What On Earth Did I Do Wrong??

Decorating By rociodbb Updated 9 Oct 2014 , 1:06am by emarcomd

rociodbb Posted 4 Oct 2014 , 2:28pm
post #1 of 15

AHi all. I need help. I baked a cake, which I filled with choc buttercream and them covered in ganache and fondant. My problems were: 1- the weight of the top part of the cake made the buttercream start oozing from the sides and the ganache took forever to dry in the middle around the cake. 2- the ganache never dried hard, it keep being a little soft to the touch and sticky, even though I put the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours, in front of a fan for 4-6 hours and then let it dry overnight in the counter. 3- when covering with fondant, again the weight pushed some buttercream again and I ended up with a bulge in the mid section of my cake. 4- The edges of the cake were not sharp/straight. I had read that this was a problem inherent to buttercream, but since my ganache never actually dried solid, I'm guessing it behaved like buttercream in that sense.

Please I need to know how can I avoid all this problems. Any tips as to what I did wrong?!?! Thank you!!!

14 replies
Norasmom Posted 4 Oct 2014 , 4:18pm
post #2 of 15

Sounds like you did not let the cake settle after you did a crumb coat.  Once you put the layers together, it's important to put an even weight (many use a square tile) on top of the cake for a time to squish out and level out the excess filling. Then you can put a spatula to the sides and scrape off the excess before the final coat of frosting.

rociodbb Posted 4 Oct 2014 , 4:34pm
post #3 of 15

oh, well, no...I didn´t do that, of course. I´ve never done that before, so I guess I´ve been lucky. Noted not to be forgotten ever again. Thank you!

DeniseNH Posted 4 Oct 2014 , 4:49pm
post #4 of 15

Was your cake still slightly warm when you filled it.  The biggest reason a filling bulges out is because there's too much of it.  They say to make a dam 1/4" in from the outside rim then fill the center of the dam.  When you put the top on, it has 1/4th of an inch to settle in to.  And I would add extra chocolate to your ganache.  Sounds like it needs it to set up properly and hard.

rociodbb Posted 4 Oct 2014 , 7:23pm
post #6 of 15

The cake was baked a day prior and refrigerated over night. Then I took it out of the fridge, filled it with buttercream (Not much, really, I didn´t even did the dam, I just spread the buttercream) leaving a space I thought would be enough. Clearly that was wrong.

Ganache could be a problem. It was my first time making a dark chocolate ganache, and I did the 2:1 ratio. However I only had mini morsels not the regular ones. Maybe that could be a difference?



rociodbb Posted 4 Oct 2014 , 7:24pm
post #7 of 15


thanks! Looking for a spare tile in my garage now :)

mcaulir Posted 5 Oct 2014 , 2:26am
post #8 of 15

What ganache recipe did you use, and what is the weather like where you are?

rociodbb Posted 5 Oct 2014 , 3:01am
post #9 of 15

Ganache was a ratio of 2:1 chocolate to heavy cream. The day I made it was a dry not too warm day (central Texas weather in late September).

mcaulir Posted 5 Oct 2014 , 6:17am
post #10 of 15

Sorry, I just noticed that you said what ratio you used in your last post.


I find as the weather gets warmer, I need to adjust my ratios to get the ganache to set. So in warm weather, I do closer to a 3:1 ratio for dark choc, and closer to a 4:1 ratio for milk or white choc.


I'm not sure what the weather is like in central Texas in September :smile:, but I find it doesn't need to be very warm before a 2:1 ratio doesn't set well.


I always err on the side of too much chocolate, rather than too little, because you can always microwave your ganache to get it soft enough to spread.

melmar02 Posted 5 Oct 2014 , 1:42pm
post #11 of 15


Originally Posted by rociodbb 

Ganache was a ratio of 2:1 chocolate to heavy cream. The day I made it was a dry not too warm day (central Texas weather in late September).

I'm in Dallas, and I would up the chocolate as well. I do 3:1 chocolate to cream when I ganache.

rociodbb Posted 5 Oct 2014 , 2:28pm
post #12 of 15

thank you all again!!! I will definitively up the chocolate in the ganache! Thanks for that advice too! I´ve used white choco ganache before but only for filling. It was my first time trying the ganache for covering, in an attempt to overcome the problem with buttercream and the weight of the fondant.



mcaulir Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 9:12am
post #13 of 15

Was it white choc ganache you were using? Then definitely need to up the chocolate. 2:1 is way too little chocolate for white chocolate ganache. At least 3:1, and in warm weather, closer to 4:!.

vldutoit Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 11:17am
post #14 of 15

AI live in North East Texas and I use a 3:1 for dark chocolate and 4:1 with milk and white.

emarcomd Posted 9 Oct 2014 , 1:06am
post #15 of 15

What chocolate were you using?


I made a mistake and used "semi-sweet" and the ganache just would NOT stiffen.  So I went out, got some 90% chocolate, melted that in there and lo and behold... MAGIC.  


So it definitely, definitely, definitely depends on how much cocoa is in your chocolate.  There's a formula somewhere around here...

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