Introduction: How To: Chocolate Ganache Layer Cake
Chocolate ganache is a French classic. It's basically equal parts of good chocolate and cream. Ganache is extremely versatile; You can fill cakes with it, cover cakes, frost cakes, make truffles, and the list goes on. The versatility in ganache comes from the consistency and science behind the cream. As you adjust the measurements of both ingredients you can control how thin or thick you'd like the ganache to be. Cooling and Whipping will also significantly thicken the ganache. Not only is chocolate ganache a great alternative to frosting but it's incredibly easy to make.
The recipe below was used to cover a 6" cake with ganache leftover. Feel free to adjust this recipe as needed for your creative pastry needs (after all it is only 2 ingredients)
1 1/2 C heavy cream
11 oz. chocolate chips
Long Knife or Cake Decorating Spatula
Revolving Cake Stand
Cake (Fully Prepped)
Large Star Tip with Piping Bag
Frosting of Choice
Cake Toppings: Cookies, Dried fruit, nuts or flowers, candies, etc.
Step 1: Ganaching
There are many ways to making ganache. Have your pick below. After the ganache is made, allow to cool over a bowl of ice water or let chill in the refrigerator until it has completely cooled.
Option 1: Over a double boiler. Fill a small sauce pot up with water and bring to a simmer. Create a double boiler by placing a heat proof bowl over the pot making sure it doesn't touch the water. The bowl should be large enough to rest on the rim of the post. Add cream and chocolate to bowl and stir slowly until chocolate has melted and cream is fully incorporated.
Option 2: My favorite. Add cream to a small sauce pot. You want the cream to begin forming small bubbles around the edge. Right before that simmer takes place, remove the cream from the hot surface and add the chocolate chips. With a whisk or spoon, stir until fully incorporated.
Option 3: Microwave. Add cream and chocolate to a large bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds, then give it a stir. Continue to microwave at 30 second intervals, mixing in between until chocolate has melted. Remember, the cream will rise while being heated, so to avoid accidents use a larger bowl than you think you'll need. Stir until incorporated.
Step 2: Prepare the Cake
This cake was for my Mom and Aunt's birthday celebration. So, I told my mom she could have whatever she'd like. I didn't have to ask because I know she loves fruit filled layer cakes.
Here I created (which you can fully see in the video) a 6 layer vanilla cake filled with fresh lemon curd, vanilla buttercream and raspberry filling. Chocolate ganache was definitely the proper way to top this baby off.
Step 3: First Ganaching
The first layer of ganache will be messy....okay all of the layers will be messy, but this is the quickest. You want to start by getting the chocolate ganache onto the cake. You can do with a spatula, bench scraper or knife. You want to push the ganache into all of the crevasses and layers. This is when the revolving cake stand comes in handy.
This basically acts as the crumb coat, which will be the thinnest layer of ganache. Once the cake is fully covered and excess has been removed as needed, refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Step 4: Second Ganaching
After the cake has chilled the ganache layer should be thicker. Now apply a second layer of ganache. It will get messy, but the goal here is to get a lot of ganache onto the cake and remove excess. You'll do this by plopping a large amount on the top, and bringing it down the sides with a knife. Use the bench scraper to go around the cake and create smooth sides. In swift motions, scrape off any extra from the top.
Refrigerate this time for at least 20 minutes.
Step 5: Final Ganaching
This cake was going to travel for about 40 miles, so I needed to know it would hold up. Thicken the ganache by whipping for about 5 minutes by hand or 2 minutes by mixer. As seen in the first picture, the consistency will be lighter, fluffier and a lot more stable. It should be similar to frosting.
Cover the cake the for a final time (if you want to go further with the coatings that's up to you). If this is your first time ganaching a cake take all the time you need to create smooth sides. Continue to fill any holes on the cake by filling with ganache and going back around with the cake scraper.
Once you're pleased with the outcome - refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Step 6: Decorate!
I made a raspberry buttercream and using a large star tip to pipe small mounds of buttercream on the top.
I also made cake truffles by crumbling a chocolate cupcake (recipe here > https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Best-Chocolate... ) into a small bowl of ganache and rolling small balls by hand. A few of these topped the cake beautifully.
For height I added a couple of sugar cookies, and I filled the opening space with dried rose petals and cookie crumbs. Then of course I had to make a small batch of white chocolate ganache for a drip effect.
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