Taken from Mich Turner's Showstopper Cakes to Everyday Bakes
My son described this as ‘a Ferrari in a cake' and who can argue with that? This red mirror glaze is made with white chocolate and glucose syrup to create a super-shiny, vibrant red, glossy mirror glaze.
This technique can be used with other colours to personalise your cakes. The secret is to have all the colours at the right temperature and the cake pre-frozen so the icing sets quickly as it is poured.
For the sponges
- 300g plain flour
- 55g cocoa powder
- ½tsp salt
- 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 280g golden caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 250ml buttermilk
- 2tsp red food colouring gel
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp distilled vinegar
For the cream cheese frosting
- 450g icing sugar
- 75g unsalted butter, chilled but removed from the fridge 30 minutes before using
- 190g full-fat cream cheese, chilled
- 2tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2tsp orange oil or grated zest of 1 orange
For the mirror glaze
- 20g gelatine powder
- 270ml cold water
- 300g granulated sugar
- 280g liquid glucose
- 200g sweetened condensed milk
- 300g white chocolate chips
- White food colouring gel
- Red extra food colouring gel
For the decoration
- Fresh strawberries and redcurrants
- White sugar pearls
To make the sponges
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan. Grease three 20cm sandwich tins and line the bottoms with non-stick baking paper.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt together and set aside.
In a large bowl, start whisking the butter. Once creamy, incorporate the sugar in two batches, whisking between each addition. Slowly whisk in the beaten eggs and then the vanilla extract.
Start adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture in batches, whisking well but slowly after each addition. The cake mixture will be thick. Add the buttermilk and food colouring and whisk until smooth.
Working quickly, combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Fold into the cake mixture. Once incorporated, divide the mixture between the three tins.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove and cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Trim the cakes so they are level and crumb the offcuts to use as decoration at the end.
To make the cream cheese frosting
Measure the icing sugar and chilled butter into a stand mixer or food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the chilled cream cheese and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla bean paste and the orange zest or oil.
Transfer to a covered bowl or sealed container and chill before using.
Place the sponges on a 20cm cake board. Sandwich and cover the top and sides with the cream cheese frosting and smooth with a palette knife and cake scraper so you have a perfectly straight and flat covered cake.
Place in the fridge to firm and then transfer the cake to the freezer for at least one hour prior to covering.
To make the mirror glaze
Place the gelatine in a small bowl and pour 120ml of the cold water over it. Stir and set aside to swell for 10 minutes.
Measure the sugar, remaining water and liquid glucose together in a large saucepan and bring to the boil up to a temperature of 103°C – you will need a digital thermometer to accurately record this. Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatine. Once combined, pour in the sweetened condensed milk and whisk until fully combined.
Place the white chocolate chips in a large bowl and pour the hot sugar syrup over the chocolate. Leave to sit for five minutes without mixing to allow the chocolate to melt. Use a handheld electric blender to blend the glaze so it is fully mixed and smooth.
Transfer 4tbs of the glaze into a smaller jug and colour this with white food colouring. Colour the remaining glaze with red extra gel to achieve a rich, intense colour.
Monitor the temperature as the glazes cool – each glaze needs to achieve a temperature of 28°C-30°C before it can be poured. Too warm and it will run straight off; too cold and it will be too thick and gloopy.
To assemble the cake
When you are ready to glaze, remove the cake from the freezer and stand it on an upturned bowl placed over a shallow baking tray lined with cling film.
Pour the red glaze in the centre of the cake and keep pouring as it covers the top and runs down the sides of the cake.
Leave to settle for a few minutes before adding a drizzle of white glaze across one corner of the cake – you can afford to be quite bold with this as the glaze will merge and continue to slowly run down the cake creating a marbling effect.
Leave the glaze to settle for 15 minutes. Use a sharp knife to remove the drips from the base of the cake and then lift the cake carefully onto a presentation cake board.
Decorate with a selection of redcurrants, sliced strawberries and white sugar pearls. Serve the cake at room temperature.
This cake will keep for up to three days stored in the fridge. Serve at room temperature. Not suitable for freezing.
Photo credit: Lisa Linder
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