- By Akhileshwari Anand Raj
The Baking world has been taken over by a flurry of drip cakes, ranging from your classic chocolate ganache to a neon coloured drip for a unicorn cake. The most important component for this trend is the ganache. Ganache has also traditionally been used to finish off cakes smoothly and as a filling or in between layers in many cakes. The great part about ganache is that it adds a lot of texture and flavour to any normal cake - it really helps you upgrade the end product. The type of chocolate you use makes a world of a difference - bakers across the world prefer using chocolate chips over candy melts for ganache, and a big no-no would be to use the chocolate compound. Always use couverture chocolate when you can, since it is made of real cocoa powder and not chocolate liqueur like a compound is made.
There are three basic kinds of ganaches that you can make - white, milk and dark chocolate based. While the milk and dark chocolate based ganaches add an immense amount of chocolate-y flavour and richness which you cannot replicate, the white chocolate is the most versatile. The white chocolate drip can be coloured with any food colouring of your choice, including natural food-based dyes (if you prefer them over the artificial colours). White chocolate also does not have a strong chocolate flavour, which allows it to be flavoured as per the requirement of the cake.
Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Ganache
There are three different ratios of chocolate to heavy cream that you would want to use to achieve three different types of finishes. Let us look at each one of them:
- Thick Glazes - 1:1 ratio. To start off, a good measure to take would be 240 gm of chocolate to 240 ml of heavy cream
- Fudge like, very hard glazes (sets very easily) - 2:1 ratio. A good measure to take would be 480 gm of chocolate to 240 ml of heavy cream
- A thin glaze, useful for dipping, drip cakes, ice cream topping - 1:2 ratio. 120 gm of chocolate to 240 ml of heavy cream
How to make Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Ganache?
Chop up the chocolate required coarsely and keep it in a heat-safe bowl. Transfer the cream as measured to a saucepan and set it to a boil at a medium to high heat. Put in the chocolate and turn off the stove. Let it stay in the cream untouched for anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes to ensure that all the chocolate has melted. Now, whisk the mixture (preferably using a hand whisk) until the ganache turns smooth and creamy and has reached your desired consistency.
For use in cakes, let this mixture cool at least for 15 minutes before using it. If the ganache is to make truffles, let the mixture cool at least for an hour or more, till it becomes thick enough to be scooped into balls.
White Chocolate Ganache
Since white chocolate is made up of cocoa butter, it makes it much harder to work with while melting and using it as a part of ganache. It should never be overheated, and once it crosses the 43-degree Celsius mark, it will split and cannot be used for the ganache.
This ganache is typically used in cakes, especially as the layer before the cake gets covered with fondant. Another great use for this would be as a macaron filling.
How to make White Chocolate Ganache?
With white chocolate ganache, the steps are a bit different. Take a 3:1 ratio of white chocolate to cream (you will need more chocolate here since the cocoa powder content is much lower). Combine both in a bowl, and use a microwave. A microwave makes the job easier as white chocolate is harder to melt and will take more time on a double boiler. Heat it for 1 minute the first time, and if the chocolate chips have not melted, for another 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and mix it till smooth in consistency. To make it useable, let it cool for at least ten minutes in the fridge. To bring it to a more light consistency, whip it using a hand mixer for 10 -20 seconds. This should give you the best results for white chocolate ganache.