Sheet Pan

Alice's Chocolate Butter Glaze

April  9, 2018
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This is one of my go-to recipes when I want chocolate glaze on a torte. Rather than chocolate and cream (ganache), this glaze is made with chocolate and butter, so the flavor is more intensely chocolaty than ganache. Use it for cakes and tortes meant to be stored and served at room temperature. Don't use chocolate chips. Even melted, baking morsels and chips are thick and sludgy rather than fluid and flowing.

The recipe includes instructions for crumb coating and glazing the cake with a marbled "Salvador Dalí" effect (pictured)—read about it here before starting.
Alice Medrich

  • Makes enough for an 8 or 9-inch cake or torte,.
  • For the glaze
  • 6 ounces (170 Grams) any dark (semisweet or bittersweet) chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into several chunks
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (or honey or golden syrup)
  • pinch salt (I use fine sea salt)
  • Chocolates for decorating
  • 2 ounces White chocolate (not chocolate chips), finely chopped
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate (not chocolate chips), finely chopped
  • 1 8 or 9 inch cake or torte, at room temperature
In This Recipe
  1. To make the glaze, place chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a stainless steel bowl set in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Using a silicon spatula stir frequently and gently (to prevent air bubbles) until almost completely melted. Taste and add salt if you like. Remove the glaze from the water and set aside to finish melting, stirring once or twice until glaze is perfectly smooth. Cool glaze, without stirring, until nearly set and the consistency of easily spreadable frosting.
  2. Transfer about ¼ of the mixture to another bowl to use for crumb coating (and so that you don’t get crumbs into the remaining glaze). Center the cake on a cardboard cake circle (or pan bottom) the same size as the cake. "Crumb coat" the cake by spreading a thin layer of thickened glaze all over it—this is not meant to be pretty—just to smooth the surface of the cake and adhere loose crumbs. Set the cake aside on a sheet pan with cake rack near by.
  3. Put white and milk chocolates into separate (clean and dry) cups or ramekins. Bring the skillet of water back to a simmer and then turn the heat off and wait 1 minutes before setting the cups into the hot water. Stir the chocolates frequently until each is melted and fluid.
  4. Remove the cups from the water and turn the heat back on under the skillet. Set the bowl with the remaining glaze back into the water and reheat it gently, stirring, until it registers 90 degrees (perfect temperature for the best looking finish). If you overshoot the mark, set the glaze aside until it's at 90F.
  5. Before glazing the cake, be sure the white and milk chocolate are still warm and fluid, and the glaze is at 90F. Adjust the temperatures of these if necessary. Dry the bottoms of the cups and the bowl to avoid dripping water on the cake. Have two spoons ready for drizzling.
  6. To glaze the cake, pour all of the glaze on top of the cake but do not spread it. Immediately drizzle and drip white and milk chocolates generously over the glaze. Lift the cake, with both hand. Tilt and rotate the cake slowly so that the glaze flows over the sides all around the cake, letting excess land on the sheet pan. If you end up with a bare spot on the cake side, use a hand to scoop glaze from the sheet pan and gently ease it onto the bare spot—do all of this while the glaze and chocolate are all still warm and fluid. Set the cake on the rack and let it set at room temperature.

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My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).