I made a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache over the weekend and kept it in the refrigerator. I decided to take a slice to work today and when I looked at it, i found some tiny little white beads on the cake (especially where the cake touches the ganache filling).
Was the cake going bad although I kept it in the fridge? I don't think that the heavy cream in the ganache was going bad because the expiry date is August 18, 2008.
That's a tough one! The first thing that comes to mind is, are you sure that the "beads" were not on the crust (since you mention it's where the cake meets the ganache)...I wonder if you floured your pan with flour, or with cocoa. "Unmixed flour spots" or else specks of flour from the crust, those are what your post made me think of.
Not that I'm an expert but it doesn't really sound like the ganache is a problem. Esp since you are saying the "beads" are on the cake, not the ganache, right? I've never heard of cream seeping out of ganache, don't even know if there is such a thing. I've stored the stuff non-refrigerated, refrigerated and even frozen without any issues.
Sorry I can't be of more help. Maybe someone else will be online tonight and have some ideas.
i will be elated if you are right about the specks of flour on the cake. i have one more slice left so i am going to inspect it when i get home. since i torted the cake into 4, i should be able to tell if the specks are only on the cake crust.
Ganache is an emulsion of cream in chocolate. If the ganache was a little "broken" when you put it in the cake, some of the butterfat in the cream could come to the surface and solidify.
I would guess the white spots are either the flour from the pan, as ceshell suggested, or some fat from the ganache.
Either way it should be fine to eat. I certainly wouldn't let a little white spot come between me and my ganache
can you please explain what you mean by "broken"? Is it possible that I did something wrong when I was preparing the ganache?
"Broken" just means that the chocolate and cream are not fully emulsified. Kind of like a salad dressing that separates. It can happen for a number of reasons...most often the ganache gets too hot.
Make sure you use scalded cream and unmelted, chopped chocolate to make the ganache. If you re-heat the ganache to melt it before using, do so gently and heat just enough to get it fluid.
A ganache should look very shiny and glossy with no streaks or pools of fat on the surface. If the ganache does break because it's overheated, you can try to bring it back together by adding a small amount of cold heavy cream and using an immersion blender or food processor briefly. Don't blend it too long or you'll get too much air into it.
Pastrylady, thanks so much for that information about separating. I knew it could get grainy but I missed this potential ganache disaster (lucky me I say). The funny thing is the first thing I thought of was separation of fats like when chocolate blooms, I just didn't realize your ganache could do that!
It's so interesting it made me do more research (what can I say, anything about chocolate is interesting to me). There are a lot of great explanations that basically just go into depth on what Pastrylady already said. Staceyboots, check out the bottom of this page under "Perfect every time" http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Chocolate-Ganache/Detail.aspx . Here's another good one http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/ild/2004/0204/ganache.html
Although of course you can't "repair" the ganache since it's already on your cake, at least you know it is still safe to eat (and I hope it tasted good too )
thanks for the info, ceshell!
I was especially interested in the section on using the ganache as a filling. when i made the cake, i took it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. i then whipped it for a few seconds but it didn't achieve the texture that i thought it would. next time, i will have to whip the ganache when it is still slightly cold.
It definitely is meant to be room temp when you whip it. I am wondering what texture you thought it might achieve? It doesn't whip up into a mousse-like texture (well depending on what % chocolate you use). It just gets a little lighter and more spreadable when it's whipped. Thicker than BC icing but similar in performance (and again the higher up the cocoa % scale you go, the firmer it is; I used 70% chocolate to pipe a basketweave, had to keep warming it up to get it out of the bag.) I'm sure you saw from the articles that you should not overwhip it or else it will turn grainy. I get nervous about that so I always stop when it lightens in color. If I'm using a hand mixer sometimes that is only like 30 seconds! I would think that whipping it when it's cold would lead to some potential grief.
Another great website for info on ganache, actually my favorite, is b aking 911.com/chocolate/ganache_truffles.htm (take the spaces out of b aking 911 - you can't type that website's name here at CC, long story). The funny thing is in their troubleshooting they totally explain the separation problem you encountered which Pastrylady diagnosed. I guess I never noticed it since I only read troubleshooting after I have trouble LOL .
i always thought that the whipped ganache would have the texture of a mousse. i read in other posts that you can pipe with the whipped ganache so i was expecting a stiffer consistency from the semi-sweet chocolate. so the higher the cocoa % the stiffer the ganache?
You can make ganache stiffer or softer depending on the ratio of cream to chocolate. (And as Ceshell said, it also depends on the type of chocolate you use. You also have to consider the butterfat % in the cream--I use 40%).
I use a ganache that is equal parts chocolate and cream (with a little butter and corn syrup added) to coat cakes.
For whipped ganache you can make a slightly softer ganache and it will whip up a little lighter (maybe try 2C cream to 12oz chocolate). I let ganache come to room temp before whipping. Since it's starts out softer at room temp, you can get more air into it. The reason it gets grainy if it's overwhipped is the same reason cream breaks down if it's overwhipped...the butterfat separates out from the whey in the cream.
If you want a really light chocolate filling you can try making a chocolate whipped cream. Just melt some chocolate, underwhip some cream and then slowly add the melted chocolate into the cream. You have to be careful that your chocolate is warm and that your cream is not too cold or you'll get chocolate chip whipped cream (although, that's also pretty yummy!).
You can make the chocolate whipped cream as light or as chocolately as you like. Of course, if you add enough chocolate you get (you guessed it) Ganache!!