Lerato’s Easy Cake Ganache, Glaze and Syrup
Like I said in my previous recipe, and like I will always say, Christmas is for celebration, celebration with lots of chocolate. Together, we can bake lovely little chocolate cakes and now, we will explore several dressings and glazes for them. You can finish off cakes with so many different glazes, icing and frosting methods. Here are my easy favourites that will work for a simple vanilla sponge or the most decadent chocolate cakes. The idea here is to wow the crowd, even if it’s just you and your lovely self. You are worth the treat.
Easy chocolate Ganache with cream
Making chocolate icing, glaze or ganache can be quite challenging, if you do not get your proportions right, if you burn your chocolate or if you just do not know where or how to begin. It is important to use good quality chocolate from 70% cocoa for great texture and taste. As dark chocolate, It will be bitter, but you can sweeten with sugar, condensed or evaporated milk instead of cream. Follow these winning tips for the perfect ganache to suit your dessert.
• 200g good quality dark chocolate
• 200ml double cream, soya cream or oat cream for vegans or non dairy diets
• 2 – 4 tablespoons of golden caster sugar
Chocolate Ganache Proportions
These tips will come in handy when measuring your ingredients for ganache
• Layer cake filling and thick glaze: 1:1, equal parts chocolate and cream.
• Chocolate truffles: 2:1, two parts chocolate to one part cream.
• Soft icing or glaze: 1:2, one part chocolate to two parts cream.
Chop your chocolate into small pieces and set aside. This will ensure that it melts properly and quickly. In a heavy saucepan, heat the cream and sugar on low heat. Stir well and do not allow it to boil. Once hot, take of the stove and pour in your chopped chocolate. Stir gently and allow the chocolate to melt. You must avoid over stirring so that the ganache does not get cold and stiffen too quickly. Stir gently until the chocolate is well incorporated and you now have an even glossy chocolate mix. Leave the mixture to cool for up to an hour depending on how you want to use it.
• If you will like to pour the ganache over a cake let it cool for half an hour or less, depending on the temperature in your location. The ganache should be runny enough to pour but also thick enough to stay in place. Do not be tempted to cool your ganache in the fridge, it might set too quickly and it will lose its shine.
• For truffles or a thick glaze for doughnuts and puff puffs, keep the mixture in the refrigerator to cool. The chocolate will begin to stiffen soon, check it every 5 minutes and stir so that it cools evenly. After 10 minutes check to make sure the ganache has set but not stiffened, otherwise, you will need to soften it with a little hot cream.
• You can also whip your ganache into a frosting to decorate your cake or for layer cake filling. Repeat my first tip by allowing your melted chocolate, cream and sugar mixture to cool. Once thickened but still soft, whip using a mixer until your ganache is fluffy. It will also become lighter in colour which is perfectly normal. Whip it for up to two minutes. Use a piping back to pipe the ganache onto your cake or use a spatula to generously spread it on to your cake. You can decorate your cake with chopped dark and white chocolate pieces, sprinkles, edible gold or even plantain chips.
Spiced Orange Syrup
Chocolate and citrus is a wonderful combination. Oranges in particular are sweet and tart creating the most wonderful aroma and flavour when cooked with spices and aromatic like cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Try this orange glaze for naked sponge cakes and also underneath your chocolate glaze for a surprising citrus burst of flavour.
• Juice from 4 oranges, save the squeezed oranges
• Zest from two oranges
• 1 star anise
• 1 stick of cinnamon / ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
• A few cardamom pods
• 1 tsp powdered ginger
• 1 tsp grated nutmeg
• 200ml water
• 4 tbs golden castor sugar
To make the spiced orange syrup, combine the juice of four oranges, the squeezed oranges, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom pods, ginger, nutmeg and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Do not add the lemon zest and sugar at this stage. If you struggle to find all the above ingredients, substitute them with two tablespoons of allspice. Stir and leave to simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Cooking the whole oranges will ensure the extraction of maximum juices and oils from the fruit. Once slightly thickened, strain the contents using a sieve and pour the liquid back into the saucepan. Add the lemon zest and sugar. Stir and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until you achieve a syrupy texture. Once your cake is cooled you can glaze it with your spiced orange syrup. Use a toothpick or barbecue stick to make holes in and around the cake but not all the way to the bottom. Use a tablespoon to scoop and pour the syrup on to the cake. Repeat until your cake is satisfactorily drenched with syrup. The orange zests will also serve as a pretty garnish on top of your cake. You can also glaze your cake with your favourite chocolate ganache or icing on top of your orange syrup, for a wonderful chocolate orange combination.
See Lerato’s Easy Christmas Chocolate Cake recipe, and finish off with these tips I have shared above. Now, what are you waiting for?
Why not share your marvelous creations or ask me questions on: Instagram @lerato_tomato; Twitter @leratotomato; facebook: leraolovesfood
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