Hi, I have a few questions as I have never worked with ganache before. I plan on making a sports car cake and was wondering if you ice the cake frozen, cold or room temperature. Can I decorate with fondant over the ganache? And I'm also wondering what "good chocolate" is and how to identify the good stuff from the bad when buying (live in Alberta, Canada btw). Can I buy good chocolate at any local stores rather than on-line.
I usually chill my buttercream-filled cakes to set the filling and then put the ganache on them while they are cold, although I don't have an issue working on room temp cakes if that's what happens either.
Good chocolate is anything with cocoa butter in the ingredients, cheaper/nastier chocolates are made with other types of fats. I'm in Australia so can't help you on local stores - but just check chocolates in the grocery store for their ingredient list. I buy my chocolate in 10kg bags and use Callebaut couverture. It's a very good quality - but expensive!!
The correct ratio for this project is 2 parts chocolate (in weight not measuring cups) and 1 part heavy cream.
I mix them both and put it in the microwave for a minute at a time until I see that the chocolate has started to melt.
I then use an immersion blender to mix them together and create a good emulsion.
It takes 3-4 hours for ganache to set and be ready to use.
Thanks very much. I've never used or even tasted ganache before, is it too rich to use as a filling? I'm attempting to make a large 3D sports car cake with stacked cakes. the recipe I'll be using is a chocolate mud cake. I'm super short pressed for time each evening and I'm hoping to bake the cakes tomorrow (Tuesday) and stack/ganache/cover with fondant on Wednesday. Is that too early to decorate for a Friday evening party?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
No not too early. Mud cake is moist and good for about a week. For carving cakes, i use ganache as the filling as well as to cover the cake.
MKC is spot on.
and its not too chocolate-y rich? If you don't mind my asking, how thick do you use the ganache as a filling?
It is chocolate rich...but not as sweet as icing sugar-buttercream.
For carved cakes I use the same ratio (cream to chocolate) for the filling and covering. The ganache has to be thick and stay put when you carve the cake.
For a regular cake, I use 1.5 chocolate to 1 cream. It's creamier and lighter.
I started watching these videos and have used ganache ever since. Ganache taste better and is sturdier than buttercream...in my opinion.
Okay, so everything was going great until the chocolate turned slightly grainy and almost seized?!! It didn't actually seize, but it wasn't smooth, silky and runny like in the video. I shook it (like in the first video above) in a roundabout motion and it regained its gloss and smoothness, but It still had the consistency of peanut butter (no lumps). I didn't want to risk overheating so I put it in the fridge overnight and now its rock solid. Can anyone tell me if this ganache is usable? and do you have any suggestions as to how to soften it now from frigid cold?
Has this ever happened to anyone before? It was spreadable and soft like peanut butter last night when I put it in the fridge, just a tiny bit grainy. Did I over heat it, or under heat it maybe? It's humid and rainy outside I wonder if that makes a difference.
I don't put it in the fridge. I usually leave it on the counter until I need it (usually within 24 hours). If you need it back to room temperature, just put it in the microwave at 20 second intervals and mix until you have the right consistency.
Grainy could mean that it burnt or it's not very good/old chocolate.
Did you use Chipits? Did you weigh the ingredients (not using measuring cups)?
I weighed (electronically) and I used newly bought chocolate (Lindt 75% cocoa) ingredients: cocoa mass (Equador), sugar, cocoa butter, soya lecithin and natural flavor. Don't know how long it's been on the shelf though . . . that's a good point regarding age of chocolate. All the chocolate and bakers chocolate had very similar ingredients. I chose one that was affordable that had the least # if ingredients. It's still the same consistency today . . . after warming.
If you can taste/feel the grainy texture in your mouth then you should probably start again...it's happened to me before...it unfortunate because chocolate and cream are expensive.
Did you use an immersion blender or a spatula to mix? Maybe the immersion blender could help you with the texture.
I used a silicone spatula. I noticed that when it hardened in the fridge, it hardened smooth. Now that it's soft it's regained its former texture. It's starting to stiffen up again now . . . and I think this is the way that ganache is supposed to behave (?) I'm also guessing just by playing around with it that it will be easy to smooth with a hot metal spatula once its set.
I think I'll use it . . . its a cake for our own family anyway. I just enjoy trying new things (and turning into a freaked out adrenaline junkie who loses sleep over every cake!) Thank God I only have 2 boys :) Perhaps twice per year isn't enough practice . . .
MKC and Winniemog, Thank you so much for all your suggestions, advice and help. :)
You can get Bernard Callebaut chocolate out west in Canada. Very high quality. Calgary based.
Lindt is good though. Lindt has a best before date on it.
Sounds like the chocolate got too hot. Also, I use 60-70% cocoa chocolate.
It tastes a bit dark for me . . . is there any way to alter the taste to sweeten it a little? I can handle it, but I'm not sure my extended family members will like the chocolate being so dark.
To be honest, no.
I feel the same way about ganache made with high cocoa content dark chocolate. It really is an acquired taste and one I never acquired. It is extremely rich but not in the sweet sense. You could add powdered sugar to it but it doesn't help in my opinion.
Next time go with a lower cocoa content or a milk chocolate.
A dollop of whipping cream on top or serving vanilla ice cream alongside will counter it somewhat though.
Powdered sugar could work.
I make my ganache the same way- I do notice that it will get grainy if I don't cover it properly while it's "curing" or whatever it does to come to spreadable consistency. I've found it's important to cover with plastic wrap right down to the surface of the ganache so that no air can touch the ganache. If air sits on the surface, I get grains. If I overheat, I get grains. If I use cheap chocolate, I get grains. I hate grains! :-) If I follow my rules though, it comes out great every time. Heat just to a smooth melt, no hot hot heat, whisk slowly to a glossy smoothness to cool it a little, cover with plastic wrap to the surface and then cover again over the top of the bowl, let sit at cool room temperature overnight. If it is too hard I will reheat at 15 second intervals in the microwave and do lots of stirring. Keep trying because it's worth it. :-) The stuff can be magic to use and eat.