Sarah Bernhardt Chocolate Glaze

This is a recipe from a class I took from Alice Medrich in 1996, author of the book “Cocolat” it is now the only chocolate icing I ever use. It is rich and delicious. Can be poured as a glaze or allowed to set and spread on cake with a spatula. When set it can be used for borders, piping and writing but may be too soft for making roses. Tips on this icing- I make 2 separate recipes, allow the first one to set up to the consistency of canned chocolate fudge icing, use it to make the dam of icing between layers, for the border and for crumb coating the cake. The second batch of icing is only allowed to set up to pouring stage, about the consistency of Hershey’s bottled chocolate ice cream syrup. Crumb coat as evenly as possible with the first batch of icing, allow the cake to set for about 10 minutes at room temperature. Then set cake (already on a cake cardboard) on a cooling rack with waxed or parchment paper under the rack to catch drips. Pour all of the glaze into the center of the cake and allow to run down sides, you can coax it down the sides by jiggling the cake board up and down. If there are any run marks in the set glaze you can smooth them out by running a hot hair dryer back and forth over the marks, only until it begins to get shiny. Any longer in any one spot it will begin to liquify. Let set at room temperature, if you must refrigerate cake allow at least one hour for it to come to room temperature before serving. To answer your question in advance about substituting white chocolate or milk chocolate chips in this recipe, it just doesn’t work. White chocolate will never set up completely, it will be sticky. Milk chocolate will get too thick and heavy.

Sarah Bernhardt Chocolate Glaze


  • 8 oz. good quality semi sweet chocolate chips, such as Guittards
  • 6 oz. salted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Karo clear corn syrup
  • Put all ingredients together in the top of a double boiler, over simmering water. Stir until nearly all of the chips are melted. There can still be a few visible, remove from heat and stir slowly till chips are completely melted and glaze is smooth.

  • For using as a poured glaze, allow to cool till the consistency of Hershey’s bottled chocolate ice cream syrup or you can let it set up completely till the consistency of canned chocolate fudge icing and spread on cake with a spatula,
  • You can do this icing in the microwave in a glass bowl but you need to watch it carefully or it will scorch and ruin the icing.


Comments (4)


HI! I tried this glaze yesterday and it set up kind of dull...maybe with your experience you might have some advice? :)

I was trying to glaze a cold cake (mousse filling) and according to Ms. Medrich's books, this is the glaze she uses on cold cakes.

Do you have any experience with glazing cold cakes using this glaze? (I noticed you emphasized to bring the cake to room temperature).

also, the cake I was trying to glaze consisted of just 2 genoise layers sandwiching a 1.5 inch thick mousse layer (I built the whole thing in a ring/springform, chilled to set, then removed the mold).

for such a cake, is crumb-coating the sides before glazing necessary? (the mousse is a bit difficult to crumb-coat because it was cold! I tried... :D)

I hope you'll be able to help me! I'm a newbie at these fancy cakes :)


I think chocolate ganache is more what you are looking for if you want a beautiful glossy shine. This recipe is more like a soft fudge icing when set.