Chocolate ganache makes an excellent covering for cakes. If you’re using it as a base for sugarpaste, using it on it’s own like my Chocolate Orange Fudge Cake, or for piping onto cupcakes, it’s really very versatile and delicious!
Lots of different bakers will have lots of different ratios and ways of making ganache, but this is the easy and simple method I use and it’s never failed me. I use the microwave and not over a pan of hot water, meaning you have to be a bit more careful not to burn it but once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll be a pro!
For dark chocolate I use a 2.5:1 ratio and for white chocolate I use a 3.5:1 ratio. Also, when I make it, I make a lot. Usually because I will be completely covering a cake or two, if you don’t need that much you can always halve these recipes (which I’ve put in brackets) but keep the ratios intact. The full recipe below is enough to cover an 8″ round twice. I tend to do two coats to make it nice and smooth.
- 750g dark chocolate (375g)
- 300ml double cream (150ml)
White Chocolate Ganache
- 1050g white chocolate (525g)
- 300ml double cream (150ml)
* Because I use a dark chocolate that is low in cocoa density, by adding the cream it makes a milk chocolate as you can see in the picture above. For proper dark chocolate you would need at least 70% cocoa in the bar.
- Put the chocolate and cream into a microwavable bowl.
- Microwave on full power in 30 second bursts, whisking furiously in between.
- Do this three times until it is nice and smooth.
- Once you’ve done this, it will be thick but liquid. (it is at this stage you can pour over a cake for a drip effect)
- Cover and leave to set for two hours, preferably overnight.
- Once set, give it a good whisk and it’s ready to use!
- If, when using, it goes too hard to spread, microwave on 10 second busts, stirring in between.
- Once finished with, should you have any left over, cover and leave in the fridge. I find it usually lasts about a week. Again, pop it back in the microwave following the above instructions to bring it back to life.
- Use affordable chocolate. The thing with ganache is because you use so much chocolate, it can get quite expensive. For this, I just use supermarket own chocolate and it has never let me down.
- Dip your palette knife in hot water occasionally when covering to help you get a nice smooth spread.
- If it’s a hot day and it’s runnier than you need it or you need it to firm up, pop it back in the fridge. Temperature is key with ganache, leave the ratios of chocolate to cream alone.
- If using ganache as a base to cover a cake in sugarpaste, leave to set and cool completely on the cake before covering. If the ganache is still wet there is a chance it can seep through the sugarpaste.
- If you want to pour it over your cakes and bakes, do this at step 4. If you leave it to set, it’s great for spreading on, but you won’t be able to pour it on.
- You can flavour your ganache when it is liquid using good quality concentrated flavourings.
- You can also colour your white chocolate ganache at the liquid stage. I recommend using powder food colourings to stop the chocolate seizing but you can also use a tiny amount of concentrated paste colouring.
- If you find it’s too hard to pipe onto cupcakes, beat it with a hand whisk or stand mixer until fluffy. Do this after it has cooled.
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