I Thik My Ganache Ceased??? Am I Right?

Decorating By vcm_9 Updated 11 Mar 2009 , 9:40pm by vcm_9

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vcm_9 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 3:00am
post #1 of 12

Ok, not sure what happened, but my ganache separated (ie: there was a layer of oil around my lumpy and air-bubbly ganache).

What did I do wrong??

I used Cadbury Old Gold dark choc INTENSE (70%), which I think may have been a bit of overkill. I used the standard2:1 ratio, and all was going well until I wanted to heat the mix up a bit more.

I think my other mistake was to use a metal bowl?? I thought I could put it over the warm gas hob....this is sort of when things went from "on the right track" to "way to far"!!

when i went to put it on the cake, it kept slipping bcs of the oily layer, and then set really fast...within 5 minutes or so.

Do I have to take it off and start again, and anything else I did wrong?

what choc should I use?>

11 replies
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playingwithsugar Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 3:44am
post #2 of 12

I think you mean siezed.

First, there isn't that much cocoa butter in a 70% chocolate so to me, there shouldn't be an oily layer like that. Did the oily layer solidify after the ganache cooled, or did it stay liquid?

Second, with that percentage, I would have used a 1:1 ratio of chocolate to cream. I don't use the 2:1 until I hit 60%.

I use a metal bowl both in school and at home, for making ganache, so that can't be it.

Did you smell it? Did it smell burnt?

You don't mention much about the method you used. Did you try to melt the chocolate while it was in the cream, or did you add the chocolate to the cream after the boil? And how long did you wait before you stirred it?

Get back to me. We'll try to help you figure this out.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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vcm_9 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 6:14am
post #3 of 12

you are a life saver/.....yes I did mean sieze.

I boiled cream, added it to chopped chocolate. All was going ok, but still had some lumpy bits, so put metal bowl (with melting choc and cream and lumpy bits all together) over the hot gas hob (no flame but still very hot to touch).

It smells very chocolaty, and the oily bit has solidified. Maybe the fat from the cream?I know my cream ratio was way off, but first time making it and my mistake was the wrong chocolate for the recipe/ratio.

It got lumpy and sort of came together like dough would, which suprised me because I thought it would be runny still.

Its already on the cake (with difficulty) but I am thinking of taking it off, and starting again with 45% dark chocolate. Just to be safe.

do you agree? It sort of tastes a bit bitter, and so I added a bit of alcohol to sweeten it but it still tastes very average. Not happy with people tasting it (even though the cake is just for home, guests will be not to thrilled I guess)

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ApplegumKitchen Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:00am
post #4 of 12

Viv - Pam here!!

Don't change the chocolate or the ratio - especially if you want to cover with fondant in the PC fashion. You need to keep the ratio at 2:1 for it to set firm enough to get the sharp edges on the fondant and the couverture chocolate has LESS water so by choosing a lesser quality chocolate (with higher water content) you are affecting the shelf-life of the ganache - it won't last the time required whilst you decorate.

The thing you did wrong was to BURN the chocolate by firstly using a metal container (just meaning that the metal will transfer the heat more intensely so if you do use you need to be aware - not for beginers!) and secondly against a direct flame (even the heat from the hob after flame off would have been too hot)
Either use the microwave or a heavy based saucepan - Place the cream in the pan and bring to a gently rolling boil (this process is required to stabilise the cream and kill off any bacteria that may have been introduced) Take the pan off the heat and then add the chocolate (chopped if not in buttons) and stir until melted and thoroughly combined
If your chocolate pieces are TOO large - you may find they do not melt in the heat of the scalded cream- thats why you need to keep them small.
Transfer ganache to a glass or microwave safe container.

If you are trying to coat the cake as an UNDERCOAT for fondant - you will need to wait until the ganache sets up to a spreadable consistency - could take overnight at room temp - if too solid when you go to use it - just give a burst in MW for 10 secs at a time - stir thoroughly.
Ganache mixture should be similar consistency to buttercream or even peanut butter.
Once it is put on cake and all smoothed - it then needs to 'set' at room temp (21'C air-con if Aussie summer) overnight BEFORE attempting to coat with fondant. You should be able to touch the ganache and not be able to make an impression with your finger.

Hope this helps!

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vcm_9 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:23am
post #5 of 12


I was thinking afterwards (actually as I was walking towards the hob to put it on)..."Maybe I should do this over a double boiler, thats one of the proper ways to melt chocolate" ... but I couldn't stop my feet from walking over to it and putting it on the hot hob. Lesson learnt, will keep the ratio but no shortcuts next time.

I am going to scrape the ganache off the cake, and try again, or maybe just try on the next cake.

Just to clarify...make ganache, leave to get to right consistency for a few hours, then ganache cake, leave overnight to set (no marks when touched), then fondant. Mental note to self...NO SHORTCUTS!!!

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ApplegumKitchen Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 10:11am
post #6 of 12

Good Luck Viv - glad to have been of assistance.

I think this process of thicker 'hard' ganache under an extremely thin layer of fondant is 'uniquely Australian' and I know thats what you were hoping to achieve - just didn't want you to get confused with a whole host of different information.

Have you seen the Planet Cake You Tube Video of covering a cake (it will show the ganached cake) but most people don't even recognise it as ganache because it is SO SMOOTH. That the effect you need to go for - ANY lumps or bumps will be reflected in the fondant so make sure you spend the time getting that ganache smooth. Just a light mist of water over the ganache will be enough to adhere the fondant.

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vcm_9 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 10:32am
post #7 of 12

Hi Pam, I took all the ganache off, and tried it again with a 45% dark choc.

My husband couldn't keep his fingers out of it!! It is So different, and I am so happy that I decided to start again. Your advice was spot on, and I was sitting there lecturing my hubby (who has become a bit of a connoisseur of cake dec himself with all my nagging) that it had to reach peanut butter consistency. I have done the first layer of ganache, with enough left over if I need to redo a thin second coat. I have a side scraper, so it made it a bit easier. I just kept picturing the guys who cemented our driveway, and fill in the gaps as I went. Next stage is to do the hot knife trick, then reganache, then fondant.

Anyway, it tastes divine, and I am now proud to say I am a Ganache convert!! Just have to practice a bit more. Hopefully this attachment works, its a pic of ganached cake ready for stage 2.

thanx again, you are a legend, and have to meet you one day! And yes, I have seen the PC video, and I was trying to convince a friend that that cake was ganached already. Now I have proof

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ApplegumKitchen Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 10:38am
post #8 of 12

Looks good Viv - when it is firm to the tough - you can use a sharp knife to trim that top edge so that it is a sharp 90' edge - if you have a long bladed knife that goes right across width of cake it is easier - but I am sure you know what I mean now.

Can't wait to see the finished product.

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vcm_9 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 10:59am
post #9 of 12

I was scared to take too much off to start with, I thought I could always shave it down slowly and gently. Better to take excess off than try to build it up more. I might just level top out a bit too, it looks a tad domed, but progress nonetheless. I'm getting there

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vcm_9 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 10:58pm
post #10 of 12

Hi Pam, just an update on my ganache-ing...finally getting the hang of it, but the more i touched it the more i had to fix it. it was hard to walk away but was finally happy with the end result! criticism welcome please!!

My first attempt at ganaching...finally OVER! Now onto the dreaded rose. My next "first" to try

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ApplegumKitchen Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 6:26am
post #11 of 12


Looks perfect - now here's a tip for the fondant covering - use your benchscraper to clean all that chocolate residue off the board and cover the cake on this same board. Make sure you wash your hands BEFORE you touch the fondant - doesn't matter how hard you try there is always one little bit of chocolate that seems to catch the fondant!

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vcm_9 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 9:40pm
post #12 of 12

Ok, I covered it last night, after I moved it to its board. That is baking paper in the pic. The transfer was perfect, brushed with syrup as per PC, and then came the fondant.

I have fondant covered before no problems, but usually roll a bit thicker (and no sharp edges). Using choc fondant was tricky, but I got the hang of it. THEN the air bubbles started. I think I had about 10 pin pricks everywhere! I have never had a single air bubble, let alone multiples. this is it so far:

Then came the stenciling, didn't go to plan. bled everywhere. I should have just done a bow and ribbons. I was planning to do a box...with a lid, but changed my mind because the corners were so nice, I didn't want to cover them up. Anyway, not happy with design, but loving the ganache and corners. I'll post the pic up on the gallery

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