It doesn’t get much tastier than ganache. It’s creamy, chocolatey and just delicious. You can use it as a filling, to make cake pops or cover a cake and that’s just the buttercream-esque form. Whilst you can make truffles, mousse style desserts or sauces out of ganache, I’m going to focus on the ratio for covering cakes.
Ganache is particularly great if you’re covering a cake with fondant, as you can get it really smooth. Plus it sets firmer than a buttercream, enabling you to get crisp edges or even restructure where your cake is uneven or crumbling.
A regular ganache has two components, chocolate and cream. The use of the ganache all comes down to ratio. To cover a cake you will want 1:1 equal parts chocolate and cream.
Ganache is really quite simple, but it does require a little extra work if you want to make this vegan. The first thing you will notice is that everything in a regular ganache needs to be replaced! Luckily using a vegan dark chocolate works well.
If you are covering the ganache with a white fondant you’ll need to roll the fondant out quite thick so it doesn’t show through. This can be messy if any gets on the outside of the white fondant as it will be very obvious. You can choose to opt for a free from white chocolate to get around this.
Now, I’m sure that you could use a soya cream substitute, but if you’d rather not splash out on the prices of the free from section or like me you don’t have the chance to go out and grab some, then you can use tinned coconut milk. However this will mean you need to reduce it yourself to get the right consistency.
You will need:
- Stand or hand held mixer
- 150g dark chocolate
- 150 ml double cream or a can of tinned coconut milk (400ml)
Vegan Option – Use tinned coconut milk as it’s thicker than from a carton, and boil in a pan over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to half the original amount. Keep stirring as the coconut milk reduces.
Dairy Option – Heat the cream in a pan over a medium heat for a few minutes, you want the cream to be warm but not quite boiling.
Finely chop the chocolate whilst the cream or coconut milk is on the hob. Dark chocolate makes a much richer ganache than milk chocolate, so I would always recommend it even if you generally prefer milk to dark. As mentioned above you can use white chocolate (or a vegan equivalent) if you are using it with lighter colours.
Vegan Option – Remove from the heat and cool to just below boiling point. Measure out 100 ml of the reduced coconut milk, as you want less coconut milk than you would cream, since it won’t be as thick and you don’t want to end up with a ganache sauce.
Dairy Option – Remove the cream from the heat.
Stir the chocolate into the warm cream or coconut milk, this should be enough to melt it when you keep stirring. If some pesky lumps of chocolate are refusing to melt, you can heat the mixture in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. With this method take it off the heat as soon as the chocolate has melted.
Once the chocolate is fully incorporated into the cream or coconut milk let it cool for 20 minutes. If you want to pour a ganache glaze over your cake pour it now. Otherwise whisk until it has the consistency of a buttercream, the colour should lighten as you beat in more air.
If it won’t change texture leave to cool for a little longer, before beating on a high speed again. You can now apply your ganache like a buttercream to your cake but work quickly before it sets. On the other hand if it still drips when you try to put it on your cake, then wait a bit before finishing covering the cake.
Let it set in the fridge for a few hours before covering or serving. You can speed this process up by putting it in the freezer for half an hour.
Thanks for reading 😊
Let me know how it turned out if you’ve tried this!