How to make Ganache and cover your cake with it

I love using ganache to cover cakes and wedding cakes as it tastes incredibly delicious and it’s so much easier to get nice, straight sides and edges compared to buttercream. Ganache is also wonderful to use under sugar-paste for the same reasons. Living as I do on the Gold Coast, Australia, ganache is the obvious choice as it withstands most of our really hot weather MUCH better than buttercream.
Chocolate and cream are the only two ingredients in ganache and are used in a 2:1 ratio for dark and semi-sweet chocolate and the 3:1 ratio for milk chocolate. The wedding cake in the picture above was covered in white chocolate ganache using the ratio 3:1 i.e. 3 parts white chocolate to 1 part cream.
In extremely warm weather it is sometimes necessary to increase the amount of chocolate in the mixture to prevent it melting.
To torte and cover a 9″ round cake with dark chocolate ganache
1.75 kg dark chocolate
600ml pure cream
To torte and cover a 9″ round cake with white chocolate ganache
1.3 kg
450ml pure cream
If you prefer a really soft filling for your cakes then just whip ½ cup cream and add 2 tbsp of the Ganache and whip a little more. This makes a delicious and easy chocolate mousse.
Step 1Make the Ganache: Heat the cream until it just starts to bubble, pour over chocolate (which you have blitzed in the food processor to coffee granules size) and let it sit for about a minute to melt. Use a hand whisk to blend it all together then set aside to cool. 
Your ganache at this point will be thin. You will have to pop it in the fridge until it thickens to a slightly thicker peanut butter consistency (don’t cover because you might get condensation). It would  usually set in the fridge in about an hour or two. If it sets too hard, just microwave it in 10 second intervals (keep mixing it whenever you take it out).
Proccess the chocolate to the size of coffee granules
Proccess the chocolate to the size of coffee granules
 Ganache nice and smooth

Ganache nice and smooth
Cutting cake into layers. Keep original layer of greaseproof paper on as long as possible to keep cake intact add a board or metal base to the top of the cake when cutting as you may accidentally put pressure on the top of the cake when cutting and dent your nice flat top.
Cut out a circle of non slip matting
This will stop your cake moving about on top of the turntable
Step 2Torte and level the 9″ cake: Place cake upside down on the cake board on a layer of ganache to act as a glue and to even out any irregularities. Add a mound of ganache in the middle of the board if your cake sunk or add a ring of ganache round the edge if you cake was high in the centre. If you are using the soft filling then pipe a ½” snake of Ganache around the outside edge of the cake to create a dam, pop the cake into the fridge for the dam to harden (about 5 min) remove from fridge, then fill with the filling. If using regular ganache to fill then apply with a cranked handled palette knife if you have one.
Top with the next layer of cake and repeat if needed. 
Step 3Crumb coat: (optional) Cover sides and top of cake quickly with a thin coat of ganache to stop crumbs getting into your final coat of ganache. This is useful especially if your cake is more crumbly than normal. Put in fridge for an hour or so to harden before continuing. 

Applying a quick crumb coat
A set square helps me get perpendicular sides
Crumb coat complete
Step 4Cover the top of the cake with Ganache: I like using the ‘double board’ method to get the top edge of the cake perfectly smooth. Top the cake with a 1/2” layer of Ganache, smooth it out then place a 9″ board on top which has been completely covered on both sides with cling film to keep the board clean and reusable and secured with sticky tape. Check with a small spirit level to see if it’s leveled, if not, gently press down around the cake until it is.
Step 5Cover the sides of the cake with Ganache: You want to always add more ganache than you need at the beginning because it is so much easier to just scrape off the excess and be done rather than to keep adding then scraping then adding then scraping…etc. As the 9” cake board is slightly larger than the cake (9” cake shrinks a little after cooling). I use the edge of the two boards as a guide to the thickness of the Ganache. Once you have added the Ganache along the sides, use a metal scraper or similar tool, to scrape the excess off a little at a time, layer by layer as you turn the turntable.
Step 6: Place the cake into the fridge for at least a ½ hour, remove, then carefully undo the cling and lift off the board then carefully peel the cling film from the top of the cake. You may need to smooth away the little imperfections or fill any air holes with a little bit of Ganache.
I went straight ahead and covered these 4 cakes with sugar-paste but I could have used a hot palette knife to smooth out any remaining imperfections if the cakes were not being covered,

Step 7: Let the cake sit overnight at room temperature for the Ganache to completely set. If you live in a hot climate like I do then best to put it in the fridge overnight. A wine fridge is best (as it is not so cold as your normal fridge in the kitchen) and has a built in humidifier. The cake will get quite hard and cold overnight and it is important that the cake gets back to room temp before covering with sugar-paste.( If you do not allow your cake to reach room temp, all the way through, the cake will sweat through your sugar-paste!) Before covering you can either brush or spray the cake with a little bit of water or vodka (it evaporates away anyways) or some type of syrup (apricot jam diluted with water). 

The above recipes make more ganache than is needed so that there is enough to allow for mistakes and for putting on extra and then scraping back off the excess. I also freeze any untouched ganache for my next cake.

Use these steps to make a gorgeous Pink Tiffany Wedding Cake




3 thoughts on “How to make Ganache and cover your cake with it

  1. Hi there

    Could you please help me I wanted to know how much dark choclate ganache would I need and cream to cover a 8″ a 7″ and a 6″ please.

    Thanks heaps

    1. Find the area of each cake using 3.14 x r x r where r is the radius.
      As the recipe is for a 9″ round cake we will start there. The area of a 9″ cake = 3.14 x 4.5 x 4.5 = 63.8 inch squared.
      An 8″ cake is 3.14 x 4 x 4 = 50.3
      An 8″ cake is therefore 50.3/63.8 = 0.79 times the size of a 9″ cake so multiply each of the ingredients for the 9″ cake by 0.79 to calculate the amount of ingredients needed for the 8″ cake.
      If this sounds tricky, it is what I do all the time and I have absolutely no idea how other people work these things out. I am very good at algebra and I don’t know how other people manage.

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