Mirror glaze your expectations

Zuzanna Żak
3 min readMar 10

Tomorrow there’s a friendly gathering for which I’ll be bringing some cakes, the type of cake that’s called a monoportion. I don’t like that word, it seems to be adding a 50% markup to the prices, but at the same time, I know that making 10+ individual cakes with high esthetic expectations is draining.

From LoveAndOliveOil — I haven’t tried this recipe, but the photo shows what kind of glaze I was going for. I won’t be sharing my photos here, because I still need to make additional cream and decor for the cakes.

Monoportions are usually made out of liquids with the addition of gelatin. Those liquids are then frozen in a mold of a desired shape. Often you put the frozen bit into another mold, pour a different liquid on it, and freeze everything again. It’s a lengthy process, taking up a lot of space in a standard home freezer for at least 3 days.

I made them for the winter holidays, and I complained about how dense the glaze was. I was following a recipe from culinary workshops, and it stated that the glaze needs to be poured when its temperature is between 25–35 degrees — something that didn’t match what we did, and that glaze at 35 degrees didn’t want to be a liquid anymore.

This time I may have exaggerated on the other side — the glaze was a bit too hot. It wasn’t hot enough to destroy the cream it supposes to cover, but it didn’t stick that well to the cake, giving sheer coverage.

Additionally, the molds I was using for the cakes were a bit too soft, and my freezer shelves aren’t 100% flat by design, so some of the cakes are in more interesting shapes than a cylinder or a sphere.

Also, I’m not sure I left enough space for the decor that is supposed to hide my skills. The base of the monoportion, made with cookie crumbs tied together again with white chocolate, is too large to be hidden under the frozen cream part, and too small to comfortably put some crème pâtissière around it.

I mean, I could have done better with a professional-grade freezer, a nice thermometer, and more varied molds. I’m bringing this to a gathering of people with enough resources to pay attention to details, but I’m a bit sick to the stomach thinking that I probably put the not-so-symmetrical works on display for others to comment on, while I’m a simple person, I see a cake, I eat cake, and make the complicated recipe only if I enjoy it.

I probably could have made them perfect. I could use the dry ice for faster freezing. Spend more money on better molds…

Zuzanna Żak

Field recordist, bird song participant, early morning enjoyer. Use my 🦆 recordings:https://www.pond5.com/artist/ZuzannaZak