Chocolate Ganache Glaze

  • Serves: Makes about 1 cup, enough to cover the top and sides of one 9- or 10-inch layer, or a 9- or 10-inch tube cake
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  • Comments: 3

Ganache is so versatile. This glaze will give your cake a smooth and mirror-like appearance. Chocolate ganache glaze is usually in a ratio of 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of heavy cream to 1 ounce of chocolate. For pouring, the ganache mixture should be approximately 86 to 91 degrees F measured with an Instant Read Thermometer (Stir the mixture before inserting the tip of the thermometer in the center of the mixture) or feel just slightly warm -- it must remain pourable -- it should look and pour like corn syrup in order to glaze the cake or a frozen dessert. If ganaching a chilled mousse, it should be chilled thoroughly so the ganache will set quickly and not melt it. If the ganache is too hot, press a piece of plastic wrap on the top of the ganache so a film does not form and allow it to sit at a cool, room temperature until just thickened, about 15 minutes, or so. Be careful so it does not cool too much.

Take care not to stir ganache in multiple directions or you will create air bubbles; I always recommend whisking it in one direction so you don't. However, if you do get a alot of air bubbles in the ganache glaze, strain it through a fine mesh strainer before using, otherwise the tiny bubbles will show on the finished cake.

Runyan2002, Premium Member, Says: "It was AMAZING and gave an excellent shine just as I wanted."

6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup (6 ounces) heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, Cointreau or dark Jamaican rum, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 - 1 teaspoon hot tap water, if needed

1. Chop the chocolate with a sharp knife, into 1/4-inch evenly sized pieces. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

2. Heat the cream and honey in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, on low, until it comes to a gentle boil.
SARAH SAYS: Make sure you stir the mixture so it does not burn.

3. Immediatel pour the cream mixture over the chocolate. Let stand for one minute, pushing any chocolate pieces under the hot cream with a wire whisk. Then, starting slowly, whisk together in one direction until the chocolate is melted and the cream and chocolate are thoroughly combined and smooth.

4. Add in the liqueur or rum, if using and the vanilla, and then whisk in one direction. If the surface seems oily, add the lesser amount of hot water, first, and then whisk in one direction until incorporated. The glaze will thicken as it stands, but should still be pourable. If it doesn’t thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, and then whisk in one direction for a few seconds until the right viscosity is obtained.
SARAH SAYS: Do not let it set because it must remain pourable. If it does set, warm it in the top of a double boiler under gentle heat, whisking now and then in one direction so it does not burn, until pourable.

How to pour ganache glaze for a smooth, mirror-like finish
1. Chill (frosted) cake on a cardboard cake round slightly smaller than the cake, while you prepare the ganache.
SARAH SAYS: You need to apply the ganache to a smooth surface, otherwise all of the imperfections will show.

Fit a large shallow pan with parchment or wax paper and set a wire cake rack in it to catch any excess ganache drippings. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and place it in the middle of the rack.

2. With a long offset metal icing spatula, at least 8 to 10-inches long, in hand, hold the pourable ganache about 10 inches above the cake. Pour it at once onto the top of cake in the center. Quickly move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 to 5 times to make sure the ganache covers the top of the cake. Let the excess glaze run down the sides.

3. Quickly lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly over the tiop and down the sides of the cake. It will also help break any air bubbles that may have collected on the surface. Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller icing spatula, only if necessary; do not touch the top. The ganache should give a smooth and mirror-like appearance.

Do not touch the cake after the "bang". Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes so the glaze sets.

SARAH SAYS: If you refrigerate the cake, the ganache will gain a dull appearance. To help it shine again, run a hand held hair dryer, set on low, over the cake in several passes.

A classic ganache can generally stay at room temperature for 2 days, as long as it's kept in a cool place. But, there are lots of exceptions to this rule. If in a bowl, always place a piece of plastic wrap firmly against its surface so a film does not form or it won't form a sugar crust on its surface. Ganache can be frozen for a month. Reheat in the top of a double boiler under gentle heat, whisking together in one direction, before using.

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