More Broken Ganache :(

Decorating By kazbur Updated 25 Sep 2013 , 5:08pm by cupcakemaker

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kazbur Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 8:03pm
post #1 of 17

I may actually weep. My second batch has separated. (I posted earlier to see if I could rescue first batch, didn't work)


I don't get it. I took a weensy bit out when I made it and put it in a bowl in the fridge just to check if it was likely to set properly. It did and no separation. The rest that was left to cool on the counter separated. There's no difference between them except one was refrigerated!


Cake torted and filled awaiting ganache. It's 10pm. Am at wits end here... Any thoughts? Anybody?

16 replies
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cupcakemaker Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 8:53pm
post #2 of 17

ACan you post a picture of it? Maybe your cream is too hot. How about reheating and then spreading flat to cool?

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howsweet Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 9:06pm
post #3 of 17

Sorry, I don't have time to check back, but i read on another thread that someone had used milk in their ganache -- I believe it has to be heavy cream and you want to make sure the cream has at least something like 36% fat. (Can't remember for sure about the exact number - I know Borden's heavy cream works). If you use a lower fat cream, it's less stable)

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scrumdiddlycakes Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 9:42pm
post #4 of 17

AWhat chocolate and cream are you using, any extra ingredients in there? and what process are you using to make it?

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kazbur Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 9:55pm
post #5 of 17

Okay... it won't let me post a picture, but trust me, it's split. looks grainy and oily.


I heated the cream in pot until it was bubbling at the bottom (when I tipped the pot you could see bubbles at the bottom) - the rest of it was steaming.


I used Lindt milk choc broken into small pieces. Poured 35% cream over (never had a problem with this cream). Left sit for a minute or two and stirred. It looked perfect. Left to cool. Then when I went back it had split, and I think it probably seized because it looked like it had little unmelted bits of chocolate (unless they really were just unmelted) in it. I was really careful not to get any water in it, because I suspected that's what happened to the first batch.


I usually use a dark chocolate, and it's not happened with that. Happened once with white chocolate, but it wasn't important. This is for a friend's son's birthday for Thursday. It's almost midnight on Tue here.


I did something I think might have been really silly... may as well confess! I put the batch in the fridge for a half hour, (just now, after it split) and when it came out I stirred a good bit and it was peanut butter consistency and no lumps when I stirred it, so I put it on the cake. It looks fine. Am just worried that tomorrow I'll get up and it will be oozing all over the place. In which case I have to rebake, refill, shop for more ingredients, re-ganache and then decorate. There aren't enough hours in the day with two small children around. Waaaah... Am full sure covering the cake was a bad idea... It's humid here, but not particularly hot. Am worried it's not going to set at all and I'm going to wake up to a big mess.


Too tired now to care - there's not a lot I can do tonight without any ingredients. Am really embarrassed that I'm messing up so badly... *sob* The only good thing is I have most of the decoration done, or at least the main topper. If the worst comes to the worst I can rebake and use buttercream tomorrow, rather than go through another ganache nightmare. The only problem I have with that is any time I've used buttercream under fondant, my fondant bubbled badly after an hour on the cake. It was just practice, so it was fine, but I went for ganache every time after that because it's fantastic stuff and gives a great surface to work on. When it works. Or I could try another batch but use my regular dark chocolate recipe. If it's the humidity and it doesn't work, I've wasted a ton of money though.


Sorry, I'm ranting. I think I'm delirious with tiredness :) Bed. Maybe it will all be fine in the morning!

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cupcakemaker Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 10:12pm
post #6 of 17

AIf you're using milk chocolate what's the ratio? I've never had ganache split once its been in the fridge. It's odd.

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kazbur Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 10:15pm
post #7 of 17

A2.5:1. it might not still be split. it looked ok or i wouldnt have put it in cake. am just afraid it will split again now that its there! it looks fine though. looks like it might set. might. i'll prob be up at 3am checking like some deranged cake woman, ha!

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Dayti Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 10:16pm
post #8 of 17

I think that if it looked good after being in the fridge for a while, and you managed to apply it to your cake, it will still be ok tomorrow when you get up, and you can get decorating. I don't think it will melt/separate once now your cake is covered with it - as soon as ganache sets up, like yours did, it takes pretty high temperatures to liquify it again!

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cupcakemaker Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 10:18pm
post #9 of 17

AI can't imagine how that could happen. Fingers crossed x

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BrandisBaked Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 10:20pm
post #10 of 17

ADid you use Country Crock?

Oops, wrong thread. :-)

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kazbur Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 10:27pm
post #11 of 17

Thanks all, you've no idea how much I appreciate it. I don't think any of my non-baking friends would understand. They already think I'm mad, ha! Will let you know how it looks in the morning. It's practically morning already! N'night xxx

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scrumdiddlycakes Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 11:44pm
post #12 of 17

Sounds like the cream go too hot, you don't want to let it get above 120 degrees F.
I would just make sure you leave the cake out and not in the fridge, (in case that's where it is now), that way if it's going to break again you will know by morning. Ganache is fickle, sometimes it breaks all of it's own rules and works when it shouldn't, haha.


Not to be a Debbie downer, but improperly set ganache will quite often re-break as it warms back up to room temp. If it does, just scrape it off, don't remake the whole cake! If it's been at room temp this whole time, and is holding up fine, sounds like you have nothing to worry about though.

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kazbur Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 11:20am
post #13 of 17

Hey all,


It's fine - I barely slept but the cake was perfect this morning, ha! It's hot today, I think I'll decorate when it cools down this evening just to be on the safe side!


At 1am I had to take my toppers out of the box to store the cake in... my Elmo topper was black and dirty looking! I had painted him to brighten him, but didn't notice that some black paint had gotten mixed in with the red, or at least it didn't show up until last night, eeeeeek.... I had to make a new Elmo. Got to bed after 2am.


One of these days I hope I'll make cakes with little or no disasters, ha! I guess it's all just experience. I'm going to road test a ganache today with the same ingredients, but with cooler cream, and see if that works while I'm not under pressure. I'm determined to get it right because dark choc doesn't suit everybody (kids really).


Thanks again guys, was great to be able to talk it out and get advice last night!


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kazbur Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 1:26pm
post #14 of 17

Update: whoever said I overheated the cream, you were right. I just did the test batch and waited for the very faintest bubbles on the side of the pot and then poured (as opposed to the entire bottom bubbling) - perfect ganache. It's even ready to use already. At least I know for the cake for Sunday! I haven't got a candy/any kind of food thermometer, so couldn't tell you what temp it was, but now I know to look for the edges barely bubbling.


Mystery solved...

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cakealicious7 Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 2:22pm
post #15 of 17

ASo glad that you know now :-D

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just4fun26 Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 2:35pm
post #16 of 17

AOn a slightly different note, I was being lazy and went to melt white chocolate chips in the microwave (being lazy... bad idea) and they literally turned to crumbs and yuck.

First batch on the double broiler, kind of weird, second batch, perfectly melted white chocolate.

The bag said it could be melted in the microwave, even though I know better.... I read somewhere it could be bc white chocolate does not have cocoa in it. Anyone have a similar experience?

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cupcakemaker Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 5:08pm
post #17 of 17

AYay glad you worked it out. I have failed at melting white choc in the microwave several times!

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