Vegan mirror glaze
June 8, 2016 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have a tried and tested recipe for a vegan mirror glaze/glaçage? I am trying to do something like this for a birthday cake.

Having seen tge recent thread on mefi i thought I'd give it a go! I have found a vegetarian recipe that includes condensed milk and I am wondering how important that is for the consistency. Can I use vegan cream or reduced milk in it's place?
posted by asok to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Coconut cream(not milk) might work. It's a very similar thickness to condensed milk. That being said you have to be careful to make sure it will set firmly. A teaspoon of cornstarch in the mixture might do the trick if it's too watery to set properly.
posted by InkDrinker at 12:07 PM on June 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I haven't tried using them for this exact purpose, but there are recipes for condensed nondairy milks. One example
posted by Gymnopedist at 12:41 PM on June 8, 2016

Best answer: There doesn't seem to be any technical/chemical reason for the condensed milk and pretty much any thick liquid will work. Compensate for sweetness + get really familiar working Agar Agar. Watch some how-to videos. I think temperature is more crucial than the properties of condensed milk for success with the technique. That's it.
posted by jbenben at 2:39 PM on June 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, here is a guide to cooking with agar agar.
posted by asok at 3:47 PM on June 8, 2016

There are other vegan gelling agents that you might want to consider. Agar is great, but carrageenan and tapioca flour might work, too, if you get tired of playing with agar. Tapioca is the least costly of the three.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 4:30 PM on June 8, 2016

Gellan will likely give a better shine than agar, which tends to dry dull/semi opaque. Gellan transmits light much closer to the way gelatine does, although is much stiffer at similar concentrations. I would try that or carrageenan or even an alginate/calcium reaction before agar.

Note that most hydrocolloids gel much much much faster than gelatine, so you'll need to work quickly.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:43 PM on June 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Actually thinking on it more I think alginate is your best way forward. Think of the shine on Kraft style individual cheese slices, it's very close to gelatine. At a wild guess, if you take the original mirror glaze recipe, instead of water use a 5% alginate solution in water (by weight not volume), and then calcium gluconolactate at ~2% of total weight to gel. Shear (use hand or upright blender) the calcium in at the last minute, then pour. If we had the ingredients at the restaurant I'd test for you.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:54 PM on June 8, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks for the technical know how feckless! In this case I am not going to have the time to source the sodium alginate and calcium lactate, or gellan so I will have to stick to agar agar which I can get from the Asian supermarket.

Due to the high temperature that agar agar sets at I will not be making a base layer of sugar paste icing because I think it will just melt when the glaze goes on at 40°C unless I freeze the cake solid, and there isn't room in my freezer!
posted by asok at 1:51 AM on June 9, 2016

Agar is activated/melts at a relatively high temperature (which is why it doesn't have the melty mouthfeel of gelatine). Its setting temperature is around 30C as opposed to 15. There are reference charts and recipes here (pdf).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:33 AM on June 9, 2016

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