Follow these top tips from Paris Cutler about using ganache for cake decorating.
Planet Cake use ganache instead of buttercream. It tastes nicer and holds better in our summer climate. Ganache becomes firm and helps ensure your cake will have sharp edges and clean lines.
Make sure the ganache is smooth and free of lumps, otherwise this will effect the overall finish of the cake.
If you were a Trainee at Planet Cake this is where you would start, ganaching. The reason for this is that it is the skillful ganaching and cutting of our cakes that is the real secret behind the quality of Planet Cake’s cake decorating. No amount of fancy decoration can disguise a badly set-up or lumpy cake.
Although a little tricky at first, with practice you will master this skill and whether you want to make amazing cakes for friends and family or want to set up a commercial venture, you will be setting your cakes up in the knowledge that you are striving for best results.
I know that ganache works, clients love the flavor, it keeps the cakes moist, it looks fantastic and once applied does not require refrigeration making it convenient and commercial. Ganache allows us to set-up cakes up to four days in advance of their eating date and becomes a delicious and effective adhesive with complex cakes.
I usually explain the benefits of ganache by using the analogy of wall putty. In order for Planet Cake to achieve our enviable sharp edges and to keep the icing thin the cake needs to be perfect before the cake is covered. Ganache acts like putty and fills in all of the holes and divots on your cake, once the ganache has set hard and is perfectly smooth, it then presents a firm and perfect surface for covering with thin icing thus achieving a professional looking and delicious result.
One of the questions we get asked about most by students is about setting times. It is imperative to let ganache set before you hot knife it or cover it, the ganache should feel firm and fairly solid to the touch. You can speed up the setting time by placing your cake in the fridge or freezer for a maximum of 10 minutes for cakes and 5 minutes for cupcakes, however we caution that this is not best practice as your cake could sweat etc. For best results let your cake set before hot knifing and set overnight before covering.
How is ganache made?
“Ganache is normally made by heating heavy cream, then pouring it over chopped, dark chocolate. The mixture is stirred or blended until smooth, and can be enhanced with liqueurs or extracts. Depending on the kind of chocolate used, cream should be adjusted to reach desired consistency. Ganache is said to originate from a culinary accident, whereby a chocolatier's apprentice spilled cream in the chocolate he was melting. The chef called the apprentice 'Ganache', a word meaning, figuratively, 'fool'. The result was delicious, and the name stuck” - Wikipedia