Glaze and Simple Syrup

A glaze is a great and easy way to make your typical cake recipe a bit more special. Especially if you're hoping to create layers of flavor. For example, I dip my Mimosa cupcakes (a vanilla cake with orange zest and a bright citrus frosting) in a Champagne glaze. Without the addition of the glaze, this cake tastes more like a Creamsicle. Delicious, but not exactly what I was going for.

Figuring out this particular glaze has been tricky. And I'm not totally convinced it's 100% there yet. But we're close! I may try adding something like this in the future. But if you want to try making some at home, it is currently 2 parts Champagne : 1 part sugar. Then you can tell me what YOU think!

The base of a glaze is pretty similar to simple syrup - 1 part sugar : 1 part water. Here's a great how-to. But because Champagne is not sweet like sugar, and it's hard enough to keep the flavor recognizable without the bubbles, I adjusted to keep the bite of the Champagne at the front.

Simple syrups are a classic and reliable way to add flavor and sweetness to cocktails, coffee/tea drinks, etc. I love making all kinds of flavored syrups with herbs, spices, fruits, you name it! Some resounding successes that you should try: black pepper, rosemary, ginger, lavender, chili. Just keep in mind that you want something that will hold up to the heat well and not get bitter - woody herbs, citrus peels, and whole dried spices - just to name a couple of examples.