The perfect chocolate ganache for decorating a cake is one that you can use to cover a cake with fondant and I call it the Cake Decorators Chocolate Ganache Recipe. One that adds stability to the sculpted cake when working on a novelty cake and stays firm when stacked into a tiered wedding cake. My chocolate ganache is like my rock for me as a cake decorator.
Pour cream in a saucepan and bring to an almost boil but do not boil. (I heat it in the microwave for a minute)
Next, pour hot cream over the chocolate.
Cover and let sit for a minute
Stir until smooth.
Tip: the heat in the cream should be just enough to melt the chocolate, so keep stirring. For some reason, if you still have unmelted bits of chocolate, place the bowl over another bowl of hot water and stir till melted. A little heat is all it takes.
Break the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl,
Pour cream over the chocolate
Place the bowl in the microwave for a min on high.
Stir well until you have a smooth ganache
If necessary - continue to heat in microwave at 30 sec intervals until you have a smooth mix.
Rest the Chocolate Ganache
When cake decorating we do not use the ganache soon after it's made. We let it rest.
It's best to let the Ganache sit at room temperature or fridge for at least a couple of hours ( I usually keep it overnight)
This helps firm the ganache again and give it the stability we need for covering a cake.
Consistency for covering a cake
Ganache rested may not necessarily be ideal to just start using.
The ideal consistency is peanut butter consistency.
You want to be able to hold the ganache on the spatula and spread it around the cake.
The best way to bring it to consistency
In cold weather - stick it in the microwave for 10 secs (when it comes to chocolate 10 secs is a lot so don't' over-heat)
If the ganache was in the fridge resting it out for an hour works too.
If you live in a hot and humid climate - just a vigorous stir with a spatula is all you need.
Always chop chocolate finely or keep them to similar size pieces. That way the whole batch will melt evenly.
Never let heavy whipping cream boil. You want the cream to be hot but not boiling. If necessary it's better to place the ganache in the microwave for 30 seconds to get the last bit of unmelted chocolate.
If you have one or two stubborn pieces of chocolate left in the ganache that won't melt. It's best to remove them, then to take a chance of overheating the whole batch and risking a split.
Microwave ganache - often a culprit of overheated ganache. Depending on how big the batch is, start with 30 seconds then heat at increments of 1o secs stirring between every interval to distribute the heat evenly.
Ganache has split or separated - this happens when the cocoa solids and fat don't emulsify properly. Add a splash of milk and give it a good stir. Add another splash and stir again until you have a smooth ganache.
If the chocolate looks lumpy, grainy means you have overheated the chocolate. Use a stick blender and give it a whiz. All should be well again.
If you realize the ganache is split only after it has cooled. Add a little more chocolate to it. And reheat the melting process keeping a close watch, making sure to stir and encourage even distribution of heat. If necessary add more cream to maintain the ganache ratio you need.
Never over mix chocolate ganache - this will incorporate too much air into the ganache but also can cause the ganache to split. Especially with white chocolate ganache keep stirring to a minimum once the chocolate is melted.
Ganache is best made in a glass bowl when using a microwave and in stainless steel when using a stovetop. Never use plastic or aluminum for melting chocolate, the ganache will not have a shiny appearance.
Place a plastic wrap/cling wrap directly over the ganache when letting it cool. This will prevent any crust from forming on top.