I was over myself with joy at how this cake turned out. Taste aside (and it tasted awesome according to my friends, and I agreed), it looked exactly as I hope it would look, and way better than my first attempt at mirror glazing a cake.
The cake base is David Lebovitz’s Devil’s Food Cake, with a minor change suggested by a baking buddy, replacing the sugar with 150 grams of granulated white sugar and 165 grams of light brown sugar. Between the cake layers, i piped a generous layer of Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Pastry Cream. I used only half the portion from the recipe for the pastry cream. And for the mirror glaze, I used Lily Wai’s Lacquer Glaze:
Makes 1 ½ cups
¼ cup cold water
2 teaspoons gelatin
133 grams sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn syrup
103 grams sifted unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa powder
1/3 cup heavy cream
1) Pour ¼ cup cold water in a small mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top, give it a stir, cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and set aside.
2) In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar and 1/3 cup water over medium heat. When the sugar completely melts, take off heat and with the help of a wire whisk, stir in corn syrup, followed by the cocoa. You will have a smooth and glossy mixture.
3) Stir in heavy cream with a spatula and return pan to medium heat. Bring the mixture to the boiling point (approximately 88C). Bubbles will just start to form around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the mixture into the metal bowl. Cool slightly for almost 15 mins.
4) With the silicone spatula, stir in the softened gelatin until it is dissolved completely and no longer streaky.
5) Strain the glaze into a bowl and let cool until an instant-read thermometer registers 27C (best temperature to glaze the cake)
6) The glaze can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week or in the freezer for several months. Reheat it in a double boiler over hot not simmering, water or very carefully in a microwave with 3 seconds bursts, stirring gently to ensure that it doesn’t overheat or incorporate air.
One personal tip – the secret to a beautifully glazed cake lies in how smooth the underlying layer of ganache is. As this is the first time I smoothed ganache, it took me many hours, or scrapping, smoothing and freezing. And I have to say, a turn table is a must! I also find this tutorial on applying ganache a must-see. It is a long tutorial but there are a few techniques there which helped me achieve this flawless finishing.