icing

How to make chocolate ganache

So what is chocolate ganache?

It is a smooth mix of chocolate and cream which is widely used for cake icing, filling in pastries or a sauce to go with your ice cream or pancakes. Apart from chocolate and cream, it can sometimes also have sugar, cornstarch, glucose syrup. Sugar is mainly for enhancing the sweetness whereas cornstarch and glucose syrup gives the ganache a glossy look.

Ganache can be runny to extremely thick based on the cream to chocolate ratio. Thickness increases with amount of chocolate. Equal weights of cream and chocolate gives the perfect consistency for icing cakes easily. You can simply pour it on the cake and refrigerate for the ganache to set. It takes about 20 minutes. When icing with ganache, use it when its warm otherwise it starts to set. If its too hot it will simply run down, so it should be just warm.


The moment you add more chocolate than cream, the ganache wouldn’t be of pouring consistency and you will have to use a spatula to spread it evenly across the cake. This type of thick ganache is generally used for making truffles.


The type of chocolate you are using will define the flavor of ganache. If I start talking about different types of chocolate, it can take up an entire blog, will do that some other time, just a brief overview for now..


There is real chocolate also called couverture and then there is compound chocolate which most of us use in baking. The difference is that the real chocolate has chocolate liquor and cocoa butter where as a compound chocolate has cocoa powder and vegetable fats. If you have baking chocolate lying in your refrigerator, go check what it is! Real chocolate is richer in taste because it is after all the real thing! Compound chocolate mimics a real chocolate. That being said, not many people can tell the difference so its okay to use compound, but you wont get that natural glossy finish that real chocolate gives. Well, there is a workaround for that too! Its called cornstarch or glucose syrup!!! I will share the recipe of glossy ganache using both chocolates.


Here is the chocolate that I use –



























Enough said, now lets jump to the recipe!

Things/tools required-


1) Silicone spatula


2) Weighing scale 
– I can not do without this. Its one of the best and cheapest kitchen tools to invest in. I have this one.. my bro in law got me one of these in US. I have been using it for over 3 years now without any issues. It is available on Amazon India too, am hoping its the same one and not a duplicate – http://www.amazon.in/Bulfyss-Electronic-Kitchen-Digital-Weighing/dp/B00MKA9WXO/ref=sr_1_1?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1469983350&sr=8-1&keywords=kitchen+weighing+scale



























Lets get started with chocolate ganache!

First things first, taste your chocolate, if its sweet enough for you then omit sugar or add sugar as per taste. If you are true chocolate fan, go for dark chocolate (at least 75%)


Ingredients (With Couverture aka real chocolate. Sufficient for 9″ cake icing)

100 gms chocolate
100 gms cream (I use Amul cream)
Sugar (Optional, as per taste. Preferably powdered)

Melting chocolate in microwave-

Chop the chocolate into really tiny pieces and heat in microwave in short intervals. Initially 15 seconds, until the chocolate begins to melt. Then 10 seconds until it melts completely. After every interval, mix the chocolate using silicone spatula to ensure even distribution of heat. Uneven heat can result in chocolate getting burnt.
[ps: Burnt chocolate doesn’t turn black in color, it seizes and doesn’t melt anymore.]

Heat the cream until bubbles appear around the corners (boiling is not required). Stay close and turn

off the heat as soon as the bubbles appear. Add sugar and mix thoroughly.

Pour the cream into the chocolate and mix thoroughly using silicone spatula. I stress on silicone spatula because its much more convenient when working with chocolate or any other icing.


Once cream and chocolate have blended, what you have is Ganache.

Set aside until the temperature is a little over room temperature. You need to be present through out the process as it happens all too quickly.

The cake should be at room temperature.


Once ganache is warm, you can pour it on top first and then on the side by turning the cake as you pour. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Your ganache cake is ready 🙂


Note: Ganache made from real chocolate is naturally glossy.


Storage and re-use is discussed in the end.


Ingredients (Using compound chocolate. Sufficient for 9″ cake icing)

100 gms chocolate
100 gms cream (I use Amul cream)
2 tbsp Light corn syrup
Sugar (Optional, as per taste)

All steps are same as with real chocolate. You just need to heat the cream and corn syrup together before adding to chocolate.


Left over ganache can be refrigerated and reused by heating in microwave at short intervals.


Please visit this link for basic cake decoration tips.

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icing

Basic cake decoration tips

Continuing with my previous blog on eggless sprouted wheat flour chocolate cake.. here is how I decorated the cake. 

First off, steps involved-


1) Choose the type of icing. Broadly speaking, there are 2 types of icing. One is buttercream and the other is chocolate ganache. You can produce hundreds of varieties in each one of them or even mixing the two. I am not much of a cream fan, so I prefer chocolate ganache, but I do sometimes use buttercream for crumb coat (Step 2).


Other than these two, there are several other yummy icings like cream cheese variations, fruit compote (different berries or in combination).


2) Crumb coat – Not all decorators do this but I swear by it. Crumb coat, also called dirty coat helps in giving a smooth finish to your decoration. It is a thin layer of coat on cake just after it has cooled down completely. After coating, refrigerate the cake for about 20 minutes to set the coating. What it does is, it forms a layer between cake and your final icing, so the end result doesn’t look uneven and it also keeps the cake crumbs in check.


Q: How to do a crumb coat?

A: Buttercream frosting is  most commonly used icing for crumb coating. However, I prefer using chocolate ganache if my final coat is going to be ganache.

Please follow this link for making ganache.



Things/tools required for decorating the cake –


1) Offset Spatula – Spreads the icing evenly. You may not need it if you are using a 1:1 ganache (refer to the above link for ganache recipe).


2) Bread knife –  You will need this if you plan to slice your cake horizontally for filling in between. This is the trickiest part.. I saw lots of youtube videos and ruined couple of cakes before finally getting it right. Of all the videos I saw, found this pretty useful – http://www.jamieoliver.com/videos/how-to-cut-a-cake-into-three-jamie-s-comfort-food-kerryann-dunlop/ I am a huge Jamie Oliver fan, which explains why this video 😀


Only thing I did differently was using a longer bread knife (12″) as I find it more convenient.

Common mistake people make first time is cutting cake with uneven height, so you start in the middle but somewhere you go tangential (either up or down) instead of going straight. Toothpick technique in the video gives you precision as you come across markers on the way.

Start with small cakes, say 4″ and go up.


3) Cake turn table (Optional) – Convenient way to look at all sides of cakes while decorating as the table rotates. For basic icing using ganache it is not required.


4) Plastic cake box – for safe storage in refrigerator. If you are serious about cake decorations, invest in good plastic cake boxes to keep your cakes safe when kept in refrigerator, specially after icing. Plain cake can be stored in the same baking tin it was baked in. Just cover it using cling film.



Lets get started with decorating our cake!!


The cake in pictures was for someone who loves Indian sweets so the middle layer has homemade mawa peda. You can use ganache, buttercream, cream cheese, your favourite jam like apricot or berries, a fruit compote or anything you like.


Turn the cake upside down (flat side up) and slice the cake in 2 halves horizontally. 


For making mawa peda you need –


200 gms khoya or mawa  ( For a generous layer in 9″ cake )

Sugar as per taste

Bring mawa to room temperature and crumble it with hands. Add it to a hot pan on low heat. Keep stirring continuously. Once it melts, add sugar and continue stirring till sugar dissolves completely. 

Turn off the heat.
Home made mawa peda is ready!



Spread a layer of homemade mawa peda on bottom slice and put the other half on top. Refrigerate the cake for an hour. 






Time for crumb coating..

I used 2 parts chocolate with 1 part cream ganache for the crumb coating. In my experience, thick ganache covers the cake crumbs effectively. Check out the picture of cake after crumb coating. After the crumb coat, refrigerate the cake for an hour for the ganache to set.



Now for the final step.. get your ganache ready. As mentioned in the recipe, it should be warm to make the pouring easy. You will know when its ready. Keep a wire rack on large tray or plate and place the cake on the wire rack. Pour the ganache in the centre until it slides down to cover the sides completely. Let it stand until excess ganache drips onto the tray. Carefully lift the cake and place it on a cake base and finally into the cake box. Refrigerate until use.

I have sprinkled caramelised almond flakes on top.


Recipe for making caramelised almonds – 

100 gms almonds
50 gms sugar (Half the amount of almonds)
2 tbsp butter

Add everything in a hot pan and stir until almonds get coated with thick caramel. Pour onto a baking sheet and let it rest until it becomes hard and crispy.

Roughly chop the almonds in a food processor or use a mortar pestle.  Sprinkle on the cake and press gently. 

Hope you liked the post! Looking forward to your feedback.

Happy cake decorating 🙂







chocolate · dessert · icing · mawa eggless cake · sweet dish · Uncategorized

Eggless chocolate sponge cake using mawa

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This sponge cake is in continuation to plain eggless sponge cake
This is chocolate eggless cake with chocolate icing on top. 
I have fond memories of this cake when I baked it first time for a friend’s birthday. It was appreciated by one and all, moreover a pleasant surprise for my friend.
A very simple and easy recipe. Here it goes,

Ingredients

2 cups plain flour

1 cup mawa
[Don’t use the stiff chunk of mawa that you bought from store directly. Use your fingers and make it a little powdery. Take 3/4th cup of this powdery mawa, do not over stuff the cup.]

2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
[Use fresh oil]
1 cup castor sugar/Regular powdered sugar
4 Tbsp curd
[Very important : should be homemade. Curd available outside contain excessive amounts of curdling ingredients(ex : yeast etc in large amounts) can spoil the texture of cake]
1/4th cup melted dark chocolate
[Should be just enough hot to keep it from solidifying]
1/2 cup orange juice (no water)
1 tsp vanilla extract or 5-6 drops of vanilla essence

Icing
1/4th cup melted dark chocolate
1/4th cup fresh cream(I used Amul fresh cream)
1/2 cup icing sugar



Take a clean dry bowl and sift maida,baking powder and baking soda. Mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, combine oil,sugar,orange juice, vanilla syrup (or essence), curd, mawa. Beat and mix well.

If using oven, preheat the oven at 150 degrees.
If using cooker, preheat the cooker on low flame for 5 minutes. Lid closed, without whistle.

Combine maida with liquid mixture. Use a wooden spatula and mix well. Beat well for 2 minutes, not more.

Transfer half of the content to a separate bowl, add 1/4th cup chocolate sauce and mix well. Transfer it back to rest of the content and stir just twice. The two mixtures need not be blend completely.

If using oven, grease baking tin with butter and dust with maida. Pour the mixture. Bake at 150 degrees for 45 minutes. Insert a toothpick and check if its ready(toothpick will come out clean if ready). If not, bake for another 10 minutes.

If using cooker, place an empty vessel and on top of it, place the baking tin. Make sure that baking tin is not  in direct contact with bottom of the cooker. Cover the lid and do not put the whistle. Leave it on low flame for 30 minutes. Afterwards, check if the cake has baked completely by inserting a toothpick(it should come out clean). If the cake is not done completely, allow it to bake for another 10 minutes and check again.

**Baking time in cooker varies based on size, thickness, make of the cooker.

After it is done, allow it to cool for 5 minutes. (Not under the fan, let it cool naturally.)
Invert it on to a wire rack as it provides free flow of air.

Cake is ready!! 🙂

Icing
Icing should be done only after cake has cooled down to room temperature.
Mix ingredients of icing, pour it into an icing tube and apply it on the cake in a pattern of your liking 🙂
If you do not have icing tube, you may simply spread it on the cake just like butter on bread.
[Icing tube alternative, pour the cream into a small plastic bag, tie the open end tightly. Make a small cut on one corner using scissors. Use it like icing tube by pressing gently.]