On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Broken Ganache


Oops. Tonight I was making ganache. I was using Cadbury 70% chocolate, another of my experiments. That wasn’t the oops, the oops was overheating the cream and chocolate to the point I ended up with what I’ve learnt is called “broken ganache”.

Broken ganache

Look at that oily puddle of what I would have deemed useless and a total waste of around $15 in ingredients.

I am making ganache for a cake I’m baking. I’ve no real purpose for the cake, but it does happen to be my blogs 1 year existence on the 10th and following some naff little tradition I thought I could use this anniversary as an excuse to make and decorate another cake. And it gave me another excuse to try new things, like making the ganache with Cadbury chocolate instead of Whittaker’s which I’ve used several times before.

The Whittaker’s chocolate ganache I’ve found to be really thick and not that pliable. I used the Cadbury chocolate recently to make the Devil’s Dream Cake and was quite taken with how silky the chocolate was when it was melted, how smooth it turned out. I’m crossing my fingers the ganache works out better with Cadbury chocolate. Actually I hadn’t even known Cadbury made a 70% chocolate.

Obviously this wasn’t the post I was expecting to write, but after having made this blunder, and knowing I hadn’t actually burnt the chocolate I wondered if there was a way to redeem the ganache. Onto Google I went and found that what I had was referred to Broken Ganache. I found several different methods to fix this, one being warmed up corn syrup mixed with a tablespoon of the broken ganache. But there seemed to be a few more blog posts talking about warmed up milk doing the trick.

Here’s a few shots of my ganache as it went through various stages of repair.

Stages of fixing broken ganache

See that last shot?  It was almost there. In fact I thought it was good to go, but after 30 seconds or so of staring at it, I saw a little bit of oil on the very edges of the bowl, so I added about another teaspoon of warmed milk and came away with this:

Ganache restored

I don’t expect the ganache to be as thick as it cools overnight, which I don’t mind at all. My past experiences have been that the ganache is almost too thick to work with, although that has been with Whittaker’s chocolate.

I have again used a Betty Crocker Super Moist Vanilla cake box mix to make a Butterscotch cake for my little “need an excuse to decorate a cake, let’s make it a blog anniversary cake”.

I know in my last post where I made the box mix for Cel’s baby cake I said I wasn’t happy with it sort of clumping, but as it happened the box mix was on special with a saving of $2.60 a box (each box with the additional ingredients came to just over $10 and that was without the cost of eggs) so it was worth grabbing a few boxes. What I did different tonight was to put the cake mix through a sieve. Almost all of it passed through, the last bit with some squashing with the back of a spoon, with just a very small amount refusing to cooperate.

I was much happier with the texture of the made up batter, there were no clumps to be seen. I was also really surprised at how far the batter went. I have made a 6″ cake, then I scooped batter to make 6 cupcakes. I still have left over batter so I quickly lined my 4″ cake tin and scraped the rest into it.

The 6″ cake had 500gm of batter and was 4cm deep prior to baking. The 4″ had 170gm of batter and was 2cm deep. The 6″ cake took 34 minutes to bake, the 4″ cake 23 minutes. The cupcakes 18 minutes.

Referring back to the Instant Pudding mix. Tonight at the supermarket I grabbed a strawberry then chocolate pack. They are different weights. I don’t know why. The Butterscotch, Vanilla and Strawberry are all 70gm and that’s what I’ve been using. The Chocolate is 80gm. I’d still use that without any other adjustments. In my calculation of the weight of ingredients for a 15.25oz box of mix, the pudding mix came out to 96gm, but that didn’t work out for Greggs packs so I just used what I had and decided the 26gm (hopefully) wouldn’t make a noticeable difference.

Butterscotch cakes

My idea is to use the 6″ cake and torte it and cover it with ganache before applying fondant and then decorating it. As per usual I’ve not settled on a design. I have a couple of options, both new and both good, but I just haven’t picked one. If the ganache turns out to be too soft then this plan will change, but the good news is the ganache isn’t a waste, it might just be used in different ways.

For the 4″ cake my plan is to make up a frosting and use the left over caramel sauce. I wont do anything other than torte it and spread with the frosting and leave it completely undecorated. I’m toying with putting ganache in the middle AND using the frosting. It sounds good to me right now.  I’ll pipe the caramel frosting onto the cupcakes and call them done. Though I could slice them through the middle and make them really miniature versions of what I plan for the 4″ cake.

I’m open to ideas so I’ll wait and see how the 4″ pans out and then decide what I can do with the 6″ and the cupcakes. So many possibilities.

Lastly, I wish I’d known about broken ganache the other weekend when I had made the Devil’s Dream Cake, I wouldn’t have needed to make up a new batch of ganache after all.

Don’t suppose anyone else knew that you could add warm milk a teaspoon at a time, and continue to stir and repeat until it all come good? I have 500ml of cream and 1kg of chocolate, I’ve used a little over 1/3 cup of warm milk to bring life back to this batch of ganache. This is another positive as to why you shouldn’t fear making ganache. I’ll have to make sure Lyndal knows about this, she’s had this sort of problem in the past.

Last thoughts. I think I’ll change the method I’m using for making the ganache which currently is to heat both the cream and chocolate together in the microwave instead heating the cream to boiling point and then pouring it over the chocolate pieces and letting it sit a while before stirring it.



2 thoughts on “Broken Ganache

  1. It’s all very irritating when things don’t work out in the kitchen. I made some lemon buttercream recently that curdled and there was no real repair for that except to eat ugly buttercream – which wasn’t really the worst thing in the world but still very irksome.

    • I just glad it wasn’t a total waste. Though it split on me again as I was warming it a bit to make it pliable to use. Some things can be so fickle. I bet you’ve made buttercream so many times without problems that it’s hard to explain why on occasion it just wont play nice. Oh to live in a perfect (boring) world 🙂

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