Everyone knows I am a die-hard SMBC user (swiss meringue buttercream) but every now and then I need to use ganache. I prefer ganache for some cakes that need super sharp edges that will hold up or when I’m doing some gravity defying cakes. The ganache actually acts as part of the support system for the cake.
Another great thing ganache works well for is the acrylic method for getting those super duper sharp edges on your cakes. The leading expert on this method is Kara Bustos of Sift by Kara. You can get her tutorial on how to achieve these sharp corners.
I got this recipe from the lovely Avalon Yarnes of Avalon Cakes who is a sculpted cake master! I like this recipe a lot because it includes things in the instructions that I feel people normally don’t tell you like how do you mix this? When is it ready? What are these lumps from? lol Especially to someone who is new to using ganache.
2:1 ratio (2:1 ratio means that however much cream you use, you use twice as much chocolate. Just remember to use lbs and fluid oz so 8fl oz of cream would take 16oz of chocolate) For white ganache I use 4:1 ratio. Using higher quality chocolate, not melties, will result in a better ganache. One batch of 32 oz (2lbs) of choc and 16oz of cream will fill and cover one 8″ round cake.
16oz Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate (or any choc that is 55% cocoa butter or higher)
8 fl oz of heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
(sometimes I add 1 Tablespoon of butter for extra shine)
Put your chocolate in the bowl of your stand mixer (or if you don’t have a mixer you can do this by hand). Bring your cream JUST to a boil in a pan on the stovetop, make sure you watch it so it doesn’t boil over. Pour the heated cream into your mixing bowl with a paddle attachment. Let stand for 2 minutes. Turn your mixer onto low and let stir until nice and glossy. Scrape the bowl as necessary with a spatula to make sure that no chunks are left on the bottom. Let ganache set for 2-4 hours or until it is a peanut butter consistency. If you let the ganache harden all the way, it will need to be warmed before use. If you leave it in the mixing bowl, you can put it over a pot of boiling water (bane marie) to carefully re-melt or if you transfer the leftovers to a plastic bowl you can re-warm in the microwave. Be careful not to burn. Always melt in 15 second intervals.
When you first make ganache it is very liquid, this is what you would use to drizzle onto a cake to get that delicious drippy look on your cakes.
After you let your ganache set up for 2-4 hours and it is a peanut butter consistency, this is when it is ready to frost onto your cake
After you let your ganache set up for 24 hours and it is firm, this is what chocolatiers use to make truffles. You can infuse your milk with flavors like mint or hazelnut and your ganache will take on that flavor in the truffle.