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Glazing may make you think of cakes, but the look and taste of both vegetables and meat can also be transformed with the help of a delicious glaze.
Glazing is done after the food has been prepared, giving it the final touches both in terms of flavour and aesthetics. The French word “glacer” means “to gloss”, and provides the origin of the commonly used term in German speaking countries “glacieren”.
Glazing is usually associated with baking – whether cakes, doughnuts or muffins, many baked goods are only complete when they are topped with a sweet cake glaze. It also acts as a great base for other decorations, like sprinkles. The most common type of icing is a sugar glaze, which is made by stirring a mix of icing sugar and water until it forms a smooth, thick mass.
If the consistency is too thin the sugar glaze will simply absorb into the cake; too thick and the icing is hard to spread and won’t dry properly. For additional flavour use lemon juice, coffee or rum instead of water. Use one tablespoon of liquid per 100 grams of icing sugar. White icing is too boring? With a little food colouring, you can transform your icing into any colour, or use natural food colourings like spinach, carrots and beets.
Passionate bakers know chocolate icing is an all-time favourite that accentuates the taste of any chocolate desert. Chocolate icing is available in a number of variations from the supermarket, most of which can easily be heated in the microwave. However, be careful not to heat chocolate icing too much, as the chocolate may begin to boil otherwise and damage the plastic packaging.
You can also make chocolate icing yourself, although it is a little more complicated than simply melting chocolate, as you need to add something to make the icing smooth. Slowly melting 150 grams of a chocolate of your choice with 100 grams of butter or coconut oil in a water bath results in a super smooth chocolate icing. Stir the mixture frequently to avoid it burning. Alternatively, melt 200 grams of roughly chopped couverture chocolate, or normal chocolate, in 200 millilitres of cream and ice your cake with it.
Glazing fruit is a popular way to add a final flourish to a dessert. To make a glaze for fruit, first make a sugar solution by briefly allowing sugar and water to come to the boil in a pot. Once both components are combined well, dip some strawberries, grapes or cherries into it, ideally on a tooth pick to avoid burning your fingers.
Glazing is not only for sweet foods – savoury meals also benefit from the appetising gloss of a glaze. Starchy vegetables, like carrots, peas, shallots or kohlrabi, are particularly suited to glazes. Simply fry the vegetables in some butter and add a tablespoon of sugar. Once combined, add a splash of wine or stock – the right amount of liquid should just cover the floor of the pot.
Continue to cook the vegetables with the lid on, then remove the lid just before the vegetables are cooked and allow the liquid to reduce while stirring occasionally. Meat like chicken or veal can also be glazed using this method – simply pour the simmering liquid regularly over the meat. Using a roasting pan in the oven also works well.
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