Lemon Berry Mirror Glaze Cake
For the lemon cake:
- Boxed white cake batter mix
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) finely grated lemon zest
For the lemon syrup:
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
- 118 ml (1/2 cup) sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
For the berry compote*:
- 355 ml (1 1/2 cups) mixed berries
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 227 grams (8 ounces) butter
- Two 227 gram (8 ounce) packages softened cream cheese
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 967 grams (8 cups) confectioner' sugar
For the white chocolate mirror glaze:
- 350 g (12.25 ounces) high quality white chocolate
- 19 grams (5 1/2 teaspoons) gelatin powder
- 301 grams (1 1/2 cups) sugar
- 156 ml (2/3 cup) condensed milk
For the tanghulu decoration (optional)
- 402 grams (2 cups) granulated sugar
- Sliced and skewered fruit
*Or substitute any type of home made or purchased berry jam.
- For the lemon cake: If you wish to bake the cake from scratch the recipe will be equally as delicious, however I usually opt to use the boxed mixes to save time in the kitchen. For the lemon cake I typically use a boxed white cake mix batter. Prepare according to package instructions, adding the lemon juice and lemon zest to the batter. Pour batter into two 20-23 cm (8-9 inch) cake pans and bake according to package directions. Allow the cakes to cool, and remove from the pan.
2. For the lemon syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine the lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest, and 118 ml (1/2 cup) water. Place over medium-high heat until the mixture boils, then remove from heat. Allow the syrup to cool before straining and transferring to a separate container.
3. For the berry compote: In a small saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, and 30 ml (2 tablespoons) water. Using a fork or muddler, mash the mixture until the berries are crushed. Place over medium-low heat and simmer until the berries are cooked down and the mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and allow the compote to cool before transferring to a separate container.
4. For the cream cheese frosting*: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Beat until blended, gradually adding the confectioners sugar. Continuously scrape the sides of the bowl and whip the frosting until it is thick and smooth. Reserve about 237 ml (1 cup) of the frosting in a separate bowl, add 60 ml (2 tablespoons) of the berry compote, and stir until evenly mixed.
5. To frost and assemble the cake, start by leveling the cake layers and brushing the bottom layer with the lemon syrup. Then add a thin layer of the berry compote to the base (bottom) layer of cake. Next add the berry frosting and spread it evenly. Brush the top layer of cake with the lemon syrup and add it to the base layer of cake. Using half of the remaining frosting, thinly frost the cake to form a “crumb coat” to seal in stray crumbs. Set aside the remaining half of the frosting at room temperature, and place the cake in the fridge to chill. Once the crumb coat is set, remove the cake from the fridge and frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting, spreading as smoothly as possible. Place the cake in the fridge or freezer and allow the frosting to set overnight to prepare for the mirror glaze.
6. For the white chocolate mirror glaze: Place the cooled cake on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Place the white chocolate in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine the gelatin powder and 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of water and allow the mixture to coagulate. In a saucepan combine the sugar, condensed milk, and 118 ml (1/2 cup) water. Heat until the mixture is slightly boiling, stirring occasionally. Add the bloomed gelatin and stir the mixture until the gelatin is dissolved. Then remove the mixture from heat and pour it over the bowl of white chocolate. Allow the hot liquids to melt the white chocolate, and then mix the mixture until it is smooth and silky. Cool the glaze while stirring occasionally until it reaches a temperature of 34°C (94°F). Then pour the glaze over the cake, allowing the excess glaze to pour off onto the tray. Cool the glazed cake until the glaze is set.
7. For the tanghulu fruit decoration: In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and 237 ml (1 cup) water. Boil the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 149°C (300°F). Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool briefly before carefully submerging you sliced and skewered fruit into the mixture. Set the candy-coated fruit on a sheet pan lined with parchment to set. For the abstract sugar decorations, simply pour the remaining sugar mixture in a bowl of cold water in a ribboning motion. Allow to set and remove from the water. Arrange the decorations as desired on top of the cake, and serve.
*This recipe requires a large batch of cream cheese frosting, so the recipe may need to be prepared in separate batches depending on the size of your mixer.