Monday, May 10, 2010

Covering a Cake in Ganache

Love, love, love using Ganache under fondant! It tastes incredibly delicious and it’s so much easier to get nice, straight sides and edges with compared to using buttercream.

Here is a link to Rylan’s blog, Art and Appetite, (one of my favorite cake artists) where Ganache is explained perfectly.

Like Rylan, I weigh the chocolate and the cream using the 2:1 ratio for dark and semi-sweet chocolate and the 3:1 ratio for milk chocolate. I have to honestly say that I am confused about white chocolate. I have read that some people use the 2:1 ratio and others use the 3:1. I decided to try making the white chocolate Ganache for the 1st Communion Cake using the 2:1 ratio.

I used 40 oz Nestlé’s Toll House Premium White Chocolate Chips to 20 oz Heavy Whipping Cream (a little more than ½ qt). It was just enough to fill and cover the 9” round cake 4” tall. It set a little softer but it still worked out perfectly…I have to give it a try with other brands of white chocolate since results may vary….note, note, note!

For the filling, I whipped ½ cup heavy cream then added 1.5 Tbsp of the Ganache and whipped a little more = super delicious and easy chocolate mousse. I only did 1 layer of filling since I didn’t want to cake to be too sweet with it being covered in Ganache and then in marshmallow fondant.

Below are the step by step photos showing the process as well as my wordy descriptions. It’s been a learning journey and with each and every cake, I’m learning more…for now, this is how it’s done; at least, this is how it’s done MY way :)

Step 1: Make the Ganache: Heat the heavy cream until it just starts to bubble, pour over chocolate and let it sit for about a minute to melt. Use an emulsifier (Immersion Blender) to blend it all together for about 30 seconds, set aside to cool. After cooled, cover and let it sit overnight at room temperature to set. The Ganache will set into a thick but smooth peanut butter consistency.
Step 2: Torte and level the cake. Smear a little bit of Ganache on the cake board to act as a glue and lay the 1st cake layer on it (the cake will bake slightly smaller than the board but that’s ok – a 9” cake = 9” board). Pipe a ½” snake of Ganache around the edges of the cake to create a dam, pop the cake into the fridge for the dam to harden (about 5 min – this step isn’t necessary but I like to do it this way since it makes it easier to spread the filling without having to worry about mashing the dam accidentally), remove from fridge, then fill with the filling. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat if needed. I then piped more Ganache around the outside seams to fill in any gaps then smoothed that out as you can see in the photo above.
Step 3: Cover the top of the cake with Ganache: I like using the upside down method to get the top of the cake smooth and leveled. Top the cake with a 1/2” layer of Ganache, smooth it out a little, then place a piece of wax paper over it.
Use a scraper to smooth out any air bubbles.  Add a larger cake board over it (in this photo, I used a 14” board with a piece of foil over it – you can also use cling wrap or parchment paper…anything to keep the board clean and reusable) and carefully flip the cake over so that it is now upside down.
Check to see if it’s leveled, if not, gently press down around the cake until it is.
Step 4: Cover the sides of the cake with Ganache: You want to always add more 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 you can see, the 9” cake board is slightly larger than the cake (9” cake shrinks a little after cooling). I like using the extra lip of the board as my 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.
Tip: I set my turntable (it’s a 20” Lazy Susan) on the counter next to my stove. I turn on the gas burner/flame to super, super low and wave the edge of the stainless steel scraper over it for about 5 seconds to warm it up (here is the link to scraper I use), scrape the Ganache off the sides of the cake, scrape the excess off the scraper into a bowl, use a moist towel to wipe the scraper clean, then heat it up again over the flame and repeat…repeat…repeat until you are completely happy with the sides.  Always scrape the excess Ganache off the scraper before laying it back up against the cake again. Heating the scraper helps it glide smoothly over the Ganache. You can also dip the scraper into hot water instead of using the flame but be sure to dry it really well; water and chocolate just don’t do well together!

Step 5: Place the cake into the fridge for at least a ½ hour or more, remove, then carefully flip the cake back over onto its correct side and peel off the wax paper. You may need to smooth away the little imperfections or fill any air holes with a little bit of Ganache. I had forgotten to take a picture of this step so instead, I included the only other picture I had of this step...and my 1st Ganache covered cake (semi-sweet chocolate).
Step 6: Let the cake sit overnight at room temperature for the Ganache to completely set. It’ll get a nice shell that gives a little when you press on it (although you don’t want to be poking into the cake). Before covering in fondant, 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). I personally like to rub the surface with a very thin layer of shortening before laying the fondant over it. Lay the fondant over, smooth away and finish decorating.

Try it…once you do, you’ll never want go back.

Here is another great site about the science behind ganache: Chocolate Ganache and Truffles


Why I like my Sur La Table Dough Scraper:
- It's stainless making it easy to heat up either over a low flame or with a hot, moist towel
- It has measurements on BOTH sides for easy measuring (Especially when you're balancing up a cake with 1 hand while trying to use the other hand to quickly and evenly measure around the cake so it lays centered over a cake board)
- It's sturdy and has a straight edge on all 4 sides
...I just love it and it's been the worth every penny ($7 USD)


Here is an example of an Immersion Blender.  I bought mine years ago but this is similar to the one I use to emulsify the chocolate and cream together.  A few quick short zaps of this thing and everything is nicely blended and smooth.


Side note: My typical cake schedule starts in the evening after the kids are in bed… Day 1 bake & make the Ganache, Day 2 torte/fill/cover the cake in Ganache, Day 3 final assembly and decorating….I seriously love my evenings - peace and quiet…and of course, nothing but cake.

144 comments:

  1. Thanks so much, this step by step tutorial is super helpful...and not a word too wordy! LOL! Thanks again!

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  2. thank you! I hope I can do this! I have a wedding cake as my THIRD order and I only started doing this a few months ago for fun. I never expected to even be getting orders, but it just sort of morphed from my facebook page! Yikes!

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  3. Gotta try, because I don't like buttercream under my fondant. First of all too sweet and then I either put too much and it oozies out the bottom!

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  4. I cannot believe this only has two comments..this is soooo genius!!!!!! I have an issue with level cakes...and fondant LOL so i was looking for some tricks....I cannot wait to try this on a tiffany cake box i have to make..Thank you soooo much for this tutorial!!!

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  5. Just read this. I have been ganaching using the Planet Cake method, but your method is seems very good too. I'll try it with my next cake!

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  6. I love this and can't wait to try it!!!! I was wondering though, with the ganache dams, do you end up getting those bulges in your cake once it come to room temp and the ganache softens? I finally got rid of cake bulges in my buttercream covered cakes but love using ganache under fondant and would be very excited to know these dont end up bulging!!! Thanks

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  7. Hi Steph, I've never had a problem with bulging when using ganache. Even at room temperature, the ganache has a nice shell that you can rub your fingers across and not leave a mark. Maybe your ganache is too soft?

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  8. Oh I'm sorry I must not have explained myself well, I have never had bulging with ganache but I have never tried your method of piping ganache as a dam. I still use my buttercream and cake crumb mixture like I do on my buttercream cakes. I was interested in trying it your way so I was just wondering if that would begin to happen as it got to room temperature. Sounds like it wont so I am so excited to try it your way!!! Thanks!

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  9. Yes, Steph, it won't bulgge - works better than buttercream, you'll love it!

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  10. any idea if this would work with a soy based whipping cream-for ex. rich's whip?

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  11. Raizel, I don't use the upside technique when I use Rich's Bettercream or Whipping Cream since it never freezes solid all the way through (it's more of a slush). I do however use a warm blade to scrape the sides down smooth and use a large offset spatula to smooth the top.

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  12. OH MY GOSH! I just did this to 2 cakes, one chocolate, one white chocolate. I will NEVER go back to buttercream! It was so EASY and PERFECT! Thank you so much for posting this.

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  13. Your blog is BRILLIANT. I can't believe it...post after post is just awesome wrapped in fantastic!!

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  14. Oh man I LOVE your upside down method or whatever it's called very very helpful. Thank you so much!

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  15. Just tried this for the first time tonight using buttercream, I could kiss you!! It saved SO much time messing about eyeballing the top to see if it's level, and trying to get sharp edges. I'm absolutely thrilled with it, thank you so much for posting this, I'm completely jazzed about it!

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  16. Yay Rachel! I LOVE the upside down method! Such a time saver and works perfectly each time! So glad you gave it a try =) Muah!

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  17. I just used your method last night and feel so empowered! haha. I will never go back. :) Thank you sooo much for sharing! :)It's fantastic!

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  18. Yay Christy! I even use this on small 6" cakes too - it is empowering!

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  19. Tonight is my first try at making ganache, its in the cooling stage right now! Lets see what happens in the morning.

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  20. Margie, hope it turns out - think peanut butter consistency. I can just imagine how yummy it's smells and tastes like truffles - um um good!

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  21. The link for the scraper does not work. Can you please post the link again. Can't wait to try this on my next cake.

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  22. thank you for the update, I fixed the link and added a note at the bottom the post as to why I just love and can't live without it!

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  23. Hi Angela
    Thanks for the great tutorial! Love, love your site! I have a question...after the cake is ganached, you say to leave it at room temperature overnight to set. For my cake, I will be using a mousse filling, so I'm concerned about spoilage. What are you thoughts on that and will refrigerating the ganached cake effect anything?
    Thanks for your help!

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  24. Thanks Co Loan. It should be fine in the fridge. You just have to be careful with the condensation just like a fondant covered cake. I read on CC that you may get a sticky, gooey layer of cake under the ganache from the condensation but I haven't noticed it (my Mad Hatter Cake was in the fridge for a day and the cake was fine under it).

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  25. omg omg omg......THANK YOU sooooooooo much for posting this...I always have a hard time ganaching (can spend hours and hours in getting it right - sharpe corners etc) and now with your method it took me 20 mins to do the whole lot...

    thanks again :)

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  26. I'm going to try ganache under fondant for the first time. If I have left over ganache how do I store it and for how long will it keep?

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  27. Tony - I store mine in the freezer and usually use it all up in a few months. Just let it sit out at room temperature to defrost, stir it around and you're good to go. Good luck!

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  28. Thanks Angela. One more question please, once I ganache the cake how long can I wait to do the fondant? Can I store the ganached cake in the refrigerator? If so for how long and should I cover it?

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  29. Tony - After step #5, ganache can set within 1/2 hour to an hour in the fridge so if the ganache has a nice, firm and dry shell, you can cover it right away with fondant. If you need to store it in the fridge longer, take into consideration that condensation will happen and I've heard that the layer of cake right under the ganache gets very moist. I like to let it sit out and give the ganache time to dry completely on its own overnight (just throw a tea cloth over it to keep it dust free). While in the fridge, no need to cover it.

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  30. First of all, I just found your site and love it! Thanks for all of the great information!
    Second, I've tried the upside down method twice, both with buttercream and didn't do so well. The top was flat, but I was terrified of the cake slipping during the flipping stage! Have you ever had this happen? Also, the method I saw suggested creating the whole cake upside down and only flipping once. If I can overcome my fear of flipping, I think your way will be much better.

    Anyway, do you have any flipping techniques that will help reassure me?

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  31. Thanks Kristina. I lay a sturdy board over the top (such as a cutting board), put put my right palm across the bottom of the cake and the left palm across the top (I'm right handed) and quickly flip the cake over while gently laying it back down onto the table. I've seen another method on Planet Cake where they place the board over the top that's the same size as the bottom board, ice it, then just peel the top board off- pretty much the same method but without the flipping part or icing it upside down - worth a try.

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  32. Great site with great tips. Really excited about trying the ganache. Quick question regarding using ganache instead of buttercream under fondant...does this help with the dreaded fondant bubbles? I'll have one cake turn out great, and then another cake develop a huge bubble overnight (when I'm asleep and can't monitor the darn thing). I've tried all different kinds of combinations, cold, not cold, thicker or thinner buttercream, etc, all to no avail.

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  33. Thanks Julie. I should help with the bubble. The ganache sets into a nice, solid shell around the cake.

    Bubbles like the one you described usually happen when you don't let a cake rest enough after baking (it has to do with letting the gases be released or something like that). Let the cake rest overnight or bake in the morning then cover in BC at night and you shouldn't have a huge air bubble pop up again - fingers crossed.

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  34. I tried this with a topsy turvy and it worked great! Love it. I've been asked about a dairy free ganache. Is there a dairy free ganache recipe that I can use and achieve the same results?

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  35. Hi Tony, glad to hear it worked out great. I've never tried making a dairy free ganache but there are a couple recipes out there on the internet - dairy free chocolate and soy milk or cocoa powder and agave recipes.

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  36. Thanks so much for sharing this! I love using ganache under fondant now :D Quick question: How long do you think the cake could sit out when covered in ganache before any spoilage might occur? Thank you so much again! I've got your blog bookmarked!

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  37. Hi Melanie, depending weather and on the cake and filling, 4-7 days. Some say even longer but I haven't had a cake sit out too long, it's usually gobbled up in a few days =)

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  38. Michele Aszman-KanzlemarJune 13, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Great tutorial! Thank you so much. Here's my question....I am making a topsy turvy cake and can't figure out how much ganache I will need for a 12, 10, 8 and 6" cake. Each tier will be 6" at it's highest point. Can you help?

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  39. Hi Michele - Thank you. I use the Wilton Cake Chart to figure out how much batter and approximately how much frosting (ganache, BC, IMBC, etc) I need but it also depends on how thick you lay it on too. For 12-10-8-6 inch rounds, you will need 18 cups according to the chart. If you tend to lay it on thick, add an extra 2-3 cups just to be safe. You can always freeze the left overs. Although a topsy turvy is all angled across the top and sides, the overall area being covered still comes out to be just about the same as with a basic shaped cake.
    http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

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  40. Michele Aszman-KanzlemarJune 13, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Hi Angela, thank you for your help. My cakes will be square, so according to the chart I will need 21 cups of batter (or 24 just to be safe). According to your tutorial you used 40 oz of chocolate chips and 20 oz of whipping cream. If I calculated correctly, I will need 240 oz of chocolate chips and 120 oz of whipping cream. Does that sound right to you?

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  41. to Michele: That sounds like a lot of chocolate - It would really depend on how thick or thinly you lay it on. For example, in the cake above, I used 40oz choc to cover a 9" tier (thick as you can see from the pictures). I have also used 40oz choc on both a 9" & 6" round (thin). I have since done some searching around and found the average is 1lb (16oz) of chocolate 2:1 ratio yields 3 cups of ganache. So 40 oz choc yields7.5 cups ganache. If you need 24 Cups, use 8 lbs (128oz) of chocolate. Hope I didn’t confuse you but it really depends on how thick or thinly you lay your ganache. HTH!

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  42. Michele Aszman-KanzlemarJune 14, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Thank you so much. I'm gonna give it a try!!

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  43. Thought about trying this on an outdoor wedding cake? Will it melt and seep out due to the heat? Thinking it will be in the 90'S, covered hopefully.(bride not sure where it's going to sit) Any tips greatly needed!
    Thanks!

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  44. Will it melt/seep out if done on a wedding cake that will be outdoors, maybe in the sun????

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  45. Haven't had one of my cakes out in the heat and sun yet so I can't say from experience but I've read that it holds up pretty well under fondant and in heat - Ganache is more commonly used under fondant in Australia too and they get pretty hot down there.

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  46. Thanks for the quick reply...sound advice!! If it works in Australia, it should work here too!
    Thanks again.

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  47. Oh, I should have also asked...how would bittersweet chocolate taste? (if you know) My husband picked up my chocolate and I just read the fine print "bittersweet". Not a chocolate fan, so not sure it would taste well on a chocolate cake?

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  48. I love bittersweet over milk chocolate. It's not as sweet as milk and, in my opinion, goes perfectly with a chocolate cake. For a kids cake, I'll mis 50/50 bittersweet to milk since kids prefer the sweet.

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  49. Can i put the ganache in the fridge overnight to set? I cannot have it sit out to room temperature because of the weather.

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  50. In reply to the comment about letting the ganache set in the fridge overnight, or even just for a few hours, that will be fine but you have to let it come back down to room temperature before using it so that it can easily be spread over the cake.

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  51. thank you angela for the quick response...how about letting the cake covered with ganache set in the fridge overnight also before covering it with fondant? will it make the cake gooey? thanks again!

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  52. I've let some of my ganache covered cakes sit in the fridge overnight and they have been fine with no gooey layer. Although, I have read on cc the condensation will make the layer of cake right up against the ganache become gooey - maybe there are other factors involved that will cause this but I'm not sure of it.

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  53. Hi angela thanks for this looks like it makes this much easier, but i have a question. If i cover my cake in the ganache and place it in the fridge overnight, what is the next step? Can i cover the ganache covered cake in fondant right out of the fridge the next day? Is the condensation going to effect the fondant? What do you do? Sorry for all the questions! Thanks so much in advance!!

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  54. You don't have to place it in the fridge overnight unless you really need to (perishable fillings or too hot in the home). Letting it sit overnight at room temperature is best. If you do put it in the fridge, there will be condensation. You can cover it right away out of the fridge, it does need something to help the fondant stick. You can brush the ganache with a light mist of water/vodka/syrup then top with the fondant or just wait for it to start to condensate then cover straight with fondant. Just be careful if the fondant starts to get condensation too, it'll make the surface sticky. Great to help stick decorations over but not good if you want to smooth it out.

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  55. Hi, can you use the same ganache as filling? I have never used ganache and my costumer loves chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, I am wondering if the ganache would be as sweet as the buttercream. I want to try the ganache under fondant since I have to deliver the cake on Friday and party is on Sunday and she doesn't have a lot of fridge space. Is the ganache consistency too hard or is like the buttercream. I am not sure where you posted the recipe.
    Thank you for your post
    I don't know what those profiles names are that's why I chose anonymous :)

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  56. Ganache in Dark, Semi-Sweet chocolate ratio is 2:1 (2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream). White and Milk Chocolate's ratio is 3:1. If you don't want it too be too sweet, stick with using semi-sweet chocolate. The consistency is more like a truffle or a piece of fudge. Yes, you can use it as a filling. You can use straight ganache or whip up some extra cream on the side and then add the ganache to it to your liking for a more mousse-like filling.

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  57. Love your posts. I get them through my feed. Then I come here.

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  58. for the mouse like filling, can it sit at room temp for 2 days or do i need to refrigerate it? i want to use that kind of filling but im worried about spoilage...im covering the cake with fondant...thanks

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  59. personally, I would refrigerate the mousse and let the cake come back to room temperature before serving it. Straight ganache can sit out for a few days.

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  60. thanks for the quick reply...do you refrigerate back the cake already covered in fondant? how about if i let it sit out not more than 24hrs, would that be fine? i really like the filling on your tutorial, it's not that sweet that's why i want to use it on cakes covered in fondant...thanks for you help! :)

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  61. Awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome post!!...
    Did I say already that it is an awesome post?!.. :)

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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  62. hi. I had a few questions. let me say i have never worked with ganache before. I am totally new to everything. I would be useing a local Andersions chocolate which comes in White , Milk or dark chocolate. How much would i need to cover and fill a 9 inch round cake. in cups? i kinda dont understand the Ratio process. anything that you can explain will help me very much.

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    1. Hi Lindsay. The ratio (2:1) pretty much mean if you use 2 cups chocolate, you want to use 1 cup of cream. I weigh my ingredients and have only done it this way but I've seen others measure it out. White and Milk chocolate is 3:1 ratio (they have more fat in it and therefore need less cream). Semi-Sweet or dark chocolate is 2:1 ratio. Depending on how thick or thin you lay your filling and do the crumb coat will determine how much ganache you need (see my comments above on June 13, 2011 - it contains a link to the Wilton site I use as a reference to the amount needed and the answer to the ratios).

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  63. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is actually irritating. A good blog with exciting content, that's} what I need. Thank you for keeping this web-site, I'll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can't find it.
    TYC 11-3044-01 Jeep Grand Cherokee Driver Side Replacement Tail Light Assembly

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  64. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  65. What an awesome tutorial! I can't wait to try this! Thanks!

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  66. Hello Ms Angela, Thanks so much for your tutorial. I did my first chocolate cake with galache last week n its exactly the same way your information. It was for a taste out for a Quinceanero. Now the real one im starting tomorrow. You are awesome!!

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  67. Angela: If I want to do the same method using buttercream (I have not used fondant on a cake before...very new) would I do it the exact same way?

    LOVE this site!

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    1. (I'm going to try to reply to this a 3rd time - not sure why it's not showing up on here). Yes, you can Vicki. I use the same method with any frosting that gets firm in the fridge - Ganache, American Buttercream and Italian Meringue Buttercream.

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  68. Can I do chocolate ganache under light-colored fondant? I am doing a Tiffany box cake and would prefer chocolate ganache (not a fan of white chocolate). Looking forward to exploring your site more! Thanks!

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    1. Yes you can Jami. I've used a bittersweet chocolate ganache under white and light blue MMF with no issue. Here is one of them: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sugarsweetcakes/5189772209/

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  69. I've never used a 2:1 ratio for ganache. I always use 20 oz chocolate/16 oz cream and it comes out that same thick, peanut butter consistency. I wonder if, at some point, there's just so much fat and sugar that it doesn't make a difference... Might be something to try to save a little bit of money since chocolate isn't cheap!

    I will definitely give this a try at some point! I know a lady who does ganache under her fondant cakes but my concern is for people who may be allergic to chocolate (TERRIBLE, I KNOW!!!) or just really don't like it. I have found that I can get that same super-smooth, firm coat to cover in fondant with Swiss buttercream. I ice my cake with it, smooth out the sides with the gently heated scraper (same as yours) and pop it in the cooler. I get my fondant rolled out, grab the cake and cover it. I get those super sharp edges, and because the SBC is cold and firm, I don't have the problem of the buttercream squeezing out when smoothing down the fondant.

    Not to steal your thunder here, just giving a buttercream alternative to ganache for those who can't or don't eat it, and maybe a little more inexpensive method! Thanks so much for the great, detailed tutorial... and not too wordy at all.

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    1. My go-to frosting is Italian Meringue Buttercream and I love using it because it firms up really well when cold, it gives a nice, smooth and sharp cake. Both taste super yummy but one is light and fluffy (Meringue Buttercream) while the other is rich and sweet (Chocolate Ganache). It all depends on the cake and person =)

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  70. Amazing, can't wait to try it but can you tell me what an emulsifier is? So I can pick one up :) Thanks!

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    1. It's called an Immersion Blender. I got mine many years ago but it came with all the nice accessories such as a whip attachment and a chopper. I'll add a product link at the bottom of post or one like it.

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  71. THANK YOU for this post. I have to do a cousin's wedding cake and transport it 2.5 hours away. I have done butter cream under the fondant but in a test cake I just made the whole thing collapsed and the cake was only 1 layer and half the size of the planned wedding cake. I have a new fondant (Satin Ice) which every time I have used it lately it seems to fall apart or form a lot of bubbles. I think I will try the ganache as you said it forms a nice "shell" I will try another test cake before I put it to the real test - but this may be the solution to all of my issues. Your ganache layers looks so pretty & smooth, why cover it in fondant anyway? Not a lot of folks even EAT the fondant, seems like an expensive layer people just throw out. I like the idea of white chocolate instead as the final layer!!! Thank you again, bless you for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome Heather. I stress out all the time over driving any cake any distance...aahhh. For added stability, I always transport the cake cold. Keep it in the fridge overnight, put it inside a cardboard box, blast the A/C in the car and drive cautiously. A cold cake is more stable and the box helps insulate the cake and keep any sun or dust from getting to it. And, you can leave a ganache cake as is and not cover it in fondant. I've done it a couple times but it all depends on the cakes design...I do prefer the finished and polished look of a fondant covered cake.

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  72. Great Blog. One question I'm wondering about is are you sure its okay to leave the Ganache covered cake out overngight? It does contain cream but I have read that because the cream is boiled and then mixed with chocolate that it is okay left out of the frige over night. Is this true?

    Thanks.

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    1. I've read it a couple places that ganache can sit out 3-5 days (again, depends on the temperature and humidity - if its hot & humid, stick it in the fridge, if it's cool and dry, feel safe to leave it out). I've never had an issue with my ganache sitting out overnight (it's cool and dry here most of the time, and if it isn't the AC is on). If in doubt, put it in the fridge. If I have fresh fruit fillings, it goes into the fridge. It all depends on the weather and the type of cake. HTH =)

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  73. Hi Angela, once again thank you so much for sharing. I am so tempted to try out the ganache right now...(gonna ditch my buttercream which was my original frosting :)). AFter reading all the comments and replies, i'm convinced that the ganache can sit out from the fridge for a few days. However, i still need to make sure if it's ok to sit out with the fondant on it. Hope it won't melt and ooze out from the fondant. Please help. Thank you so much! The weather here is pretty warm and humid but i'm going to store it in the AC room. The party is 2 days away. Mandy

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  74. Ganache shouldn't melt or under fondant unless it's really hot out. Ganache (2:1 ratio chocolate to cream) dries up nicely like a chocolate candy bar. To get the fondant to stick to it, brush it with some simple syrup, diluted jam, or like I like to do, rub it with a little bit of shortening. I just finished ganache-ing 2 cakes and they're sitting out for the rest of the night to set.

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  75. Is the dam very important in layering the cake? Whenever I make a red velvet cake with cream cheese filling the cake would collapse after a couple of hours. I wonder if the reason is because I did not create a dam and the filling is soft which caused the 2nd layer to drop. I also made chocolate cake with ganache did not create a dam but it was ok.

    Do you always use chocolate ganache even if the filling is buttercream?

    thanks

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    1. A dam is important when you have really soft cakes or thick fillings in my experience and with some cakes, I don't do a dam (really depends on the filling and the weight of the cake over it). If I do a ganache covered cake, I do a ganache dam (pipe the dam on then pop in the fridge for a few minutes to firm and then add the filling). With BC cakes, I stiffen the BC with extra powdered sugar until I'm able to roll out a rope of the BC with my hands and lay it around the cake, pop that in the fridge for a few minutes to firm, then add the filling. Whatever method I use, when I add the crumb coat, I make sure to fill in the seams between the layers really well so there is no air pocket or gap in there.

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  76. Love the instructions and details. Just a quick question, how long should a biscuit cake, covered in white choc ganache and covered in fondant last for? Thanks.

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  77. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to find your website! Finally, someone answered the question I had on using a ganache under the fondant. Been searching all over the internet to see if it could be done :) A thousand times over, thank you!

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  78. So helpful...thank you! I've covered a ganached cake once before in fondant and got horrible air bubbles at the top edge. I would love to try a ganached cake again because the sharp edges were amazing, but the thought of air bubbles again are scaring me. I'm wondering if I didn't wet it enough or make sure the top and top edges were good and secure with the fondant before smoothing the rest. Any tips in doing this would be helpful. Is that why you use shortening instead of the water?

    Also, I saw that you used white chocolate chips to make your ganche...I've heard before that the chips don't work as well or aren't as good of quality...do you always use chocolate chips and if so do you have any problems? One more question.. sorry...when you mix ganache for kids with 50/50 bittersweet to milk, what ratio of cream do you use? 2 1/2? Thanks so much.

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    1. Yes, exactly why I use shortening instead of water - that way, I can be certain every inch of the cake has something on it for the fondant to adhere to it - you can brush it with diluted jam if you would prefer or a thin layer of corn syrup too but shortening is just easier.

      As for the chocolate chips, I haven't had problems with them. I haven't made ganache with the candy melts/chips and I'm not sure on those - personally, the better the chocolate, the better tasting it will be and it's so difficult to find a really good white chocolate and Nestles has worked well. I've mixed bittersweet with semi sweet with the 2:1 ratio. I personally don't like milk chocolate so never have it on hand and if I did, I would add a bit more chocolate to the 2:1 ratio to compensate like you mentioned. HTH!

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  79. Wow! Thanks for the quick response...that helps a lot! I will definitely give the shortening a try this week! One last question...since you found the white chocolate a little soft with the 2:1 ratio, would you recommend using a 3:1 ratio with Nestle. I've never tried white chocolate but I've always heard a 3:1 ratio recommended. Thanks again I really appreciate all your help.

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    1. Hi Katie, yes, use the 3:1 ratio to make it easier. Although the 2:1 was a little soft, it was still spreadable and workable and working on a chilled cake allowed it to set faster.

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  80. I must have shared this tutorial on my Facebook Page 1,000 times! I never talk about ganache without sharing it and hopefully have converted a ton of people to this method! Thank you so much for this - I've been using it for a year now and it's never failed me.

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    1. Thank you Lesley and I hope so too =) It's so quick and easy with this method and it never fails me either =) Thanks again and I immensely appreciate it.

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  81. You mention: "......personally like to rub the surface with a very thin layer of shortening before laying the fondant over it."

    Do you use Crisco and do you use your hands to rub it on? I was thinking of using a pastry brush to brush it on but wasn't sure if that would work with the Crisco being so thick. I worry about the rubbing part with hands as my hands are very warm and worry about the Ganache melting under the heat (they are that hot)! I am using your method this week for the first time for a friends birthday cake and worry about our weather (82-85 degrees with 65% humidity)!

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    1. I use shortening (Crisco). Add a tiny bit on your fingers and lightly rub the surface with it. The ganache is dry and the heat from the hands won't affect it much - you're just lightly and quickly covering the surface with a little bit of shortening and I haven't had it melt on me - if it is a problem, chill the cake for about 15 minutes; enough so you can rub it on. You can brush the surface with some thinned out preserves too.

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    2. Thank you so much for all the helpful tips! Will let you know how it turns out for me (keeping fingers crossed) :)

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    3. Gee, I just now realized that I never followed up. So sorry about that Angela. The Crisco worked out great applying with fingertips, no issues at all. Thank you so much for your tutorial and taking time to answer questions.

      I am getting ready to start on a cake for Easter and had to come back to review your tutorial since I don't make cakes on a regular basis :)

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  82. Thank you for the explination. I do have a question: if my cake has 2 fillings, do you think it would be a problem to use this technic?
    Thank you!

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  83. It won't be a problem. I've done up to 3 layers of filling and a double barrell without any problems.

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  84. Thank you Angela. I will try next week.

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  85. I am so afraid to do this technique with a 12 inch double barrel i am making. Do you think I'll have trouble flipping it? Amazing tutorial.

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    1. That's a big and heavy cake. It'll will depend if you're comfortable flipping cakes over. Have you looked at Planet Cake - there's a thread about using the same size board on the top of the cake then icing the sides so that you don't have to flip it - only issue is getting the top board off without taking the icing off with it but some people love using this technique since there's no need to flip the cake over. With the cake being so large and tall, I would try that technique as a suggestion.

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    2. Thank you so much. Will use the Aussie method. Also wanted to let you know I came across a post from an Aussie baker that creates an excel document that calculated how much ganache needed to frost and fill a cake. It's genius. Go to Facebook and search for the ganacherator. This thing is amazing.

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    3. Hi I just realized that I bought Hershey's premier white chips. Will they work same as Nestlé?

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    4. You will be fine. Hershey's and Nestle's work well. I've seen the ganacherator and it's a great reference tool =) Good luck =)

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    5. Angela I have a question for you about your white chocolate ganache. I made it using the 3:1 ratio and find it so sweet. I notices you did 2:1 and were sucessful. Do you still do it 2:1 for white? I am assuming that 2:1 ratio makes it less sweet. Did it set well on the cake or did it soften up too much under fondant? I am making my son's bday cake and it'll be 3 tiers so I want to make sure the ganache sets well since the party is outdoors but was hoping that increasing the mount of cream would cut back on the sweetness. Thanks again for answering my million questions.

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    6. Hi Jass28. yes, white chocolate is rather sweet and using more cream to chocolate will help a little but not very much. When I did the 3:1 ratio, it was a bit on the softer side but it still worked and was still spreadable (as you can see in the step by step photos above - it was more like a buttercream consistency rather than a peanut butter one). I covered a well chilled cake with it and it firmed up pretty quickly.

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  86. I'm having trouble working out weights and measures! For 2:1 if I use 200g of chocolate how much cream do I need? 100g or 100ml (as its a liquid)? If its 100g how much cream is that?
    How do you measure your chocolate in cups? My chocolate come in a 100g block not sure how it would equate to a cup unless melted? Thanks, love the tutorial cant wait to give it a try, Emma x

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    1. I weight everything - solid or liquid, it all goes on the scale and gets weighed. I've converted over all my recipes to weights too; it makes it easier, quicker and more consistent. It's best to invest in a kitchen scale (one that does both lbs and grams will be helpful). So, with that said, and according to the various volume-to-weight conversion charts I reference to often, 1 cup of chocolate varies (grated is 128g, melted is 227g, chips is 170g - and I don't know if these "chips" are large or small, it just says chips). As for cream, 1 cup is 232g. AND, not all brands weigh the same - another reason to add a scale to your valuable array of baking gadgets =) Ganache does vary in consistency between brands of chocolate and the weather and there's always a way to work with it. Baking is an exact science but ganache (personal opinion) is flexible. If it's a bit too thick, warm it up a little bit to make it easier to spread or if it's really thick, heat up more cream and blend it back in. If it's too thin (which I've had happen), chill it a little bit to make it thicker and spread it over a well chilled cake so that it sets quicker - or add more melted chocolate into it. There is always a way. Good luck and I hope I was able to help some.

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    2. Ahhh, I hope I didn't confuse you but you weight both: 200g of chocolate to 100g of cream (2:1) - the ratios have to be of the same measurement type. If you want to do it in ml, then 200ml chocolate (melted) to 100ml cream. Cups? 2 Cups Chocolate (melted) to 1 Cup Cream. HTH! It's simpler just to weigh it all - lol!

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  87. Creo que nunca conseguiré hacer esto así de perfecto.
    Besos
    La cocina de Mar
    htpp://la-cocina-de-mar.blogspot.com.es

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  88. Hi Angela.
    Thank you for posting this tutoria!! Like many others, your blog has taught me how to achieve an almost perfect fondant covered ganache cakes!! Almost perfect since I still have to practice a few more times to make my cakes as good as yours.
    May I know what kind of chocolate you use for making ganache? I am using the Hersheys brand choc chips. Would you recommend something else?
    Thanks.

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    1. I've used Hershey's, Ghirardelli, Callebaut, and a couple others. The better quality the chocolate, the richer and better tasting the ganache. I love Ghirardelli but it's a personal preference and it also depends if the cake is for kids or adults. In making a cake for kids, Hershey's works (they tend to like it better anyways).

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  89. Hihi!

    Just discover the awesomeness of your site! Can i check if heavy whipping cream is dairy whipping cream? Can use non-dairy whipping cream?

    Thanks!

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    1. Heaving whipping cream is a dairy product. I've heard of others using non-dairy and other substitutes to make ganache with but I haven't tried any of them out yet. Sorry I can't be of much help here.

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  90. Hi
    I'm making my own wedding cake and i live in a very hot climate. I have never used ganache or buttercream under my cakes but i would like to experiement. i am going to make a 3 tier cake and want to make it approx 1-2 months before the wedding. Is this possible using ganache under the fondat? Also i am wanting to keep the top teir of my cake! For this would you suggest i use marzipan or will it be ok to use ganache?

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    1. I'm sorry for not being much of any help here but I've never made a cake 2-3 months prior or saved it so I couldn't tell you how it will work out. I hope you're able to find answers to your questions somewhere.

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    2. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I dont think the ganache is going to work in this heat anyway. Its just way too hot.

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  91. I am making my daughter's wedding cake and will be traveling 2 hours with it. You mentioned that you refrigerate cakes that you have to travel that far with. I have also read that one should not refrigerate fondant covered cakes. If I do, what should I be concerned about?

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    1. Condensation. As the cake comes to room temperature, it'll have some condensation on it. As long as you don't touch it, it'll dry up in about 2-3 hours. Some people have had issues with their cakes "melting" under the condensation. I haven't had this issue. You may want to try it out first on a sample cake to see how your recipe does. Best thing is to refrigerate the cake inside a cardboard box and travel with a well chilled/air conditioned car (keep the cake away from sunlight and heat). The box will help insulate the cake and keep it well chilled. It'll also help absorb some of the moisture.

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  92. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. Would you be willing to share your cake recipe? Your cake looks so tall - I'd like to know how you did that so I can try it on my son's cake. Thank you.

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    1. LOL - I haven't baked a box mix in over 2 years but here is the recipe I used on this cake. It's so easy to work with and you can modify the flavorings (I like to do 1/2 Vanilla and 1/2 Almond extract). It's Kakeladi's Original WASC (White Almond Sour Cream) Cake found on Food.com (http://www.food.com/recipe/kakeladis-original-wasc-white-almond-sour-cream-cake-309528). One recipe using 1 box mix yields about 7 cups. When I bake 9 inch or larger cakes (I use 2" high pans), I use a flower nail in the center to help it bake evenly.

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  93. thanks for the brilliant tutorial! I have a question...do you shave off the sides of the cake to fit it to the 9 inch cake circle? My cakes generally have about a 3mm gap between the cake and the board..is this enough for the ganache layer? how much of a gap is good enough? also have you ever had to shave off the sides anytime? How did you go about doing it?...Thanks so much for your help!!

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    1. Usually a 9 inch cake and a 9 inch board works perfectly (there's usually about a 5mm gap). Some cakes may shrink down more than others. I actually prefer a thinner layer of frosting/ganache rather than a thicker one. If you want a thicker layer, you can either go up a size on the board (or cut one out) or trim the cake down a little. Chilling the cake before carving helps with making it easier and less crumb. Use a sharp, serrated knife. I like to hold the knife straight up so the blade sits up against the cake and the tip of the knife touches the bottom base board then carefully shave off the excess in thin layers. Keeping the knife this way helps keep the sides straight.

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  94. Hi

    If i cover a chocolate ganache cake with fondant how long can it be stored to stay fresh before the wedding date ?

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    1. Really depends on your cake, filling, weather, etc. Anywhere between 3-7 days? Serving the freshest cake possible is best and I personally wouldn't bake it more than 4 days prior to being eaten but then again, someone else may say something else.

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  95. Wow! You make this look so simple! I can't wait to try it! I want to have this as my cake covering, no fondant. I am planning on baking cakes tonight, frosting tomorrow and decorating Friday for the cake to be delivered Saturday morning. Would the cake be ok at room temperature from Thursday to Saturday? Or should I refrigerate it? I am worried about this "gooey" layer underneath! Thanks so much!! Your cake is amazing!

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    1. It will depend on your cake, type of filling used, and temperature in the room. A stable cake with a non-perishable filling in a cool/dry room will do fine.

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  96. Thanks for the great tutorial. I'm wondering about using this method with a filling that requires refrigeration. So you wouldn't be able to leave the cake sit overnight at room temperature. Would there be any problems keeping it in the fridge overnight and then taking it out to cover it in fondant, and then putting it back in the fridge and taking it out a few hours before serving?

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    1. Hi Charla, You're welcome!. There shouldn't be a problem - I've done this often. Keep the cake in the fridge if it has perishable fillings - fresh fruit, custards, cream cheese, etc. If you do keep the cake in the fridge, take it out 2-3 hours before being eaten to give it time for it to come to room temperature. It may form condensation when you take it out of the fridge but don't touch it and it'll dry up in a few hours. Keeping the cake inside a cardboard box while in the fridge (and out as it comes to room temperature) can help with condensation.

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  97. I hope I didn't overlook this, my eye's are about crossed tonight. I have a customer that want's white chocolate ganache frosting / no fondant over it and I told her I wasn't sure if it would work. It's for a graduation cake and I like in Michigan and it's for June 22. Who knows what the weather will be like>

    thank you

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    1. Hi Colleen. It won't look as clean as a fondant covered cake but it works. Ganache will hold up better in heat than buttercream.

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  98. Hi Angela, this is a great article. I havn't ganached a cake before but am going to give it a go for my son's birthday cake. Can I please ask a couple of questions.
    1. I want to use the mousse filling you included in the article. If I do this, then ganache the cake the day before I put the fondant on, will the cake need to be in the fridge overnight (keeping in mind it's winter in Melbourne)? If so, how long will the ganached cake need to be out of the fridge before I can cover it in fondant?
    2. I think I'll need to do a crumb coating of ganache (as I need to cut the cake into shape). Once I do this, does the cake need to be put in the fridge beore the second layer of ganache can be applied
    Would about 30 mins be long enough?
    Thanks

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    1. Ganache starts to firms up within a couple minutes once applied and even faster if you are covering a chilled cake or if it's cold out. You can crumb coat, pop it in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes, remove it and apply the 2nd layer right away (no need to wait). As for storing it the fridge, it's up to you. If you're using the ganache and whipping it up with a little bit of cream, it should be fine sitting out. If you make mousse from scratch and use eggs and it needs to firm by sitting in the fridge, I would keep that type of cake in the fridge (hope that makes sense). You can cover it in fondant straight out of the fridge - I actually prefer it this way - by the time you have the fondant on and smoothed out, it will start to condense a little bit and that will help the fondant attach to the cake even better.

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  99. Hi there,

    Your upside down method is genius. Can't wait to try it. I am going to be doing this for the first time on a shoebox cake. Sitting a RKT sneaker on top. I really need the edges to be sharp so that is what drew me to the ganache option in the first place. Wondering how I can use this technique on a square/rectangle cake? I know you use the cake board as a guide when you flip it over but in my case it will sitting on a board larger than the cake. Should I trim the board to be slightly larger than the cake and then attach cake board to cake drum base? Thoughts everyone? Thanks in advance for your help. alice@alicesmadbatter.com is my email if anyone wouldn't mind emailing me directly their thoughts/advice.

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    1. You don't need to trim to board (you can do it freehand). A cake board that is slightly smaller than the cake works as a guide as well - just scrap your straight edge along the edge of the board for a smooth and straight finish. Square cakes are a bit tricky because you have the edges to deal with too. I always have a cake board under my cakes and then attach those boards to the drum (I've never layed a cake straight on a drum or plate/pedestal without a board under it) Hope that helps clear some questions.

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  100. Hi!

    I was wondering if you could share your cake recipe? The one that you have used with the white chocolate ganache...I am having trouble pairing the sweet white ganache with a suitable vanilla/white cake...Thanks a ton!!!

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    1. I haven't made white chocolate ganache often enough to figure out what cake works with it so sorry I can't be much help with a suggestion. I prefer making semi-sheet ganache and prefer the taste of it - it doesn't show through white fondant covered cakes too. You can use flavoring oils to flavor your ganache and make it work with your cake flavor - almond is always a favorite.

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  101. sorry if this has been asked before. I would like to use ganache as filling and as outside for my daughters barbie cake. will the ganache as filling harden when placed in the fridge to set the outer layer? please get back to me soon thanks
    rebecca

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    1. Hi Rebecca - For the filling layer, it's best to whip it up with a little more heavy cream making it like a mousse. It will harden when cold but when eaten at room temperature, it'll be soft and fine.

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    2. thank you for replying so quickly could you advise how much more cream? thank you

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    3. depends on how much you need and how mousse-like you want. Sometimes I do 1/2 cup heavy cream to 2 TBS Ganache. If I need it more stable, I'll do a 1/2 cup ganache to 2-4 TBS Heavy Cream. Baking is a hobby for me so I tend to experiment and make what works for the weather, type of cake, and flavor. You can even just whip up the ganache without extra cream to lighten it up and use as a filling - personally, I like it more mousse-like and add the extra heavy cream to it.

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