Princess (Mirror Glaze) Cake

This is my petit gateau(mini cake) take on the Swedish Prinsesstarta(Princess Cake). The Princess Cake usually consists of layers of vanilla cake with a vanilla custard/pastry cream and a raspberry jam, finished with fondant and/or marizpan. Now I could do fondant or marzipan, but those just don’t really taste good to me, nor do I really have an interest in fiddling around with them. So for the exterior, I went with a mirror glaze and homemade modeling chocolate, since both are made of white chocolate, and in my eyes, both taste a lot better than gum paste would. I will be honest in admitting that I would sooner die than cover my desserts in fondant. Fondant is hard to work with, just tastes like straight up sugar, and honestly is not worth the amount of effort it tastes to color, roll, and shape it. For this cake, rather than dealing with that, I found that a mirror glaze would give a similar, if not actually nicer sheen to it, while being a lot easier to execute. And since the cakes are normally topped with a mazipan or fondant flower of some kind, just to humor that halfway, I went with modeling chocolate, which is super easy to make actually, and honestly tastes better to me than fondant would have anyways.

For the different layers, we have a vanilla chiffon cake, a vanilla mousse, raspberry gelee, coated in a white mirror glaze, topped with homemade modeling chocolate, and edible pearl sprinkles. I wanted this to be a really light and airy take on the Princess Cake, using a Bavarian/diplomat cream in place of the pastry cream, and using a chiffon cake for my sponge, since the egg white-leavened batter has the consistency of a cloud. The raspberry gelee is completely unsweetened, just to guarantee that the sweetness from the modeling chocolate and mirror glaze do not completely overwhelm the rest of the dessert. The idea to do a mirror glaze came to me when I saw videos of assembling Princess Cakes, and how they usually dome off the tops of the cakes with cream before using the fondant. For me, I figured half dome sphere molds would make that process easier, and I usually finish off cakes I set in sphere molds with mirror glaze, so that just made sense to do. The modeling chocolate was a technique my friend Bethany taught me back in college, and it is still one that I use to this day when I need to do cake decorations in place of fondant(this one goes out to you, Bethany!). I opted to use ruby chocolate for this, since it was naturally pink to begin with, but Raspberry Inspiration or white chocolate mixed with pitaya powder or pink gel food coloring are accessible substitutions as well(for optimal flavor, I would say to use the Raspberry Inspiration, but I find that the ruby chocolate gives the best appearance and it has tartness that makes it a close second in flavor to the Raspberry Inspiration!).

For the raspberry gelee insert:
6oz fresh raspberries
2 tbsp water
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp rose water
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp agar agar

Heat up on low heat until everything is combined and reduced by half. Pour into a shallow bowl or container(you don’t want it to be any larger than that is lined with cling wrap. Freeze until set firm, about 10 minutes. Cut out 6 1-inch disks and keep frozen.

For the vanilla chiffon cake:
2 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp canola oil
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Whip egg whites with sugar to stiff peaks. Whisk together the egg yolk with oil, salt, and vanilla. Sift into the egg yolk mixture your flour and baking powder first. Then fold into that the whipped egg whites to form your batter. Pour into a lined quarter sheet tray and spread into a thin layer. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Allow the cake to fully cool before cutting out 6 3-inch disks followed by 6 1-inch disks.

For the vanilla soak:
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Mix to combine.

For the vanilla mousse:
1/2 tsp gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon cold water
1/4 cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped stiff

In a pot, melt the bloomed gelatin into milk. Whisk half of the warm milk into the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Pour the egg mixture back into the milk and whisk on medium heat for 2 minutes. Pour through a sieve and cool down to room temperature. Mix in the vanilla first, then the heavy cream.

For initial assembly:
In 3-inch half sphere molds, pipe halfway up with mousse. Brush the cake rounds with soak. Place down the 1-inch disks of cake first, then cover with a small piping of mousse. Then place down the disks of strawberry jam, then cover with more mousse. Finally, place down the 3-inch disks of cake and spread evenly. Freeze for 2-3 hours before attempting to unmold.

For the mirror glaze:
1 packet gelatin powder + 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
a pinch of salt
1 cup white chocolate chips

In a pot, heat up the gelatin, heavy cream, milk, and salt. Once the gelatin is dissolved into the liquid, add in the white chocolate and take off heat. Allow the mixture to sit for 2 minutes before stirring until combined. Pass through a sieve to remove lumps. Keep the glaze at 90 degrees F for glazing.

For the pink modeling chocolate flowers:
1/2 cup ruby chocolate or Raspberry Inspiration(can also sub with white chocolate with 1 tsp pitaya powder/1 dot pink gel food coloring as well!)
3 tbsp corn syrup
a pinch of salt

Melt the chocolate with the syrup and salt over a double boiler. Take off heat and mix until combined. Allow the mixture to cool down(this will allow it to solidify). While wearing gloves, roll out the modeling chocolate on either parchment or silpat to 1/18th an inch thickness. Cut out disks using a 1-inch ring cutter and wrap them around each other to form a rose or flower.

For garnish:
Edible pearls

Place your still-frozen cakes on a small elevated surface. Pour the glaze over each cake and allow that to set before transferring your cake to your intended serving vessel. Garnish with edible pearls and the modeling chocolate flowers to finish.

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