Updated: Jul 4, 2021
Learn how to make your own neutral glaze/nappage to apply on fruits or as a base for glazing mousse cakes.
I came about making my own neutral glaze or sometimes referred to as "nappage neutral" when at times I only needed a small amount to add in to my glaze recipe to glaze an entremet. Having to buy a 500 g tub of neutral glaze doesn't really fit the bill and not to mention, I always have different types of pectin for different application already in my pantry, it only makes sense to make a small batch myself. Neutral glaze or are commonly used by pastry chef as glaze for fruits on desserts to preserve them from drying out that you will often see in fruit tarts and can also be use to glaze individual frozen mousse cakes or as topping for tarts.
Making this glaze is not hard at all but it does require you to obtain a certain type of pectin, which is Pectin NH. Application with other types of pectin will not work for this glaze recipe because Pectin NH is the only pectin that allows the glaze to be thermo-reversible, meaning that you are able to heat up the glaze to liquidity it and it will set again when cooled. Other Pectin such as Pectin HN or Pectin Jaune/Yellow Pectin are not thermo-reversible. Pectin NH also requires a certain amount of sugar (minimum 40% from the recipe as a whole) and acid (approximately 0.1%- 0.2%) in order for it to set, which are ingredients that can easily be found in your home pantry.
What is Pectin?
Pectin is carbohydrate that derives from the extraction of edible plant fibre, usually citrus fruits or apple followed by precipitation with alcohol or salts. Pectin is used widely in the culinary and pastry industry alike as a gelling agent, thickener and stabiliser due to its hydrocolloid properties - meaning it solidifies with the presence of liquid. A good example of products that contain pectin are such as fruit jams, fruit jellies and marmalade.
What can you use nappage neutral for?
This glaze is so versatile that you can add fruit purees to it to make it a fruity glaze for petite gâteau; or simply add it into existing glaze recipe for the extra shine.
When storing home made neutral glaze, it is important to keep them away from contamination. Scoop out what you will be needing into a separate bowl when using. If used well, the glaze can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge to up to 6 weeks.
Water 300g (41%)
Sugar (1) 200g (27.7%)
Pectin NH 10 g (1.38%)
Sugar(2) 130 g (18%)
Glucose 80 g (11%)
Citric Acid Solution 1 g Citric Acid + 1 g water (0.13%)
1. Place Water, glucose and Sugar (1) in a pot and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, make the citric acid solution by combining equal amount of citric acid and water in a separate bowl and set aside ready to use.
2. Combine Pectin and sugar (2) and gradually whisk in the pectin into the simmering sugar syrup.
3. Bring the solution to a boil (it will start rising to the top significantly, so make sure you are using a large enough pot). The glaze will first become really foamy at the top and as it reduces, it will clear off.
4. Keep cooking the glaze until it reaches 104°C . Once it reaches the required temperature, turn off the heat then stir in the citric acid solution.
Note: Cooking the glaze to the mentioned temperature is necessary as at this temperature, the sugar will start to form to a gel which enables for it to bond with the pectin. Stirring constantly while cooking the glaze is important to help distribute the pectin bond for effective gelling.
5. Transfer in to a heatproof container and place a cling film touching the surface and leave to cool and store in fridge until ready to use.
6. Re-heat the next day to glaze.
If you are planning to use the glaze as a fruit glaze for mousse based cakes, add in 100 g fruit puree that has been reduced to half and then add it into the nappage base. Heat to roughly around 32°C - 40°C and apply onto a frozen mousse cake. The temperature varies as it depends on how cold your cake is and how much additional water from the fruit puree is added into the glaze.
If you are using the Nappage as glaze for fruits, simply whisk until liquid and brush a thin layer over the fruits. Add some water if necessary to bring it to a desired consistency.
If you are using this glaze for the top layer of a tart such as lemon or passionfruit tart, add a few tablespoon of water into the glaze and gently heat to a pourable consistency then pour over the curd that has been frozen beforehand.