate with orange coloring and you get a gourmet caramel mirror glaze .
Discover in this article how to decorate your cakes with a pastry airbrush:
5 decorating ideas for cakes and desserts
How to store icing?
The best advice is to prepare your mirror glaze the day before by keeping it in the refrigerator, filming it on contact, then reheat the mirror glaze in a bain-marie or microwave the next day.
It's best to prepare more icing than you need to coat your desserts at once. Recover the surplus for future recipes. Imagine your half-naked cake!
Well wrapped, your homemade mirror glaze can be kept for 2 weeks in the freezer without risk of altering its quality.
How to make your frosting?
To achieve a perfect mirror glaze with each homemade frosting recipe, there are a few tricks to master. In baking, it's all about precision when you want to achieve impressive results.
Regarding the mastery of shiny mirror glazing, it will be necessary to manage the temperature using a laser thermometer preferably. You have to heat the syrup to 103°C while the icing will have to go down to a temperature between 30°C and 35°C to obtain a fluid topping that will cover your entremets with a shiny and smooth layer. Not obvious at first glance!
How to pour a mirror glaze?
If your homemade icing is too hot, it may melt your frozen dessert . In addition, your too hot mirror icing will be too liquid and will not have time to adhere to your cake.
On the other hand, an icing that is too cold will be too thick and will not flow properly on your cake. Its texture will be gelatinous and unpleasant in the mouth for your guests who will tell you out of love that it doesn't matter!
In order not to waste your efforts and your motivation by having to start your failed icing again, equip yourself with a good thermometer which will be very useful for all your other homemade pastry recipes.
How to make bubble-free mirror glaze?
For bubble-free frosting , simply use an immersion blender on low speed in a tall, upright container to blend your ingredients.
Insert the blender gently into your mixture and place it vertically in the container, preventing its blade from coming out of the liquid. In this way no air bubbles will infiltrate your mixture. It would be a shame to get an ultra shiny colored icing on your dessert with small bubbles all over its surface. Snif!
Why is my frosting not hardening?
This is the kind of question we ask ourselves when we don't have a digital thermometer and we haven't respected the temperature differences that we saw together above. Which is probably not your case! Then it is surely another problem which is surely that of food gelatin .
Why is my frosting running?
This magical ingredient will be used to fix the icing on your cakes but also your creams, mousses and other frozen desserts . It exists in sheet or powder form which must be immersed in cold water to give it a liquid texture. But to activate its gelling properties it will have to be run in a hot mixture at 103°C preferably to preserve the gelling effect of the icing .
You will find all the useful information about this essential ingredient in our other article which explains the different food gelatins by clicking on the link.
Why isn't my icing shiny?
For an unmistakable chocolate mirror glaze, it is best to use a couverture chocolate instead of the classic chocolate bar . As a chocolate rich in cocoa butter, it melts more easily and is brighter than other branded chocolates.
This is why it is the favorite chocolate of pastry chefs and chocolatiers because its tempering gives ultra-shiny chocolate . If you are also interested in mastering chocolate then I suggest you read this other blog article in which you will discover all the secrets of chocolatiers: How to make homemade chocolate ?
My frosting is too runny
The icing is too hot or the doses have not been respected
My icing is too thick
|The icing is too cold or the doses have not been respected|
My icing does not hold
|Insufficient amount of gelatin|
My icing does not shine
|Chocolate is not couverture (poor in cocoa butter)|
My icing is not pretty
|Temperatures or doses were not respected|
My icing is not good
|There is too much coloring or gelatin|
My icing is not even
|The icing is too hot or the topping is poorly poured|
CONCLUSION : To achieve a beautiful Glossy Mirror Glaze, you need a beautiful frozen entremet. To obtain a perfectly smooth entremets after unmolding and ready to receive its hot icing, you need a quality Silicone Entremets Mould .
Glucose Free Mirror Glaze Recipe:
For those who don't have glucose at home, here is another easy mirror glaze recipe:
- 100g water
- 200g powdered sugar
- 100 g 30% liquid cream (or unsweetened condensed milk)
- 150g white, milk or dark chocolate
- 10 g gelatin powder or leaves (200 bloom)
- 2 g of liquid coloring
For this glucose-free icing recipe, add the liquid cream off the heat to the syrup at 103°C.
Mix your mirror glaze with gelatin and let melt for about 1 min before mixing, avoiding the formation of micro bubbles .
Leave your film-wrapped contact frosting in the fridge overnight.
Heat the icing in a bain-marie without exceeding 37°C then mix again with an immersion blender to obtain a shiny and fluid result each time.
Can you freeze a cake with mirror frosting ?
Avoid reserving your frozen dessert in the freezer otherwise it will lose the shine of its icing. What a pity !
Gelatin Free Mirror Glaze Recipe:
Here is one last gelatin-free mirror glaze recipe:
For a medium-sized cake (30 cm in diameter)
- 15 cl heavy cream
- 120g dark chocolate
- 30g of butter
- 1 teaspoon of bitter cocoa
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar
It is complicated to replace food gelatin with agar agar because this ingredient once heated to obtain its gelling texture , it is no longer possible to freeze it at the risk of breaking.
Do it yourself !
Now you are ready to make icing on all your cakes according to its texture; a huge unicorn cake in relief, an easy and original cake covered with a shiny dress in red icing , a chocolate birthday cake with a velvet effect to surprise and delight your loved ones.
Discover our baking accessories and utensils to help you make unforgettable cakes with ultra-shiny icing by clicking on the image below: