The Shiny “mirror Cakes” Of Pastry Artist “Olga Noskova” Might Be Too Stunning To Eat

A baker from Norway is totally transforming the meaning of cake icing. Olga Noskova has skyrocketed to Instagram fame since posting images of her cake art online, and we completely comprehend why.

The shiny mirror cakes of pastry artist Olga Noskova might be too stunning to eat

Noskova’s cakes are indeed stunning: Smooth as glass, they are so shiny, one could see his or her own reflection in them.

So how does she do it? To find out the science behind her art, we turned to Thomas Vaccaro, dean of Baking and Pastry Arts for The Culinary Institute of America.

What Noskova is using is called a mirror glaze, related to an old French technique has been around forever, he says.

“This is old school stuff,” Vaccaro told “Chefs have been doing mirror glazes for 30 or 40 years, but it’s just not mainstream.”

Essentially, gelatin, sugar and water are at the heart of the recipe, but mirror glazes can have many variations to add flavor and color.

The glaze can be applied to an array of desserts finished with a cream-you wouldn’t want to apply directly to an unfrosted cake, because it would absorb the glaze like a sponge, Vaccaro explains. But on a frosted cake, the glaze will completely enrobe the whole shape of the dessert when you pour it, and set up on top.

Temperature also plays a part: Bringing the mixture down from boiling to a lower temperature, 110Ëš to 120Ëš, is the key to getting that shine when you pour the glaze; it then sets when it cools at 87Ëš.

“We use a lot of mirror glazes in our restaurants, and it does show well. When people see them in the case, they want to buy them,” Vaccaro says. “It’s a cool concept.”

Apparently there is just something mesmerizing about this ancient pastry trick: Noskova has not yet responded to requests for comment, because she has been inundated, so little is known about the story behind her or her beautiful creations. But she did post on Instagram this morning: “I am shocked! My phone can’t deal with all the messages!”

Here’s how to make your own glaze for a “mirror cake.”

Chocolate Glaze (Ultra Shine)

Yield: 2 quarts

Total prep. time: 10 minutes

  • 2 pounds, 4 ounces sugar
  • 1 pound, 3 ounces water
  • 11 ounces Dutch cocoa
  • 11 ounces crème fraiche
  • 20 gelatine sheets or leaves (available at specialty stores)
  • 8 ounces Peter’s chocolate

1. Bloom the gelatine in water (follow package directions).
2. Boil the sugar, water, cocoa and crème fraiche.
3. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and add. Strain through a chinois.
4. Cool the glaze to 120°F before applying.

Note: Use a double boiler to re-warm.



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