Does anyone know how to make the shiny chocolate glaze used by professional pastry chefs? I'm not sure if it's a ganache because it's silky smooth and keeps a mirror-like finish. Usually you see it utilized it "pastry Arts" magazine or on the pastry competitions shop shown on The Food Network.
Typically it's poured on some kind of dome-shaped mousse dessert.
Yes, it is different, not ganache. Honestly, ganache tastes better, but it never looks as shiny or dark. A lot of high-end places use a prepared glaze. I don't remember how to make the real article from scratch - chocolate, corn syrup and butter, I think, but there may be more to it. I'll check my "pastry reference library" (that would be the stack of books about to take over the living room) over the weekend and post Monday if no one has responded by then.
Here's a link to a cake recipe that uses a glaze.
I made the whole thing a couple of weeks ago. The glaze came out smooth and dark and shiny.
The technique that made the difference was crumb-coating the cake with some chilled glaze, and then pouring the heated glaze over that. It makes for a very slick looking product.
The glaze is made up of just chocolate (I used Valhrona), butter, and corn syrup. I must admit, however, that I agree with Curiousbaker that ganache tastes better. But if you want "the look," you need the glaze.
You can make your ganache sexy, dark and shiny by using a hairdryer on the finished cake, about six inches above it. Melts it slightly, but not enough to make it flow off of whatever it's on. However, my favorite chocolate glaze, in terms of flavor and texture, involves a pound of your favorite 60-62% chocolate, melted gently with 12 ounces of butter, just under an ounce of corn syrup a generous pinch of salt, and a little brandy or eau-de-vie if you like.
Stays dark and shiny, pours easily, and I have to hide it from my family and friends to keep it from being eaten before it gets to it's final destination on top of a cake.
Thanks for the formula. This glaze makes over twice the amount needed for one bundt cake top. Another note: the color will depend upon the bittersweetness of the chocolate used. Also, I used salted butter, which gave it a nice edge, but people not into salty chocolate might want to use sweet butter.