Trouble With Ganache

Baking By bakemeenchanted Updated 28 Oct 2015 , 4:15pm by bakemeenchanted

bakemeenchanted Posted 27 Oct 2015 , 2:34am
post #1 of 13

Hey all! How's it going?

I have a couple of questions regarding ganache. I made myself a birthday cake a few days ago, and I filled and frosted with dark chocolate ganache.

I used a ratio of 2:1 chocolate to cream, by weight. I made the ganache and left it to set in my kitchen, which was at least 80 degrees overnight. It was still runny in the morning. Like chocolate syrup runny.

So I heated it up and added another pound of chocolate, taking it to just under 3:1. Left it overnight in my bedroom, probably around 75 degrees, and it was nice and set in the morning.

So I filled and frosted my cake, let it set up in my room again overnight, then refrigerated for about 20 minutes before covering. It was lovely and firm and un-bulgy as can be!

Half an hour later, as I started decorating it, I noticed bulges starting to form. I thought it was air bubbles at first, but then it started getting worse and worse and spreading all over the cake. I pricked and smoothed and trimmed as best I could, but no luck. The cake was just for me and immediate family, so I gave up and just went ahead and finished decorating. The cake had an hourglass figure by the time I was done, lol!!

I figure the ganache was never firm enough in the first place, and just seemed so since it had been right in front of the a/c vent for hours. And since my kitchen must've been in the 90's in the afternoon sun, even with the a/c on, it probably melted as it got warmer. I've stored it smack in front of the ac vent in my bedroom since, and it's been fine, but how do I stop this from happening again?

Should I put in even more chocolate in the ganache? But that's mad expensive! Decrease the cream? Keep it in the fridge? I don't like the taste of cold ganache though, and it becomes pretty firm. When you just wanna grab a slice of cake and eat, you're not gonna wait an hour for it to come to room temperature right?

The last time I made ganache was in the winter months and it worked perfectly at room temperature. Probably 'cause our winter is actually not-so-summer and is nice and temperate, lolol!

Any help would be highly appreciated! 8)8)

*Last edited by bakemeenchanted on 27 Oct 2015 , 2:41am
12 replies
bakemeenchanted Posted 27 Oct 2015 , 2:39am
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bakemeenchanted Posted 27 Oct 2015 , 2:42am
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Laurafs22 Posted 27 Oct 2015 , 2:57am
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Hmm...well I have had much success with ganache in summer months but I will tell you this, it begins to melt at 85 degrees. 

What I  find works for me is to keep it chilled throughout the process of applying it to the cake and I add about two layers and then do the fondant. 

I'm sorry if this isn't more helpful but your best bet is to keep it in the fridge until it really sets up and make sure its mostly chocolate..."mad expensive" (lol) or not, it will hold much better in the hot weather. 

Magda_MI Posted 27 Oct 2015 , 2:58am
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Found a question about ganache and high temperatures on another site that said:  "A high quality dark chocolate with a 2 - 1 chocolate to cream ratio will be fine up to about 85F."

So 90 might well have been enough to make it melty, or at least very soft.

Here's the link:

winniemog Posted 27 Oct 2015 , 3:34am
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Plus the type of chocolate is important - I use couverture (=mad expensive but so lovely!) in my ganache. Don't use cheap chocolate or chocolate chips or the flavour and consistency will be poor.

in the Australian summer I move from 2:1 ratio to closer to 3:1 for dark chocolate. I haven't had an issue with melty ganache.

bakemeenchanted Posted 27 Oct 2015 , 11:30am
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Thanks for the quick replies everyone!

So : use a higher ratio of chocolate, use better quality chocolate, keep it as cool as possible for as long as possible, and harden my heart towards the death cries of my wallet ;)

Got it! I'll try again, hopefully with better results this time. 8)

One more question. I've read in certain places that after you're done mixing the cream and chocolate, you should heat it up to a certain temperature to help it set better. I think it was 117F for dark chocolate. I always do this since I figure it can't hurt, but does anyone else do this? Is it necessary?

Thanks again for all your responses!

*Last edited by bakemeenchanted on 27 Oct 2015 , 11:38am
Laurafs22 Posted 27 Oct 2015 , 12:19pm
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I also want to add that I have personally used Nestle or the Trader Joe's brand of chocolate (which is actually very tasty) and have had wonderful results and they go for about $2.50 per bag here in NYC. I think the temperature and more chocolate to cream will get you through fine :) That's how I dealt with my summer this year with great success!

The only time I use Giradelli or Valrhona is if the client specifically asks for ganache inside the cake and then I will charge extra and use the best ;)

bakemeenchanted Posted 28 Oct 2015 , 1:01pm
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Thanks for the advice @Laurafs22  ! 

I like the idea of charging more for ganache. That would help cover the costs of the mountains of chocolate lol!

But I need to get it perfect first before I start offering it to customers!

So thanks again everyone for all the help!

rosa369 Posted 28 Oct 2015 , 2:06pm
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That cake looks so yummy!!!  What kind of cake is it?

DoceArt Posted 28 Oct 2015 , 2:16pm
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Hi, usually i use 2 parts of chocolate (400 gr each) to 1 part of cream ( 200ml)  to ganache inside the cake. But to frost the outside of the cake, i use 3 parts of chocolate to 1 part of cream . Dark chocolate. and in the summer, here is very hot!!! 

I never tried with white chocolate but i think it's the double. I have to try.

lisatipperoo Posted 28 Oct 2015 , 2:21pm
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Agreed with the 3:1 ratio- I have good luck with this! And I weigh everything carefully on my kitchen scale instead of trying to measure. I have good results every time. I also use Nestle chocolate and I really like it especially since it's reasonably priced. :-)

bakemeenchanted Posted 28 Oct 2015 , 4:15pm
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Thanks @rosa369  ! It's a peanut butter cake with dark chocolate ganache. It was pretty yummy, if I do say so myself ;)

Using a higher ratio ganache on the outside sounds like a pretty clever idea too. I'll have to give it a try, thanks! And yes, I always weigh ingredients instead of using cup measures. 8)

Thanks guys!

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