Friday, March 20, 2009

White Chocolate Ganache


I don’t think there is an occasion more joyous than a wedding. Of course, once a wedding has taken place, many more joys follow, like the arrival of a long awaited baby. But it all starts with a wedding, and I find weddings to be chock-filled with hope.

If you’re lucky, you only ever need to have one wedding – although some people have more than one, if not several! So the trick to getting your fill of wedding joy is to know lots of people who are planning on getting married.

As a cake baker, I am getting to participate in weddings, baby showers, naming days and even funerals (although not too many of those, thank goodness)! I consider it a privilege to be invited to create cakes and cupcakes for these landmark occasions in people’s lives. We (my darling husband and I) always try extra hard to come up with something special that fits the occasion and the people who we’re baking for. And what we’ve discovered is trying extra hard allows us an opportunity for continuous improvement. When people want something unusual on their cake(s) we find ourselves stretching our skills and often discovering something new in the process.

This month in preparation for a wedding we’ve discovered white chocolate ganache. If you’re a regular reader, you may have heard me curse white chocolate in the past. I am proud to say I’ve reconciled with white chocolate and I’ve cracked the very difficult to make but very professional looking white ganache. Here’s how you make white chocolate ganache.

Ingredients
750g white chocolate bits – Callebaut is the best
225ml pure cream

1. Pour the white chocolate bits into a large bowl. Give yourself plenty of room to manoeuvre.

2. Heat the pure cream in a small saucepan until it boils. Be very careful as you do not want it to burn to the bottom of the pan, or rise up and boil over.

3. Pour the boiling cream evenly over the white chocolate bits, then begin stirring with a fork. The mixture will be lumpy and sticky – just keep going and watch as the white chocolate melts.

4. There will be a point where the heat is all but gone from the mixture and you feel you need a little bit more to get across the line. Place the bowl in the microwave oven for 20 seconds. Then take it out and resume mixing, but this time do so with a balloon whisk. It helps to have a buddy on hand at this point, because the mixing requires a fair bit of elbow grease. Continue mixing until all lumps of chocolate are gone and you are left with a smooth, thick, viscose mixture.

5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stand aside. Leave the ganache to set for 24 hours. I kid you not – if you want to avoid heartache, leave the ganache for a full day. When you return to use it, it will be thick like butter and can be used to fill a cake and cover it. Heat your palette knife under hot water and run it over the surface of the ganache to achieve a perfectly smooth look.

6. What you do next is up to you – you could flick dark chocolate across your cake, decorate it with Guylian chocolates, or drape it with fondant. I have seen one baker attach large pieces of chocolate bark to the sides so that the pieces stand about two inches about the cake. He then filled the top of the cake with spun toffee – an incredibly elaborate looking cake for a very special occasion.

67 comments:

Poppyseed Capers said...

thanks for the easy recipe. You saved my butt today!! I have 80 raspberry and white chocolate cupcakes to bake today. I need an easy icing.

Petrina said...

Good luck! There is nothing easy about white chocolate ganache!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe - I am making 48 cupcakes for a school event and I wanted something other thatn dark chocolate. BUT - you did not specify if the ganache needs to be refrigerated when it is setting for 24 hours - I HAVE TO MAKE IT TONIGHT IF I HAVE TO LET IT SIT!! PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!! It is pretty humid here today and the cream may curdle!

Petrina said...

The ganache doesn't need to be refridgerated while it's setting. This will turn it to a rock solid mass that is simply impossible to work with. I made this in 27 degrees celcius, and it still set to the consistency of chilled butter. I have since used the microwave to soften it to a spreadable consistency - the result being a sticky mass that won't actually adhere to the cake. Be careful with the ganache - it's trecherous and will trip you up when you're not looking!

Bedazzled said...

Hi petrina ..i am having some trouble with my ganache setting.. i live in a tropical country and hence leave the ganache i the fridge to set .. i have made ganache twice and both times ,the result has been an elastic semi-stiff product.. also parchment paper is not available here ,so i use wax paper .. and the result is that my ganache sticks to teh paper !! .. any ideas on how i could remedy it .. i use 300gms of dark chocolate ,200ml or cream,20gm of glucose and 20gm of butter (Sverre Saetre's standard palet d or ).. any inputs appreciated !!!

Petrina said...

Bedazzled, I think you don't have enough chocolate to cream ratio in your recipe and the excess fluid is to blame for your undesired results.

What is it you're trying to do with the ganache? Pour it over a cake as a cloak, smooth it over as an icing, use it as a foundation for fondant... my sense is the recipe above can be used for all those things at varying stages of setting (although cloaking might require two or three pour and set processes). What stage the ganache is at and when depends on the weather and how fast the stuff sets.

My experience of adding butter to a chocolate mix is that it prevents it from ever going hard. Sache torte uses that kind of ganache. I've never seen glucose added to a ganache recipe so I have no idea what effect it's meant to have.

Try using 750g of chocolate (dark or white) and 225ml of pure cream. Make sure you boil the cream properly to generate enough heat to commence the melting process, but don't let it burn on the bottom of the pot. Even with it good and hot, I always find I need to use the microwave two to four times to get all of the chocolate melted. I only do short bursts of 15 seconds so as to not overheat the ganache and not burn the chocolate. Also, once everything is melted, I still give the ganache a good mix with the balloon whisk to work the mix through. When you do this you can see the consistency thicken and the mix take on a shine.

Ganache is definitely a challenge. I do think environment changes the way it behaves, and trial and error is really the only way to figure out what will work where you live. For me, leaving the ganache to set for 24hours has been a revelation. That being said, it does produce a mix that is very hard to manipulate - yet does the job it's supposed to (form a base to lay fondant over).

I hope this all helps.
Petrina.

Louise said...

Hi Bedazzled,

I use a recipe with about the same quantities 375g white chocolate, 300mL whipping cream, 40g glucose syrup and 40g butter. Make sure that you don't add the butter until the mixture has cooled a bit as you don't want it to melt. I leave my ganache to set in the fridge overnight and it just sets to a nice firm mix (a bit stiffer then peanut butter) and needs about 20 seconds in the microwave to soften enough to spread like a butter icing. I then refidgerate the cupcakes again to make sure it doesn't go runny.
The fluffier you want your ganache the lower the chocolate to cream ratio you need. if you want it for pouring then you need a lot more chocolate.
hope this helps :)

elm100 said...

Hi,
I'm a pretty amateur baker, tasked with making a cake for my great-aunt-in-law's 70th birthday . . . and, moer astonishing than the writer above who doesn't have access to parchment paper, *I* don't have a MICROWAVE. That's right. not enough room in my kitchen! (NYC) - so, can I do this entire thing over a double boiler?

thanks,
elizabeth

Petrina said...

I so don't recommend making ganache if you're an amateur baker. That being said, if you're determined, you certainly can melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Be careful not to burn it and you should do fine!

Anonymous said...

Hi Petrina,

I want to make a white chocolate mud cake for my daughters 1st birthday in the shape of the number one and cover it with your white chocolate ganache will this result in a smooth result with one coat. I really don't want to use fondant to achieve a smooth coating
as the ganache would taste so much nicer.
Regards
Allison

Petrina said...

You sure can use this without fondant. Once you've spread the ganache over the cake, use a hot palette knife to smooth the ganache out. You heat it by running it under hot water - make sure you wipe all water off before you use it though! And reheat everytime it cols down.

Petrina said...

Hi folks - the latest on the white chocolate ganache is: I made this on the weekend with Plaistowe white chocolate instead of Calibaut. I knew the quality would be different but was completely surprised, after 12 hours of setting, to find the consistency similar to margarine (where the Calibaut version is like high quality refrigerated butter). It made spreading the ganache onto the cake very easy, but smoothing it difficult because it remained really soft. I refrigerated the cake for 15mns before running the hot knife over it, and then again for 30mins before I laid the fondant over it. I honestly think the cheaper white chocolate ganache will make for a better eating experience, but I was honestly terrified of it melting out from under the fondant on the way to the event the cake was for. Luckily that didn't happen, but when you're delivering someone's special occassion cake, you just can't have variables like that in the equation. In any case, it certainly needed the full 24 hours setting time to achieve it's best quality.

Cheers,
Petrina.

christina said...

Will it work to dip little cakes into this when it is still warm? Alternatively, will it work to pour this over the top of cakes like in some chocolate ganache glaze recipes I've seen? This sounds better than fondant for making petit fours. Cheers from Southern California!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your clear and workable instructions. I'm in the midst of making a flourless chocolate wedding cake frosted with white chocolate ganache, and I would have had disaster on my hands (and counters and floors) if I hadn't found your blog. I used Lindt white chocolate, and the ganache did break when I made it. I was able to restore it following Alice Medrich's "mayonnaise" technique--beating the ganache little by little into some hot cream. (I used milk, actually.) But it was definitely the 24-hour rest that made it work. I'm not a white chocolate fan, and I'd never tried making a white chocolate ganache before, but it seemed called for on this cake, and it is quite delicious. I'm hugely grateful.

I do have a lot leftover, so I'm hoping that freezing it won't destroy it.

Aqua said...

Thanks for this insight. I've made it 3 times prior but using the fridge to get it to set. I'll try the 24 hour rest next time to see if I can get a better consistency.

Gina B said...

The better the quality chocolate the harder it is going to set, as it will be made with refined cocoa butter, which sets alot harder than vegetable fat, common in most cooking chocolates. I used this recipe today, in fact it saved me at work when i needed a quick ganache for a function. I used Vahlrona chocolate. It set very hard, so i waited for it to warm to room tempetature then i whipped it! it came out great, but you need to use it fast or it seizes up. But when it did i just threw it back in the bowl and whipped it again. it was a life saver thanks!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
michelle said...

im wondering if this comes out white or if it comes out yellowy and transparent. im a pastry chef my self and i used to have a recipe where it came out a lovely white but along the way i seemed to lose this recipe and hav been looking for one since every recipe so far comes out yellowy and transparent.

Anonymous said...

I tried your idea of letting the ganache sit for 24 hours and I highly recommend this! Although I tried making the white ganache and it came out a yellowy colour! Is there anything I can use to make it look whiter??? Please help as I am wanting to make this for my partner's b'day.

Anonymous said...

Hi, the glucose or corn syrup in recipes for ganache is to help "stablize" the sugar from recrystalizing and making a grainy mess that you sometimes can get while your ganach is cooling. It also lends to giving your ganache more of a shiny appearance.

Petrina said...

Hi Ganache Lovers!

never was there are more commented on blog on Kitchen Alchemy! Whoever added the comment about the corn syrup - thanks! That's something new to try. Re the yellowness of white chocolate ganacge, you can't remove it. It's to do with the type of white chocolate you used. I think this buttery yellow colour is apetising anyway - let us all know if you used the recipe in the end!

On a new note, I used the white chocolate ganache recently as the filling for chocolate balls. I let it set, scooped it into balls using a melon baller, then dipped it in milk chocolate couveture and sprinkled the balls with toasted almond flakes. YUUUUMMM!

Happy ganaching!
Petrina.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,

I have experimented recently with white choc ganache and got it REALLY WHITE!!! Not sure if anyone has access to it but most cake decorating stores should have WHITE choc powder. And it WORKS!! I have found using white choc with a ratio of 600gm choc & 300mls cream it sets quite fast when I was using it to dip cupcakes in. But on the upside, the finish was sooooo smooth it looked FABULOUS!! Happy baking every1!!

Hana said...

I am very new to making ganache. Is there a way i can make a colored white chocolate ganache? Can I add food coloring or food gel to the cream while it heats up before adding the white chocolate? Thanks.

Petrina said...

Hi Hana, I have never tried such a thing but I am convinced it's possible. I've seen titanium dioxide added to white chocolate to take the yellow out. My advice is experiment a little - don't put too much colour in to start with, and see how you go.

Anonymous said...

I added purple food coloring. It turned out great on my cupcakes. Thanks for the tips.

Lauren28 said...

Hey Petrina, for your original ratio of 750 white choc to 225 cream, approx how much ganache will it make? Im doing an engagement cake that is a rectangle, just covering the top and sides (not filling) approx 40x20x6cm... thanks for everyones tips and hints by the way!

september cottage said...

HI Petrina

I was just google-ing 'white chocolate ganache' when I came across your blog...SO beautiful!! Will be back for more -in a rush now having to make said chocolate ganache ......

Have a nice day :)


Nicola

Andrea said...

What is "pure cream?" Does that mean heavy cream or whipping cream??

Petrina said...

Sorry for the late reply. Pure cream is cream that hasn't been altered. It has no thickeners added to it, no flavourings etc. In theory it's just been scooped off the top of the milk. This is the best cream for making ganache. Choose one with the longest expiry date possible to give your ganache "extra life". Petrina.

Anonymous said...

To Andrea (and whoever else who might need help), I am a pastry chef at an Italian restaurant, and in my opinion, ganache is always made with 35% cream (whipping cream). Bring it to a boil, and turn off the heat, and slowly whisk in the chopped white chocolate. I always leave the ganache in the fridge, and when I need it, I put the amount I need to use over a double boiler to the proper consistency I need for whatever I am using it for.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I was just wondering if I could use this ganache as a cake filling? I am making my friends sweet 16 cake and I know some other filling recipe but she loves white chocolate so I was wondering if I could use this? Would it work?

Petrina said...

Hi there! Yes this ganach is a perfect filling for a cake. Just make sure you give it ample time to set. It will thicken like butter over a 24 hour period. Just use it when it reaches a spreadable consistency. Cheers, Petrina.

angela said...

If I want to drape the ganache over other frosting (so that it runs down the sides a bit) should I still let it sit for twenty four hours? Or will that make it too hard?

Anonymous said...

hi, i would like to know if i could add colours to it. As i want it blue, but do not want to use fondant or any other icing. If yest at waht stage can i add the colour

Petrina said...

Hi Angela,

Yes you can definitely do that - I've poured it over a cake covered with whipped cream quite effectively. Wait for it to get to the point where it's thick and gloopey, but still running. Put your cake on a wire stand and pour the ganache over it. Maybe catch the drips underneath with a tray or some baking paper (my husband usually eats those bits).

Yes you can colour ganache. A reader previously added food colour to the cream before pouring it over the chocolate. I would suggest you use proper chocolate colouring. It's based on titanium dioxide and will maintain a true colour once added to the chocolate. Try googling Roberts Confectionery for this product!

jules said...

Hi there, I made a 6th birthday cake for my granddaughter using white ganache. I was going to colout it pink, but because the white ganache is yellowy it turned out a putrid pink. I had to ad cocoa powder to it to make it a light chocolate brown in the end. But it still looked great.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the recipe! I have used it a couple of times now and have found a great shortcut. If you want to use it straight away the white chocolate ganache can be whipped using a hand held mixer (or stand mixer using a whisk head) which converts it instantly form gelatinous to pale and buttery instantly.

Petrina said...

Hi There! You need to add special chocolate colouring powder to white chocolate ganache to get a true colour. For example, if you wanted it to be really white, you'd add titanium dioxide. In Australia this is available in small quantities from Robert's Confectionery. They also have other colours for chocolate including pink, blue and green.

Anonymous said...

Hi Petrina,
I love your blog already since some time, so I was very excited to see your post about white chocolate ganache, something I fiddled around with myself.
I have just one question, why don't you melt the chocolate in a double bioler or in the microwave before you add the cream? I normally do it like that with dark chocolate ganache and I was just wondering if that would be possible with white chocolate as well...
Besides that, keep up the great work, you rock!!:)

Petrina said...

That's a really good question and the answer is, I don't know! When I think about the process, the heat for the melting action is coming from the boiled cream. This may have a different molecular effect than directly heating the chocoate. I never successfully melt all the chocolate with the boiled cream, which is why I put it in the microwave for short bursts. However, recently I've been getting my Kitchenaid to do the mixing (on first gear) and I've found that all the chocolate does melt as a result. I think it's because the mixing is completed before the temperature of the cream has decreased too much. Confused? Really, you should do what works for you. If melting the chocolate first is working for you, I say keep doing that!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recipe. Have tried to create white choc ganache before and ended up with a lumpy mess. Added caramel colour to cream which has given me a lovely skin coloured ganache for my husbands 50th birthday cake tomorrow. It will look resplendant with just a big droppy moustache which is his personal trademark. xx

Anonymous said...

Greetings! Thanks for all of the great helpful hints. I am making a ladybug cake for my two year old. Our theme is "our bug-a-boo is turning two". Anyway, I'd like to dye the ganache red. Should I do this before or after it sets for the 24 hour period? I purchase a quality tasteless red dye that should work well with chocolate.

fluffy chicken said...

Hi,

I was wondering if the icing is dry to touch when set. I am making some cupcakes for a friend's wedding and I am stacking up three different sized cupcakes like mini tiered wedding cakes. I dont want to do this with "wet" icing as it will make a mess of the cupcake papers.

The rich choc cupcake recipe I was going to use comes with a recipe for a chocolate ganache that is very soft and doesn't really set. I want a ganache-type icing to get the rich flavour but need it to dry.

Anonymous said...

I love this recipe! I found it great thank you!! Just one question ... I'd like to colour and see from the other comments that it can be, I have taken a small amount out of the bowl'setting' and have tested the colour in it and it looks good! But should I be adding the colour now - before it sets for 24 hours, or once should I add it tomorrow? I'm worried that if I add it now, it won't set?? HELP please??!?!!

Petrina said...

Hi Everyone!

Firstly, this ganache can set very hard, like butter that's been in the fridge. If you touch it, you will leave a finger print in it, but it's not soft at all. I do think if you are going to stack cakes on top of each other each will leave a dent in the icing of the cake below.

Re colouring, you should put the colour in at the initial melting stage. Do take note from a previous comment from someone who wanted pretty pink but found the yellow tone of the white chocolate didn't give a true colour. I believe you need to force the ganache to white by using titanium dioxide, and then add your colour over the top. It will only ever be a pastel colour though.

If you want a more true colour, you could buy pre-coloured candy chocolate, or you could buy colouring powder specifically for chocolate. In Australia, Robert's Confectionery is the best supplier.

Cheers,
Petrina

Anonymous said...

Hi Petrina,

This is such an interesting blog!

I was wondering how much this receipe makes? Like how many cupcakes do you think it would cover as a base for fondant?

Also is there a way to bring it back to a softer consistency if it has hardened too much?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm looking forward to trying this recipe for my daughter's birthday cake! Once it's applied to the cake, how do you store the cake? In the fridge or can it sit out loosely covered (say 24 hours) and not spoil (thinking of the cream, here)? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I made a white chocolate ganache last night for some cupcakes I sold ( my first! :D)
I am from Australia, in the Northern Territory. I did mine over a double boiler, I melted the cream and chocolate together.. once the mix was hot I took it off the heat, but kept it over the hot water. melts together really well like that. I used 3X 180G packets of MilkyBar chocolate ( the brand with the blone kid) and a little bit over 1 cup of thickened cream. Turns out really white :D I also added 1/4 of a teaspoon of Robert's confectionary Strawberry flavouring and about a tonne of pink colouring but it tasted AMAZING! Although I found that after a little while my ganache started to look like that slightly grainy look cream has just before you screw it up and it turns to butter. Is it just the heat or did I do something wrong?

Elise said...

Hi, I am also wondering how it should be stored. I'd like to use it as a filling for a fondant covered cake. However the cake has to be made 3 days ahead and not stored in the fridge. Will the ganache spoil?

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am getting married in a few weeks and am looking for wedding cake ideas. I am working with someone who is a little new to the industry but really open to suggestions. Our model cake would be a simplified version of Tuxedo cake (available at most grocery stores).

Can you suggest a recipes for a decadent chocolate cake that would complement this white chocolate ganache (used as a filling)? For the display cake, we will use fondant but for the slab cake (will be cut by the kitchen for our guests) what would you suggest that we decorate the top with? Buttercream? We're a little concerned about the outcome being a bit too sweet ... Thoughts?

Thanks!

karmafree said...

hi, i am looking for a very yummy icing to pipe swirls on wedding cupcakes and think i may use it for the cake instead of fondant. i am only a hobby cake decorator and want it to be easyish. i am assuming that this icing can be piped, not sure how long to wait before attempting this

@Jane said...

OMG White chocolate ganache success. I used nestle melts and thickened cream 750mg to 250ml. Only needed a small zap in microwave and it is perfect. I'm a first timer. I usually cheat and use Betty Crocker frosting under fondant so I'm very proud and extremely grateful!!!

Petrina said...

Hi All,

Sorry I have not responded to the last few comments in a timely manner!

Re the wedding cake: I tried this white chocolate ganache on a chocolate cake in June this year and it was a monumental disaster. The dark crumbs got into the ganache and made it look unsightly plus the ganache never set. It was a stacked cake and I could never get it to sit up straight or stay level. I don't recommend this ganache on a chocolate cake.

For wedding cakes I don't know what a tuxedo cake is! Sounds nice though! Of course for a wedding display cake I always favour a fondant covered cake. For my own wedding the kitchen cake was a slab of sponge filled with fresh strawberries and cream,, topped with crispy white icing the same as what had been scraped up the sides of the wedding cake to look like Spanish stucco. It was very easy and very inexpensive, but tasty! I noticed my uncle Allan eat more than one piece.

If I've missed you wedding I'm really sorry - I hope it was a wonderful day for you. -P.

Petrina said...

On piping this ganache, I haven't tried. It does eventually set solid at about 24 hours, so somewhere in that time it would be dense enough to pipe. But I honestly think there has to be a specific recipe for pipable ganache.

Oh, the Humidity! said...

Great recipe! Really helped with my project, thank you :)

kath said...

Morning how would you colour the ganache with out changing flavour, my daughter is wanting a colorful 18th cake

Petrina said...

Kath, you can colour the ganache using chocolate colouring powders from Roberts Confectionery (in Australia).

Helen said...

I made chocolate cake with white chocolate ganache finnish. I put a dark chocolate buttercream on first then put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to set hard then covered it with the ganache it worked really well, no problems with crumbs. Unfortunately it worked so well my friend wants it for 1 of the 4 tier wedding cake shes asked me to make. Now trying to research getting the ganache as pure white as possible to match the other 3 tiers. Any advice greatly recieved :)

omileah parkes said...

HELP

im making a choc mud 3 teir wedding cake and for the 1st time i've been asked to colour the ganache a bright yellow. the 1st gel dye i was recommended resulted in the cream separating from the chocolate and not bonding/stiffening. the second batch i used powder and i have had the same problem.

i have never had this problem before using ganache. any suggestions or tips would be great.

kayenne said...

omileah parkes,

you have have been using gel colors for the usual buttercream or meringue icings. look for "candy colors" that is made specifically for chocolate.

Veronica Flores said...

I found if you add the gel color to the cream prior to boiling, it works wonderfully. I made a red ganache using a 3 to 1 ratio of white chocolate to cream.

Veronica Flores said...

Helen, as mentioned before adding the TINIEST bit of purple color cancels out the yellow in white chocolate ganache. Purple is opposite Yellow on the color wheel thus it cancels out all color. By tiny I mean the very tip of a toothpick per batch. It works when using my Americolor gel. Haven't had good results with Wilton though.

Nessie said...

I keep my cakes up to a week with ganache and they get only tastier

Rachel Page said...

This almost looks too good to eat!

Petrina said...

Hi Everyone! I love how this post has really taken on a life of its own and becoming a community discussion for everyone working with ganache and facing challenges. How have you all gone with your various colouring efforts? I have not strayed from straight chocolate ganache and white chocolate ganache. I have, however, entered the world of MODELLING CHOCOLATE!!! Where colour is only limited by your imagination. I'll put a post up about this in the next few weeks.

Petrina said...

Everyone, another tip on how long the ganache will last, it totally depends on the use by date of your cream. Choose a cream with a use by date that extends well past the date your cake will be delivered. And advise your cake recipients that that is when they need to eat the cake by. Same goes for storing ganache. You must keep it in the fridge because of its dairy content. You'll need to melt in the microwave before you use it.

sheilavk said...

How much titanium dioxide should we add to get a white color and not cream. I needed a blue ganache and the ganache turned green. So the next time I added 1.5 tsp of americolor white to white ganache and it turned white .

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