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Glazing can be a nightmare if you don’t know what to use!

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Glazing can be a nightmare if you don't know what to use!
Glazing can be a nightmare if you don’t know what to use!

Glazing can be a nightmare if you don’t know what to use!

Many people get scared when they are faced with the task of glazing a dessert or a cake, and so they seek comfort in one of the thousands of recipes on the web!

A little clarity on the issue is due.

First of all, we must know what we expect from our glaze:

  • Should it dry out and turn into a crust?
  • Should it be soft when cut?
  • Should it stay dull or shiny?
  • Will it be used to cover leavened cakes, fresh pastries or ice cream cakes?


For the sake of convenience I will divide glazes and icings into 2 groups:

  • Sugar glazes

  • Chocolate glazes

Sugar-based glazes

These glazes have both the merit and the defect that they crystallize and harden; because they can be dyed any colour you like, they are ideal for decoration, on biscuits and baked desserts.

Their added benefits are that they do not collapse, they keep well at room temperature (no need to refrigerate) and they are not sticky (think of a  dessert that needs wrapping).

The two most important glazes are royal icing and drizzle icing.

Royal icing:

It is made of icing sugar, egg white, lemon juice and food colouring (optional)


30 g egg white

180 g icing sugar,  sifted

a few drops of lemon juice

Mix the ingredients together until the icing is fairly but not excessively liquid.

Drizzle icing:

Mainly used on leavened cakes, it has a very simple composition: water and icing sugar.


20 g water

200 g icing sugar, sifted

Mix the two ingredients well, refrigerate for about half an hour covered with plastic wrap.


Chocolate-based glazes

Chocolate lends itself very well to glazing, but if it is used as it is it can be too thick and therefore difficult to use.

Let’s see what substances we can use to dilute it and to make glazes:

The addition of peanut oil makes chocolate more liquid and less cut resistant: in this case we will add it without applying any specific technique, just making sure we incorporate it perfectly.

Chocolate and butter glaze


  • 200 g dark chocolate for covering
  • 200 g good quality butter

The addition of butter: unlike oil, butter contains a certain amount of water that could compromise our work, which is why we must follow special techniques. The most common is emulsion, i.e. a technique that allows us to mix two substances that cannot be mixed together (such as fats with water) through friction: In this case the chocolate is melted and than the melted butter is added in a 1:1 ratio. Pour half the butter stirring in the middle of the bowl, once it starts to become shiny and the emulsion is starting we can mix in the remaining chocolate on the sides and finally add the remaining butter.

Chocolate and syrup glaze (profiteroles, Sacher torte)


  • 150 g sugar
  • 130 g water
  • 300 g dark chocolate for covering

Adding syrup allows us to make a soft but very sweet glaze. To make it so we must melt the chocolate and add some warm syrup (about 45°C) pouring it a little at a time, like we do with butter glaze, and applying the emulsion technique.



  • 170 g fresh heavy cream 35%
  • 240 g dark chocolate
  • 20 g glucose

This also requires the emulsion technique. Melt the chocolate and in the meantime heat up the fresh cream with the glucose (approx. 45-50°C), adding a teaspoon of glucose (or honey). Follow the method for making the butter glaze.

With these methods our glazes will be very smooth and soft to glaze fresh desserts, profiteroles, Sacher torte and leavened desserts, with varying degrees of shine.

Click here to read my article on

Mirror glaze

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  1. A Kleynhans
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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