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Culinary Arts

Chef Dominique Ansel’s Recipe for Dark Chocolate Mirror Glaze

Written by MasterClass

Feb 8, 2019 • 2 min read

Chef Dominique Ansel’s decadent chocolate cake is finished with this dark chocolate mirror glaze for an impressive finish.


What Is a Mirror Glaze?

A mirror glaze is a shiny glaze that tops cakes and confections. In order for mirror glaze to properly harden, it must be poured while roughly around 90 degrees Fahrenheit over a cold or room temperature surface. Mirror glaze gets its reflective qualities from the addition of gelatin. From white chocolate glaze to gold-flecked or tinted with gel food coloring, mirror glaze can be any combination of colors and flavors.

5 Tips for Making Perfect Mirror Glaze

  • Make the glaze at least one day before you’re ready to glaze your cake, as the glaze needs to set in the fridge first before using. That way, you can re-warm and re-emulsify it when you’re ready to use it, instead of waiting around for hours so that it cools to the proper consistency.
  • When you’re ready to glaze your cake, remove the glaze from the fridge and heat in the microwave until it’s exactly 86 to 95°F (30 to 35°C), so it’s liquid and pourable and will give your cake a shiny, uniform finish. If it looks like it’s slightly separated, use a hand blender to blitz it together. Make sure to tap the container a bit so that the air bubbles from blending go away.
  • The glazing process happens fast: be prepared with your cake set on a wire rack before you glaze.
  • When you pour the glaze, pour it from the center so that the glaze flows evenly over the cake layers, ensuring a smooth surface. If you pour from the side and then return to the center, the glaze will set on the outsides first, then be pushed up by the new glaze, forming ripples and waves which will mar the appearance of the cake.
  • While the glaze is still liquid, use an offset spatula to smooth the top and sides of the cake, if necessary.
chocolate mirror glaze dripping into a bowl


Chef Dominique Ansel’s Recipe for Dark Chocolate Mirror Glaze

Ingredient Checklist

Total 30 min | Serves 500g (enough to glaze an 8-inch cake)

  • 206g, or 1 cup sugar
  • 142g, or 1⁄2 cup, plus 11⁄2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 12g, or 4 tsp gelatin, powdered
  • 60g, or 1⁄4 cup water, cold
  • 148g, or 2/3 cups water, room temperature
  • 71g, or 1⁄2 cup, plus 5 tsp cocoa powder


  • Spatula
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Hand blender (immersion blender)
  • Thermometer
  • Wooden spoon
  1. In a medium pot, bring sugar and heavy cream to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in 60g (1⁄4 cup) of cold water.
  3. In a bowl, combine the 148g (2/3 cups) room temperature water with the cocoa powder, stirring with a spatula until it becomes a uniform paste.
  4. Stir the bloomed gelatin into the cream-sugar mixture until dissolved, then stir in the cocoa powder paste until combined.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat, and strain the glaze mixture through a mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl to remove any clumps of undissolved cocoa powder.
  6. Emulsify the mixture with a hand blender (immersion blender) to remove any lumps, until smooth.
  7. Cover and chill in the fridge overnight to set, until ready to use.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Chef Dominique Ansel’s chocolate cake recipe is the perfect canvas for this dark chocolate mirror glaze. It sets nicely over layers of biscuit, chocolate mousse, and rum syrup, and keeps decorative Swiss meringues in place for a truly decadent treat.