The Great Bloggers Bake Off: Week One - Mirror Glaze Cake

Monday 29 August 2016

Photograph of my home baked Blackberry Mirror Glaze Cake
Blackberry Mirror Glaze Cake
Welcome back to The Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016! If you read my blog around this time last year then you will already know about this link up. If not then you are in for a treat as EVERY week I will be making a bake based on one of the three challenges from the Great British Bake Off, and then link up with a tonne of other bloggers that will be doing the same.

As always the GBBO started with Cake week, and the challenges were a signature drizzle cake, the technical was Jaffa Cakes, and finally the show stopper was the absolutely beautiful mirror glaze cake. I'm sure by the title you've already realised that I decided to make the mirror glaze cake, which turned out to be not as difficult as you would imagine... So if you would like to know how to make this cake then keep reading...

For this recipe you will need:

For the Genoise Sponge:
  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • 8 Eggs
  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 50g Unsalted Butter (melted)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Buttercream:
  • 280g Unsalted Butter
  • 560g Icing Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Mirror Glaze:
  • 226g White Chocolate
  • 1/2 Cup Cold Water
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Golden Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 5 tsp Powdered Gelatin
  • Gel Food Colouring
  • Piping Bag
  • Blackberry Conserve
  • Fresh Blackberries

Photographs of the steps for making the Genoise Sponge
Making the Genoise Sponge
Making the Genoise sponge turned out to be fairly tricky. Preheat your oven to 180C and then prepare your cake tins by greasing them and adding baking paper discs to the base of the tins. You start by whisking together your eggs and sugar until frothy and pale, as there is no added raising agent, the air in the eggs will be what helps the cake to rise. Then you need to carefully fold in the flour, melted butter and vanilla extract. I took my time with this as I was so worried about knocking all of the air out of the cake. Then divide the mixture between the two tins, and bake in the oven for 20-30 mins until the cake has shrunk away from the sides. Leave the cakes to cool completely.
Photographs of the steps for Stacking and Filling the Cake
Stacking and Filling the Cake
While the cakes are cooling you can make your buttercream. All this involves is mixing the icing sugar into the butter a little at a time, mainly so that you don't end up with clouds of icing sugar all over the place. Once you've stirred in all of the icing sugar you can add the vanilla extract and mix one last time. By the time that this is done you're cakes should be completely cool, and ready to stack and fill. Place your first cake onto a plate or baking tray and then cover with a layer of buttercream, then put the remainder of the buttercream into a piping bag, and pipe a thin border around the edge of your buttercream layer. Then spoon a generous amount of the Blackberry conserve on top of your buttercream layer. Place your second cake on top, and then using the piping bag roughly cover the cake in buttercream, taking an offset spatula smooth the buttercream all over the cake, making it as smooth as possible. Then then goes into the fridge to set completely for at least two hours, however I left mine overnight.
Photographs of the steps for Making the Mirror Glaze
Making the Mirror Glaze
Once your buttercream covered cake is completely set you can move onto the part you are really here for, the mirror glaze! Start by pouring your 1/2 Cup of cold water into a bowl with your powdered Gelatin and mix together, put this to one side for 5-10 mins to bloom. Then in a medium pan add your 1/4 Cup water, sugar, and golden syrup and mix until well combined, turn the heat onto medium low and cook for 7-8 mins until the sugar is completely dissolved and is lightly boiling. Remove from the heat and then add the gelatin whisking until completely combined, then do the same with the sweetened condensed milk. Pour this over your white chocolate and leave it for 5 minutes to let the chocolate melt, once melted give this a quick beat with a hand mixer to make it completely smooth, and then strain it into a new bowl to get rid of the air bubbles.
Photographs of the steps for Decorating the Cake
Decorating the Cake
Once the mirror glaze is done I put about 1/3 of it into a different bowl, and then I coloured the larger bowl a dark purple and the smaller bowl a nice blue colour, using tiny amounts of gel food colours. Then I poured the blue colour into the larger bowl of purple, and then carefully swirled it around with a spoon. To get the cake ready I placed it onto the base of one of the cake tins I used and then balanced it on top of a small glass, which was on a baking sheet lined with parchment to catch the excess glaze. You want your glaze to be cool enough that it's not really thin and runny, but still warm enough that when you pour it, it will spread out nicely over the cake. Once you have poured your glaze you just need to leave it for the excess to run off, and then the glaze to set. Once set you can clean up the edges of the cake and then transfer it to a cake board, finally all that is left to do is add your finishing touches and then enjoy.

Photo of the finished Blackberry Mirror Glaze Cake
Blackberry Mirror Glaze Cake
Here is the finished cake! I was so pleased with the way it turned out, and I can confirm that the glaze was so shiny that I could see my face in it, which was the best thing about this bake. Unfortunately I cannot comment on how the cake tasted as I donated it to a coffee morning that my mum, sister and I organised to raise money for an Alzheimer's Charity.

Thank you to the lovely Jenny of Mummy Mishaps for once again hosting the challenge, and if you want to see what all of the other bloggers made, head over to her blog! Next week we take on biscuits so make sure to check back for that...

Mummy Mishaps
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