Mini Mirror Cakes
Line 6 x 150ml (1/4pt) pudding basins with cling film. Cut the Madeira cake into thin slices approx. 0.5cm (1/4 inch) thick. Arrange slices of cake, overlapping, round the edge of each basin, pressing them against the sides so that they fit snugly. Using a round cutter, cut out a disc of sponge to fit snugly at the bottom of the tin and push it into the bottom so it is tightly packed. Once all the basins are lined, put them on a tray and put to one side.
Put the cornflour in a small bowl and blend into a paste with a little of the milk. Set aside.
Reserving 30 Chocolate Chips for decoration, put the remainder in a saucepan with the remaining milk. Heat very gently, stirring, until the Chocolate Chips have melted.
Stir in the cornflour paste. Continue to heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to the boil, then cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the Vanilla Paste.
Soak the four leaves of Leaf Gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes, then drain, squeeze out the excess water and stir the leaves into the white chocolate mixture. Pour the white chocolate mixture into each basin to fill them. Leave to cool, then chill for at least 2 hours until firm.
Once the puddings are set, trim away any sponge that is higher than the white chocolate mixture level and remove the puddings from the basins using the cling film.
Arrange 6 small upturned dishes in a baking tray, spaced apart – choose a dish size that you can stand a pudding on. Carefully turn out the puddings on to the dishes so that they are raised off the bottom of the tin and discard the cling film.
Make sure the outer surface of the puddings is as even as possible by trimming or smoothing the soft sponge into shape - the mirror glaze will only give an even finish if the pudding is smooth. Chill until required.
For the glaze, put the sugar in a small saucepan and add 200ml (7fl.oz) cold water. Heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, then raise the heat and boil for 3-4 minutes until lightly syrupy (temperature between 103.5 and 104.5˚C/218 and 220˚F on a sugar thermometer). Transfer to a heatproof jug.
Squeeze the tube of Violet Food Colour Gel into a small bowl and stir in 45ml (3 tbsp) hot water. Mix well until smooth, then stir into the syrup.
Soak the Leaf Gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes to soften – for a soft set, use 4 leaves, for a firmer set, use 5 leaves. Drain the gelatine and squeeze out the excess water. Stir the leaves into the hot syrup until dissolved.
Stir in the cream then strain through a fine sieve into another jug to remove any lumps. Leave to cool at room temperature to between 25˚ and 28˚C (77˚ and 82˚F) – below this temperature the glaze will be too set to pour, above this temperature is will be too runny to coat the puddings. This will take 1 ½ to 2 hours to reach the correct temperature depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Slowly pour the glaze over each pudding with a slight circular movement, so that it covers all sides. Once the drips have solidified, prepare another shallow tray with 6 more upturned dishes, spaced apart, and carefully transfer the puddings to the fresh tray – a small angled palette knife is useful for this. Chill until required
Carefully remove the used dishes from the tray and scrape any glaze that cling to the edges of the dishes back into the tray. Scrape all the glaze from the tray back into a microwaveable jug. Melt in 10 second bursts in the microwave until the glaze is just liquid again, taking care not to boil. Strain through a fine sieve and leave to cool as before, until it reaches between 25˚ and 28˚C. Alternatively, put the jug in a bowl of hot water to melt the glaze.
Repeat the glaze pouring as above. Transfer the puddings once again and chill until required. Scrape, melt and strain the glaze as before. For a well glazed pudding with strong colour and shiny surface, you will need to give the puddings between 4 and 6 coats of glaze. Once you are happy with the amount of glaze on the puddings, chill the puddings until required.
To serve, using a small, sharp knife or small pair of kitchen scissors, carefully trim or snip the bottom edge of each pudding to remove the overhanging glaze. Transfer each pudding to a separate serving plate and decorate the tops with the reserved White Chocolate Chips. Your impressive desserts are now ready to serve and enjoy!