What Did I Just Do??

Decorating By grandmom Updated 6 Nov 2009 , 4:15pm by grandmom

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grandmom Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 1:04am
post #1 of 11

Got ready to ganache my cake tonight. My ganache looked really wierd. It was a mixture of dark and milk chocolate, and a whole lot of it. It had set up nice and firm, but when I dipped into it, it had lots and lots of tiny little soft lumps... like maybe the two chocolates had not blended well.

I had done something to this batch I had not done before, which was upon pouring the hot cream over the chocolate, I let the KA do the work. I didn't beat the daylights out of it, I just let KA run on low speed until things looked smooth and well-blended, then left it to do its thing for a couple of days.

So, in a panic because the stuff was too lumpy, I divided the huge batch, nuked it a few seconds, then took the handheld mixer to it. It smoothed out really nicely and turned lighter in color and got a little fluffy and very creamy. I feared as I put it on the cake it would not set up, but it appears to be setting up well.

First, what did I do wrong? And second, did I just inadvertently make whipped ganache? Third, if it is whipped ganache, will it hold up the fondant?

10 replies
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Deb_ Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 1:25am
post #2 of 11

hmmmm......when you poured the hot cream over the chocolate did you allow it to sit for about 5 minutes before stirring/mixing?

What cream to chocolate ratio did you use?

When I make whipped ganache I use 2:1 cream to chocolate.....

regular ganache 1:1 ratio

Whipped ganache will look and taste like chocolate whipped cream so I'm not sure how that would hold up under fondant.

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ApplegumKitchen Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 1:30am
post #3 of 11

It will still hold up - provided your ratios were not affected eg. still 2:1

BUT.... something to consider (not to be seen as throw it out!)

When you whip ganache you are adding air to it - this air reduces the shelf life of your ganache as it provides 'food' for bacteria.

Whipped ganache is perfectly fine for cupcakes, coverings etc but should be avoided if you are putting under fondant.
(this time won't hurt icon_biggrin.gif )

The tiny lumps forming has been discussed on the Planet Cake forum as well - few members had the same thing happen - everything was looked at and still no conclusive answer. Brands of chocolate? types of crea? methods of mixing?
If it happens again think you are best just to nuke it and remix. If you are looking for mechanical assistance in the "mixing" department you are far better to use a stick/wand immersion blender - do not bring to the surface.
PRACTICE in a deep container to avoid giving your kitchen a new chocolate paint coat icon_biggrin.gif

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Kitagrl Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 1:50am
post #4 of 11

I think its just unmelted chocolate pieces...I've had it happen too, especially lately because room temp now is cooler than it was in the summer, so the chips are going to be cooler than before, and be a tad harder to melt, if that makes sense....just make sure the cream is nice and hot and yeah nuking it will help too. But no need to whip the lumps out...the whisk won't work anyway, it just needs heat.

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ApplegumKitchen Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 2:38am
post #5 of 11

Just to clarify that MY ratios of 2:1 (for under fondant) is

2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream

any variation to these ratios (other than white chocolate being 3parts to 1 part cream) may NOT produce results satisfactory for use under fondant.

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sugarshack Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 3:40am
post #6 of 11

I dont know about the mixer part but I often get those lumps too. I just nuke and stir until it is smooth again; let it firm enough again to ice cake, and it sets up just fine.

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grandmom Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 9:59am
post #7 of 11

Well, the ganache has set up well enough for this one time, but it is not quite as firm as I would like, so I may chill the cake a few minutes before I put on the fondant today.

I used approximately 40 oz. dark chocolate and approximately 20 oz. milk chocolate. They were good brands of chocolate with fat content consistent with what I've seen recommended. The fat content for the dark was 60-something, for the milk 30-something. To figure how much cream, I did the math for the dark at 2:1 and for the milk at 3:1. I used heavy whipping cream. As I said, in the bowl it was really very firm, so I didn't think I screwed that part up. Or did I?

I did not let the cream and chocolate sit a few minutes before mixing though. Maybe that would have helped.

When I discovered the lumps, I nuked and tried to blend them in by hand, but it wasn't happening, so that's when I pulled out the mixer.

I think next time I have to make a big batch like that, I will break it down into two batches, and mix it by hand as I had before. Forget KA for this job.

I whipped last night, will cover with fondant and decorate today (Friday), the party is Saturday at noon. Do y'all think this ganache will stay fresh that long? The leftovers, what I could wrench from DH's greedy little fists, are in the freezer already.

Thanks so much for the input.

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aundrea Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 11:14am
post #8 of 11

ive seen many here talking about puttin gnache under fondant. i want to try this for a cake next week but i have a couple of questions.
i make gnache all the time for my brownies so im ok with making it.
but once made how long do you let it sit before you cover your cake?
is it sitting on the counter or does i need to be refrigerated?
how long after the cake is covered in gnache before you can cover in fondant?
thanks for the help.
and to the OP, i too think the chocolate didnt melt enough. good luck with your cake!

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grandmom Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 1:29pm
post #9 of 11

Generally, once made the ganache should sit several hours, preferably overnight, before applying to the cake.

Once on the cake, same thing, cake sits several hours or overnight before applying fondant.

In all cases, everything sits on the counter, not in the refrigerator, or at least that's how I and many others do it.

Just to be safe, I'll add in case you are not aware of it, there is a pouring ganache and a setting ganache. They use different ratios of chocolate to cream. You'll want to be sure you're using the setting ganache.

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sillychick Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 2:01pm
post #10 of 11

I had this problem once when mixing dark and milk chocolate. The milk melts so much faster, you probably have dark bits that didn't melt all the way. The next time I made mine I poured the dark into the cream first, let it set for 5 minutes, nuked it for a bit to make sure the cream was still hot and then poured in the milk chocolate, let that sit and then stirred. That solved my problem! HTH

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grandmom Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 4:15pm
post #11 of 11

Thanks, sillychick. I'll try it.

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