Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52—with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: An easy, artistic way to make your glazed desserts instantly more impressive.
Everyone loves the classic marbled spider web pattern on cakes, or the neat chevron design on Napoleon pastries, or that sweet little string of tiny hearts that some chefs make. These classic patterns—plus gorgeous free-form designs—are enormously impressive, yet so easy to master!
The idea is to start with a cake or torte freshly coated in chocolate glaze, then immediately apply melted white or, if the glaze is dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and drag a fine artist's brush or bamboo skewer through the glaze to make a beautiful marbled pattern before the glaze begins to set.
Patterns to try:
Pick up a copy of Alice's James Beard Award-winning book Flavor Flours, which includes nearly 125 recipes—from Double Oatmeal Cookies to Buckwheat Gingerbread—made with wheat flour alternatives like rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, and teff (not only because they're gluten-free, but for an extra dimension of flavor, too).
Photos by James Ransom