Chocolate ganache is perfect for filling fondant cakes. Learn how to succeed with chocolate ganache.
How to make ganache for a layer cake filling
Chocolate ganache is a type of chocolate crème which tastes wonderful in layer cakes and cakes with fondant. The two ingredients that go into a chocolate ganache are: chocolate and heavy cream and it is super easy to make 🙂 (See the recipe at the bottom of the post).
You can use chocolate ganache both as a cake filling and as frosting. In this post, I explain how you can make a simple ganache as a cake filling for a layer cake.
It’s always exciting to decide which kind of filing you want for a layer cake. For me, it’s not a difficult choice: I love to spread a fruit or berry mousse on top of the first layer and a chocolate ganache on the next layer. That way, you get a wonderful mixture of the fresh and sweet taste of the berry mousse combined with the rich taste of chocolate.
Now, I know a lot of people recommend a 1:1 ratio for both frosting and layer cake filling, but If you add more heavy cream to the chocolate, you will get a lighter texture which I think is perfect for a layer cake filling. I have made several cakes with a lighter ganache texture that contains more heavy cream. They are delicious 🙂
Start by chopping the chocolate into small pieces
Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate
Leave it to melt for 5 minutes. Then, stir until the cream and the chocolate is completely combined. The mixture should look smooth and shiny.
Let it cool off and cover it with plastic wrap.
Now this is important – there are 3 key issues in making a great ganache:
- Make sure to cover your ganache with plastic wrap in such a way that you place the plastic directly onto the surface of the ganache. This prevents a film / sugar crust from forming– see picture above.
- Place the ganache in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or keep it overnight to firm up before you use it in a cake. When you need to use it, you can reheat it in the microwave for a short time and stir it gently so that it is easy to work with. Allow it to cool. Then, whip the ganache until it becomes fluffy in the texture.
- I use a chocolate with 50-55 % cocoa solids. I would not use a chocolate with 70 – 85 % cocoa solids; this will make the ganache taste too bitter. Also, consider to use a better quality chocolate, because this will get a better-performing ganache.
- ½ liter of heavy cream (500 ml / approx. 2 cups / 16 fl oz)
- 250 grams of chocolate ( approx. 1 cup / 8 oz consider to use a kitchen scale instead of cups for accurate measurement)
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces.
- Place the chocolate evenly on the bottom of a bowl (must be heat proof).
- Pour the heavy cream into a saucepan. Place the pan over low to medium heat.
- Heat up the cream and bring the cream to a boil while you stir it from time to time. Avoid that it boils over.
- Remove the cream when it starts to boil. Slowly pour it over the chocolate.
- Make sure that it covers the chocolate completely.
- Don’t stir it; just leave it to melt for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, you need to stir it with a rubber spatula or wire whisk. Stir gently from the center and outward so you don’t risk creating air bubbles.
- Keep stirring until the cream and the chocolate is completely combined. The mixture should look smooth and shiny.
- When the ganache has cooled off, you need to cover it with plastic wrap so that you place the plastic directly onto the surface of the ganache.
- Place the ganache in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or keep it overnight to firm up before you use it in a cake.
- When you need to use it, you can reheat it in the microwave for a short time and stir it gently so that it is easy to work with. Let it cool off.
- Prior to filling the cake, whip the ganache until it becomes fluffy in the texture but be careful not to overwhip - this can lead to a grainy texture.
- You can freeze ganache in an air-tight container for up to 2 months. Make sure to thaw it in the fridge. Afterwards, you can reheat it in the microwave so that it becomes easy to work with.