How to Ganache a Cake: A Beginner’s Guide


We’ve got your decorating basics covered with this video tutorial and written guide on how to ganache a cake!

 

Are you looking to create the perfect ganache covered cake for an upcoming sophisticated birthday celebration? Perhaps you’re wanting to learn how to put ganache on cake for a special anniversary surprise for your lucky loved one? Whatever the occasion, we've got the perfect guide for you here at Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft magazine! With a video from a cake decorating expert detailing precisely how easy it can be to achieve the perfect straight-edged ganache finish, a tried and tested perfect recipe for making ganache and plenty of hints, tips and tricks, you’ll be an expert in how to cover a cake with ganache in no time!

 

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How to Ganache a Cake

 

 

 How to create the perfect chocolate ganache

You will need:

300ml double cream

150g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped

150g milk chocolate, finely chopped

 

Method

1 Bring the cream just to the boil in a saucepan.

2 Remove from the heat and add all chopped chocolate once the cream has stopped bubbling.

3 Gently shake the saucepan to cover the chocolate with the cream and allow to sit for a few minutes.

4 Gently stir until all the chocolate has melted and combined with the cream, leaving a smooth and shiny finish.

5 Decant into a glass bowl and leave to cool. Once cool, cover with cling film and leave at room temperature overnight to set.

 

Top Tips!
If there are any stubborn bits of chocolate that won’t melt, you can place the saucepan back onto a VERY low heat and constantly stir until all lumps are gone.
If you are in a hurry and can’t wait for the ganache to set overnight, you can speed up the setting process by putting the ganache in the fridge. You will need to keep a close eye on it though, giving it plenty of stirs to ensure it cools and sets evenly and smoothly.

Melted chocolate for ganache

 

How to fix split ganache?

Be vigilant for broken or split ganache. This happens when the cream and chocolate don’t combine smoothly (this process is called emulsification). How do you know if ganache has split? It won’t have a beautiful shiny finish and instead will look dull and be grainy. You might also be able to see the fat in the chocolate separating from the solids. But have no fear, all is not lost!

Your first move to rectify the split is to use a handheld blender and gently blend the ganache mixture until it becomes smooth. Once it is smooth, stop immediately or you can incorporate too much air and you don’t want a bubbly ganache!

Don’t worry if this doesn’t work – there are more options! Add a splash more cream and mix, which should help bring the ganache back to together. Do bear in mind that by adding more cream, your ganache won’t set as firmly as you would like. This is especially important to remember on a hot day!

A final way you can try and fix a split ganache is to put it in the fridge and stir every ten minutes (ish… don’t panic if you can’t do every 10 minutes on the dot!) and see if this helps the ganache to emulsify correctly.

If all else fails, you can try again and put it down to experience… you could grumpily eat the split ganache out of spite and to show it that it hasn’t defeated you, although we don’t recommend how that will taste!

How to fix split ganache

 

Can you freeze ganache?

If you are making ganache in advance and need to store it for some time, you can keep it comfortably at room temperature for a couple of days. It will last around a month in the fridge and a little longer in the freezer. This is just a guide to storage times and can depend on the ingredients used, so use your own discretion as well when storing ganache.

 

What can I use ganache for?

If you’re looking for more uses for your ganache, perhaps you have some leftover that you don’t want to sit in front of the telly with and devour from the wooden spoon like an animal that solely survives on melted chocolate and cream and hasn’t had a taste of that sweet, sweet deliciousness in weeks… what we’re trying to say is, there are many more uses for ganache than just for smooth full cake coverage!

Ganache makes a delicious and ever so elegant decoration for cupcakes. Make any shape you desire using your favourite pipe head and create delectable cupcakes that no one can resist!

Ganache covered cupcake

 

You can also use the mixture to cover mini cakes like these with ganache, leaving the sides bare for a more rustic look and giving the top and stunning, shiny finish. Top with a simple swirl of chocolate and let the beautiful ganache do the talking.

Ganache covered mini cakes

 

While we’ve only been talking about using ganache for a really smooth and elegant finish, you can also use it very roughly to create a gorgeous messy topping for a really naughty brownie (we mean naughty as in lots of chocolate, nothing else… tut tut!). Serve as is or top with some fruit or a sprig of greenery to posh it up a bit.

Ganache covered brownie

 

Because of the versatile way ganache sets, both hard and soft at the same time, it’s perfect to use if you’re a chocolatier! Cover truffles or hardened chocolates with a layer of ganache, keeping it as messy or tidy as you like to create a stunning professional finish for you homemade choccy delights!

Ganache covered chocolates


 

We hope this beginner’s guide on how to ganache a cake has been useful for you! It’s a tricky skill but, once mastered, one you will never forget! A ganache covered cake is so versatile for a plethora of occasions and bakes, appealing to the most clean and simple of decorating styles to the most extravagant. Don’t forget, if you’re making a ganache covered cake after watching the video and reading this guide and you suddenly completely forget how to do it (it happens to the best of us!), this guide is here forever to help show you how to put ganache on cake. The recipe and notes provided never get old and are tried and trusted over many years on ganache cakes around the globe!

Now you know how to cover a cake with ganache, there’s so much more out there to learn. And, what’s more, it’s free to access on our blog! Why not check out this amazing guide on How To Create Crystallised Flowers? These delicate embellishments can provide the perfect elegant finish to a ganache covered cake. Or, if you’re looking to cover your ganache up, then we’ve got another super helpful video guide on How to Cover a Cake with Sugarpaste (or fondant, we cater for a global audience after all!).

There’s always plenty more incredible tutorials, guides and top tips to be found in Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft magazine too! Pick up your latest print issue HERE or why not give digital a go, for an even more interactive experience? Try going digital HERE today!

 

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