This is a very simple glaze you can make at home if you can’t buy ready-made neutral jelly glaze (nappage neutre). It’s great for adding a shiny mirror layer to an entremets or layer of mousse like a bavaroise (made with gelatine and whipped cream). I prefer to prepare the glaze just before decorating but you can make it in advance and then when you need to use it heat back up to around 30ºC/85ºF so it becomes liquid enough to start working with.
- 75g white caster/superfine or granulated sugar
- 75g/ml water
- 1 sheet of gelatine
- Soak the sheet of gelatine in a good quantity of cold water for about 5 to 10 minutes, till softened.
- Bring the sugar and water to the boil (stir a little at the start) then take off the heat.
- Squeeze the gelatine in your hand to get the excess water out then add to the sugar and water and whisk till it dissolves.
- Pour the glaze into a clean bowl and allow to cool till it becomes slightly gelatinous. Place in the fridge for 5 to 15 minutes (but it could take quite a bit longer, like 1 or 2 hours). Check and stir it gently occasionally to make sure it doesn’t set too much. You need a lightly jelly-like gloopy mixture you can spread over the top of your tart.
- Once it starts cooling DON’T WHISK THE GLAZE or it will go cloudy. Just stir gently with a plastic spatula or spoon. Note: to speed up the cooling process you can place your bowl of glaze over an ice-bath (a larger bowl filled with ice water) but be careful not to leave it in very long – take it out every minute or so and stir.
Spreading the glaze
Place about two-thirds or more of your glaze in the centre of the tart then spread out lightly with a spatula knife from the centre outwards to the sides. Finally smoothe in a once over sliding your spatula knife at a slight angle all the way across the top from one side to the other.
- The glaze looks better if the tart filling is all the way to the top. Here you can see some honey glaze where the look is more rustic because the filling is a little lower and also the honey made a less evenly-coloured glaze.
- Ideally the glaze should be very thin.
- If the glaze goes cloudy because you’ve whisked it you’ll need to start again making a new batch.
- Smoothe the glaze over a cake or tart with the minimum of movements possible. If you go backwards and forwards too much it will probably get messy and cloudy.
- Between each time you spread the glaze with your spatula knife, clean off your knife on the edge of the bowl.
- Try to relax and be light of hand… 🙂 Om.
P.S. There are other online recipes for neutral mirror glaze involving pectin and glucose. The one above uses the simplest ingredients.