Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A great ganache tutorial

I found a few videos (via cake central) on how to make ganache, apply it to a cake and get smoooooth sides. I thought I'd pass them on to all of you! My smoothest cakes have been ganache cakes. I LOVE ganache! It gives you a firm, stable surface to apply fondant...no more buldges! And it tastes FABULOUS! Remember, the smoother the crumb coat, the smoother your fondant will look!!
Check these out...I hope they help you!

Make ganache

Apply ganache/crumb coat
*Note: I have and use a straight edge tool like she does and it really helps! You can also use the upside down frosting technique too...that's my fav technique to getting sharp top corners!

Getting smooth sharp edges

26 comments:

  1. Just tried icing with ganache last night for the first time...I couldn't believe how sharp I got those edges. I applied the fondant tonight and although it is definitely the sharpest edged fondant job I've ever done, I had a TON of air bubbles! HUGE ones! They were on top and all along the top edge where the top and sides met. I watched Michelle's videos a couple times and think I didn't do a thorough enough job with brushing the cake with hot water before applying fondant. The water wasn't boiling for one, and I didn't do it before I rolled out my fondant...just right before I layed it on. Is that the reason why? Any tips would be greatful. I can see so much improvement already in my cakes in just a week of reading your blog! I can't thank you enough!

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  2. Yeah! :) I'm so glad you're getting better!

    Sorry for the air bubbles! I've noticed that more when I use ganache than buttercream and I think it's because once you wet it and the fondant hits it, it sticks right away and doesn't allow you to move it around quite as much...for some reason?! You just have to be really careful about applying it...making sure you only press it down as you go down the sides so it doesn't trap any air in. I've had to re-lift the fondant in a few places to get the air bubbles out...and be really careful when I lay the fondant over the top to lay it from back to front so it doesn't trap air. It's all in the technique. I still get air bubbles...just keep practicing! :) - and use a tiny pin to pop them to reduce the holes! :)

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  3. Hi Jessica,
    Do I have to prepare the ganache and let it set overnight over the counter or in the fridge? Thanks you so much. :)

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    1. I usually prepare ganache a few hours before I need it. I let it sit at room temp and mix it every 15-20 min. until its the consistency of buttercream. Then, spread it on my cake! :)

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  4. Hi Jessica..
    love your blog..got it from my wilton instructor. Your cake designs are so faboulous!

    IF we want to cover the cake with fondant after the ganache..should we do it right from the fridge like SMBC? or room temperature?

    And for the three tier cake..do you usually put a long straight dowel rod in the middle for all the tiers?

    Thanks!

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    1. Wow, your Wilton instructor! :) That's fun!

      If you're covering a ganche cake, I'll let mine sit out for 30min-1hour so it's not super cold. That way you have more time to smooth the fondant and get sharp edges before it condensates! :)

      Yes, you put a dowel right down through all three tiers...as long as you have something to cover that top hole! :) If you don't, then dowel the bottom two tiers with the dowel sticking out 2" or so, and slide the top tier down onto the dowel. Just make sure you put a hole in that top tier so it slides right on! :)

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  5. He Jessica,

    Thanks for the prompt reply!..:)

    Should we refrigerate first the cake after we ice with the ganache? Someone told me it is not necessary, just let it sit in 75 temperature but I am afraid that it will not hard enough when we cover with fondant.

    I am dying to try to make the sushi cake you made..:)

    Thanks!

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    1. No, you don't need to refridgerate unless you have a perishable frosting inside. The ganache keeps it's shell if the right proportions are used. If you need it to firm up quickly, put it in the fridge. Just make sure to take it out 45min-1hr before you cover it. Then you'll have lots of time to smooth it without condensation! :)

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  6. Jessica,

    Thanks again for the quick response!

    Another question..how long do you think swiss meringue buttercream we can leave outside at 75 temp or lower? I will make cakes with ganache icing and swiss meringue buttercream filling..so I would like to plan accordingly when I should finalize the cake with fondant before the presentation since we cannot put the fondant cake in the fridge. Is 24 hours Ok? Thank so much!

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    1. I can't advise you on what you should do, but if it was me, I'd be totally fine having a basic swiss meringue sit out for 24 hours as long as you don't have any cream cheese or other perishable additions to it! :)

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  7. Hi Jessica,

    I'm gonna cover a cake with chocolate ganache this weekend. Can't wait!

    Just wondering, how much chocolate and whipping cream do I need if I'm to cover a cake of 8" by 4" high. Thank you!

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    1. It depends on how thick you put it on, but I would make around 2lbs of ganache to be sure. Any left over can be used to make truffles or frozen! :)

      So, use 24oz of chocolate and 12 oz of heavy cream.

      Best wishes!

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  8. A tip that works well for me: I whip the ganache with my immersion blender. It is very quick and easy. Also, have you tried the 1:1 "classic " ratio? I normally to 1 TJ bar to one pint cream. I'm assuming your version is denser?
    Anat

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    1. Yes, that ratio is more of a pourable, or buttercream type consistency if whipped. Not as stable as the 2:1 ratio which hardens like a shell or the inside of a truffle. It's super soft in your mouth (when warm) but nice and stiff/hard when it sets to give you a beautiful shell on your cake...a great base to fondant! :)

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  9. Hi! I am making a cake for a baby shower and want to apply layers of frills to a cake, similar to the white/blue one you made but I want to make the frills out of a MMF/MC blend instead of SMBC. My question is do you think it would they would better adhere to SMBC or white chocolate ganache? I like the look of the ganache, but not sure what would be best for attaching the decor since I'm not covering the whole cake in fondant. I'll be using your vanilla butter cake recipe filled with lemon curd, so I'm also trying to take taste combos into account too. I just can't decide, SMBC or white chocolate ganache!? Thanks for any advice!
    P.S. I'm taking your first class and love it!!!

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  10. Hi there!
    Honestly it would work either way. I would think it would be much easier to work with a ganche crumb coated cake because it's so firm and you can add the sugar water to the ganache and work with it at room temp. The longer the buttercream cake sits out (while you're attaching your frills), the more squishy it will become and harder to attach the frills. So, I'd use ganache.
    I'm so happy you're enjoying the class!!! :) Blessings!

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  11. Hi Jessica.
    I love your blog and have also purchased your Craftsy classes. Your waxed paper technique has saved many several times now.

    I have tried ganache in the past and had lots of problems, which I am trying to work through. Can you tell me what brand of chocolate you use? I have been just using semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips and I have a hard time getting them to melt all the way.
    Where do you get your chocolate for ganache, both white and dark.
    Thanks!

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  12. Hi there!
    I'm so happy you've enjoyed the classes!! :)
    I use Trader Joe's pound plus dark chocolate bars or Pastry Portal's Casa Luker Blend dark and white chocolate. You can find Pastry Portal on Facebook and order some samples.
    The thing about ganache is adjusting the amounts of cream depending upon what kind of chocolate you're using. It goes from a 3:1 ratio for white chocolate to a 2:1 ratio for dark chocolate (over 55%). Anything between (like milk chocolate) would be a 2.5 to 1 ratio...so, adjust the amounts of heavy cream accordingly. Here's a great youtube video to watch to help you make it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFtm8q4m4Bk
    Blessings!!!

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  13. hi jessica is ur fondant always mashmallow fondant. do u have another fondant recipe othef than MMF

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    1. Yes, I use marshmallow fondant. There is another one I've used that's fantastic for more humid climates...google "Michele Foster Fondant" recipe. Blessings!

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  14. Hello jessica.. I wanted to know if I can make milk choclate ganache?
    I have to make a cake for a party.. N I have this big pound of milk choclate from trader joes.. Can I use that ?

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    1. Yes, you can use any chocolate. Just change the ratio of cream to chocolate. I use 3:1 ratio for milk chocolate...3 parts chocolate 1 part heavy whipping cream. If it's good quality, semi sweet then you can do a 2.5:1 ratio. Have fun!!

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  15. Jessica pls help.. If I don't have acrylic boards for the upside down ganache technique will wilton cake boards be ok to use? It has to be the same diameter of the cake am I right? If I am using those boards I need to sprinkle some water on it am I on tge right track here.. Desperately need ur advice.

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    1. Yes, I use Wilton cake boards all the time. You might get a little bit of "ridging" due to the cardboard, but if you take your hot knife you can smooth them out. Yes...sprinkle a little water on them before you set them on your cake. I show how to do this in my first Craftsy Class, "Clean & Simple Cake Design"...www.craftsy.com/cakedesign.

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  16. Jessica have u ever had little sugar spots when u make the MMF.. Still having issues with it... What am I doing wrong where the MMF fondant is concerned. I just use the Walmart brand confectioners sugar.. Do I need to switch the brand?

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    1. Hmmmm...are you sifting it? - perhaps you need to with that brand. I would try a higher quality brand of powdered sugar to see. I use C&H...it has no beet sugar in it, so it's really smooth. Also, when you're kneading your sugar into your marshmallow, knead with a firm hand. Also, at the end, take a good tablespoon or two of shortening and work that in for a few minutes to smooth it out. Blessings!

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