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decoration of chocolate cake

ALL THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS VERSATILE FROSTING

Here, in our baking classes at Gurgaon Bakers, we use a wide variety of frostings and we always get this one question, “Are frosting and ganache the same?”

Well, no. Ganache is a type of frosting and frosting is the catch all phrase that denotes all types of icing used for cakes. Some of the popular types of frosting we use in our cakes are – American buttercream, Swiss meringue buttercream, fondant, fresh cream frosting, and ganache.

Here, in today’s post, we focus on “Ganache.” From giving you a simple fool-proof recipe for making a smooth, silky ganache to answering the common questions about ganache, read on to find all that you need.

What is Ganache?

It’s a type of frosting used to coat sponge cakes. Usually, a layer of ganache is applied on sponges before it’s covered with fondant. However, the latest trend is to use ganache on its own. It’s used for both frosting as well as filling and glazing other desserts like doughnuts, macarons, eclairs, brownies, cookies and more.

What is it made of?

Ganache contains just two simple ingredients – cream and chocolate. These are the two basic ingredients. Sometimes, extra ingredients are added like: corn syrup or oil for a shiny effect, butter for firmness, and a creamier consistency, spices or alcohol for flavor.

How to make Ganache?

The Recipe is simple: Heat cream in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Pour it over chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit undisturbed for two minutes. Stir until smooth.

That’s it, your ganache is now ready for use.

An alternative method for making ganache is to heat chocolate and cream in a microwave. However, if you opt for this method, you have to pay close attention. Heat the mixture in 20-second bursts. Stir between each heating, to ensure that the chocolate doesn’t seize or burn.

If using this method to make ganache, then you’ll have to let it cool on the counter for a few minutes before using it.

For what can chocolate ganache be used?

Ganache is highly versatile, and it can be used for several purposes. It can be used as a frosting, filling, glaze, sauce or to make truffles. The basic style of making is same for all these purposes. What varies is the ratio of cream to chocolate used in the recipe.

What type of chocolate to use for making Ganache?

To make ganache you can use any of the three types of chocolate. If you use dark chocolate, the ganache would be a bitter. It works well for sweet cakes. Milk chocolate ganache is on the other hand very sweet and works well with subtle cakes like pound cakes, tea cakes and basic sponges. White chocolate ganache is also extra sweet. However, you can colour it and use it for frosting.

Recipe for Chocolate Ganache

Makes: approximately 1 and ¾ cup

If you’re using ganache for just drizzling on the top of your cake, you can reduce this recipe by ½ or 1/3.

Required Ingredients:
  • Dark chocolate/milk chocolate – 230 g
  • Heavy cream – 240ml
  • Alcohol like brandy or any other liquor of your choice (optional) – 1 to 3 teaspoons Method:
  • Chop chocolate into fine pieces.
  • Now place the chocolate in a heat-proof glass bowl. Keep it aside.
  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cream and bring to a boil.
  • Pour the cream over chocolate.
  • Let it sit for 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Then whisk the mixture gently until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
  • Add alcohol, if using. Whish well
  • Ganache is ready for use.

You can store ganache for up to a week in the fridge. Reheat it on low heat in a microwave before use.

Ganache FAQ

How to use Ganache?

When ganache is warm it can be poured directly on pastries, cakes, and other desserts. It can also be used to create a dripping effect. Thicker ganache can be served as a rich dessert sauce.

You can also dip cupcakes into ganache to create a frosting like mask on top. It can also be used as a filling for cake layers and macarons.

Thicker ganache can be rolled into balls to make truffles. It can also be used for piping designs and swirls on cakes and cupcakes.

My ganache looks lumpy and grainy. Also, there’s an oil-like layer on top. What’s gone wrong and can I fix it?

When this occurs, you can know that your ganache has split. The reasons behind split ganache are plenty – wrong ratio of cream and chocolate, high temperatures and agitation. When this happens, the mixture doesn’t set evenly and cannot be spread.

Very often bakers throw the whole lot down the drain. But, here at Gurgaon Bakers, we’ve got a secret tip to fix this ganache.

Heat up a small amount of milk (around 100ml) until it’s scorching hot. Now, add this to your split ganache and stir vigorously. Keep on whisking until the ganache emulsifies again and voila, you’ve got perfect ganache.

What’s the Shelf life of homemade ganache?

Here are the general rules:

  • It can be stored at room temperature for around three days (average room temperature under 25◦C.)
  • It stays good in the fridge for up to two weeks (average temperature 4◦C or lower).
  • It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

What are the ratios for different uses of ganache?

Ganache ratios are based on weight. For instance, 1:1 ratio means you use equal weights of chocolate and cream.

Here are the various chocolate ganache proportions:

  • As a thick glaze and for layer cake fillings – 1:1 equal parts cream and chocolate.
  • Soft icing or pourable glaze – 1:2, one part chocolate and two parts cream.
  • Chocolate Truffles – 2:1, two parts chocolate and one part cream

Are the ratios same for dark, milk and white chocolate ganache?

No. The ratios for each of type of ganache varies because the volume of cocoa in each of these chocolates is different. Here are the general ratios:

  • 2 parts dark chocolate for one part cream
  • 2.5 parts of milk chocolate for one part cream
  • 3 parts of white chocolate for one part cream

How much ganache do I need to cover a cake?

This one’s a bit tricky, since cake sizes are all over the place. You can check out this chocolate ganache calculator to figure out how much ganache you’ll need for your cake.

I made ganache a few days back and stored it in the freezer/fridge. Now, it’s frozen solid. What do I do to resuscitate it?

The best and easiest way is to let it thaw. Keep it on a counter for around 1 – 2 hours. Your ganache would reach the original consistency after this time. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can try to heat it up in a microwave in short 15 second bursts. But, be careful as even minimal extra heating could lead your ganache to get burnt.

Do you have any other ganache queries or tips? Shoot us a comment and we’ll help you out. And, remember for the best birthday cakes in Gurgaon all you have to do is ring us at +91-989-9988-185.

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