After reading so much about ganache under fondant, I want to try it for an upcoming cake. Short on time, so I have to prep everything in advance. I planned to make it, cool to room temp, refrig, then freeze. Day or two ahead bring to room temp etc. This seems OK according to what Ive seen here.
Mixed 2 parts dark chocolate to 1 part heavy cream - used up a mix of Vahlrona, Scharfenberger & Guittard Ive had for a while (no bloom). Chunks were kind of large, so I slowly softened in microwave lowest power to start melting. Heated cream to boil. Poured over chocolate, let sit for a bit then stirred to mix. It seemed to combine nicely and smoothly.
However, as it sat at room temp there was a bit of what looked like melted butter around the edges of the bowls. Left it and put in fridge. As I went to put in freezer today, it looks like solidified bits butter on the edges now. Ive put into freezer anyway.
1.Is this ganache broken, or is it still OK to use? Can I bring back to room temp, stir and spread on cake?
2.If it is broken, was it because the heavy cream was too hot? Did this cause the cocoa butter to separate?
3.If I cant use it now for under fondant, could it still be whipped and used as frosting? I hate to waste it.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
You put ganache in the freezer?
Yes - I recall reading that leftover ganache could be kept frozen....no?
Edited to add...here's one link I found here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-658228-previous.html
One more from Cooks Illustrated... http://www.americastestkitchen.com/ibb/posts.aspx?postID=156828
I'm worried about the buttery stuff along the top edges of the bowls...is it separated permanently now or can I stir to blend when the time comes?
I also freeze my ganache when planning far ahead - so far all has gone very well. I even took frozen ganache for my mom's bday cake on a flight with me!
In my experience ganaches that are very chocolate-rich (like the firm ones that we use under fondant) do sometimes get a bloom "thing" happening on the surface when they cool - I think it has something to do with the water-fat emulsion being borderline. (Following the Planet Cake recipe for white chocolate ganache where the chocolate to cream mass ratio is 3:1, I saw even more of it.) When I warmed the ganache slightly to get the peanut butter consistency that could be spread on the cake, the weird surface phase incorporated and disappeared. The ganache hardened up well and took the fondant just fine.
In short - I suspect it will be just fine when you warm it a bit to use it.
Hmmm .. another thing occurred to me. When you did 2 parts to 1, did you weigh the cream? I know it sounds weird, but my recipe (i.e. the Planet Cake one) says it must be by mass. Given that the density of cream is less than 1, this means that if you did this by volume then you are probably water-poor.
Also if you used a vey high fat cream then you may not have enough water content to keep the emulsion (Planet Cake again : says to use single or pouring cream rather than heavy). You could try re-heating the ganache and adding a little more cream ... pouring cream this time. Or even (scandalous!) maybe a touch of milk to get the water content up.
Given that your chocolate is a nice one - maybe take a little sample out and play a bit. Or add a whole lot more cream and have a pourable ganache! (I think that ratio is about 1:1)
Without seeing it - and just thinking outloud here - could what you are seeing around the edge of the bowl be residue from the melted chocolate?
I use heavy cream all the time - i like the conistancey of the ganache and how it sits on my cakes and firmness when i tort and fill my cakes.
Please, don't add water or milk to your ganach - your chocolate won't thankyou at all.
It will form ice crystals when frozen from the water and the milk - wellll, just don't use it.
Allow it to come to room temp - then.....Tip the whole lot into your mixer bowl and give it a good beating - it will come together.
Keep in the fridge for a week - or in the freezer for up to a month.
The night before you want to use it - take out of freezer and just sit *covered* on your bench overnight - it will be right as rain to use that morning.
Just one more thought - how fresh was your cream you used?
Thanks for the responses and ideas. I'm encouraged that it may be OK.
mizzbar - I did use heavy cream, but I used 2:1 by weight. I like your idea too. There was a smallish bowl of overflow I could try a test. I have time in advance to see...just not time the actual day I'm planning to make the cake.
Bluehue - that's a good thought about the freshness of the cream 'cause that would explain some separation, but it was a fresh quart.
I'll bring the small bowl to room temp tomorrow and hopefully the bit of butter/fat will stir back in. I'll post results.
Thank you again - I appreciate your help.
Just a little update. I used the ganache for a bridal shower cake yesterday, and it was just fine. Still don't know what the buttery-looking stuff on the edge of the bowl was, but when I softened to peanut butter consistency it stirred right in. It was my first time trying ganache "a-la-Planet-Cake" but I think I'll make it a *teeny* bit softer than I originally thought. At first the sides were a bit difficult to spread, wouldn't stick well and almost pulled bits of the cake off. But when I rewarmed some to use on the top of the cake it was softer and much easier to use.
THANK YOU again to all who responded - it helped reassure me that all would be well.