I've only used ganache to drizzle on eclairs but I'd like to give it a try on a cake, but with a spreadable consistency.
I understand about the proper ratios and giving it time to cool so it can spread well. My question is...I've seen some recipes which include the addition of either butter or Karo syrup. In one recipe, I read that the Karo is supposed to make the ganache shiny, but what is the advantage of adding butter? Does that keep it from getting too firm?
When you ice the cake with ganache (talking about spreading consistency here, not pouring), does the ganache stay soft or does it kind of chunk off when you slice it? I didn't want it to get so firm that it separates from the cake slices. I hope my questions make sense-thanks for your advice.
My understanding is that the butter is for flavor.
I've found that the ganache doesn't chunk off if the cake is room temp. If it is cold, then you have the possibility of it separating.
I usually make ganache for wedding cakes at 1:1 chocolate and cream, but if you want a softer/gooier consistency then just add more cream. After you make it though, cover it and leave it over night before you can use it after it has set to spreadable consistency. One time I didn't have any cream at all, so I used milk and butter and it worked out perfectly! I would say that the butter makes it more shiny and silky, but if you are going to cover in fondant anyway it shouldn't matter. Also, if you add butter and you overheat the ganache, you have a higher chance of separating the fats and water and it gets ruined... Ask me how I know
This is a great tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFtm8q4m4Bk&list=UUantyykWleh7KvrpGDetrWQ&feature=plcp
It is a 3 part series. Take and look and see if that helps answer any of your question.
Thanks for your replies. My basic recipe is a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream. I've never added any extra stuff like the syrup or the butter. I am not covering it in fondant...I'll just let the recipient know that it needs to be served at room temperature.