I've only just begun cake decorating, after having a love of baking all my life and a desire to decorate, but never having the knowledge. I did a basic course at the start of this year and have done a couple of cakes, nothing overly special, but I have volunteered to make a wedding cake for a friend who was planning on doing it herself so no bridezilla issues to worry about!
I bought the planet cake cookbook and have tried to use the ganache recipe to cover the cake (as opposed to butter cream or mazipan) to give the cake a nice firm base to work from. I will then cover the ganache with fondant.
My problem is the ganache is rock hard and wont spread at all. When I was spreading it on the cake it went hard quite quickly and I didn't get the option to smooth it out nicely before it set. the remaining ganache in the bowl is simply too thick to spread.
I used a ratio of 3 parts dark chocolate to 1 part cream, and used dark eating chocolate. I wont use any compound chocolates that contain palm oil. I will only use marzipan if requested and have not much experience with buttercream.
Has anyone successfully used this method to cover a cake previously, and if so, can you please share your secrets??!
Try smoothing it with a hot knife. If it is too thick I stir it until it loosens up, and you can also whip a small portion to crumb coat with if it is giving you any troubles.
I personally find that 3:1 ratio for dark chocolate to cream is a bit too thick for me. When ganache thickens or gets too hard, I just microwave it in 8 second intervals (stirring it every time it comes out) until spreadable consistency.
I now use ganache on every cake. I love it.
Your ratio is too high. 3:1 is for white chocolate. For dark or milk chocolate use 2:1. I have made the same mistake myself!
I have been researching the procedure and recipe for making and covering a cake with ganache, and what i have learned is the ratio for dark chocolate is 2:1, ratio for white chocolate is 3:1.
1. Pop it in the fridge over night (uncovered)
2. Re-whip it before using, pour it over cake
3. Smooth it out and spay it with a light mist of water or brush apricot glaze on to it
4. Cover it with your fondant.
I am trying Ganache for the fist time today. HTH
I use ganache all the time - after you have made and chilled your ganache - it should have the consistency of a margarine. You shoudl be able to spread it and smooth it without it setting. Your mixture should definitely be 2 : 1.
I also agree with Rylan - sometimes the ganache is a bit firm, I have also put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up - mix it well when it comes out but dont' overheat it.
It's great to work with - good luck,