How to Make Gorgeous Ganache, and Other Seasonal Cake Tips

Ganache is a stylish way to cover your cakes to add value and increase appeal for your customers.
 

How to make gorgeous ganache

Recipe

For best coverage, start by base icing your cake layers.

  • In a bowl, add the desired amount of chocolate and Flavor Right Liquid Icing.
  • Place bowl in microwave until the chocolate is completely melted. Do this in 30-second increments to avoid overheating the product, which can cause a grainy texture.
  • Remove from microwave and stir until contents are completely smooth.
  • Let product cool until it reaches proper consistency. The ideal temperature is 85-88 F.
  • Pour ganache in center of the cake and run a quick angled spatula over the top to smooth.
  • Allow the product to set until it is no longer sticky to the touch.

 

Flavor Right product recommendations

  • Whip’n Ice Vanilla
  • Custom Ice — ideal for a ganache with a higher shine and lighter mouthfeel

 

Customization

Changing the chocolate/liquid ratio yields a softer or harder finished ganache, as will using different types of chocolate.

  • 30% liquid/70% chocolate — for use anywhere a hard firm chocolate is required
  • 50% liquid/50% chocolate — to coat and set (choux, éclair topping)
  • 70% liquid/30% chocolate — for use where a gooey consistency is required (product centers or sticky chocolate covered products)

Fondant trends & techniques

Fondant is now available in many bright colors, perfect for the upcoming months.
 
Talented cake decorators such as Cristina Cinquino demonstrated intricate techniques at the Satin Ice booth during the Atlantic Bakery Expo, and Satin Ice featured scores of new ideas for holidays and celebrations.

Here are some examples from the “Perfectly Pastel” collection:

  • Clear Skies. Create stunning texture by aligning petite pastel flowers along a geometric pattern. Warm up cool tones with touches of gold.
  • Purple Reign. Lace texture and touches of gold make for a royal treat. Tightly packed ruffles create a stunning floral composition.
  • Green Envy. Create a work of art with tone-on-tone texture. Adorn solid green hues with 
    cascades of florals for a subtle vintage vibe.

Play by the rules

When it comes to using licensed images on cakes, it’s vitally important for cake decorators to understand the difference between what you can and what you can’t do.

Customers may want you to recreate their favorite Disney character, for example, on a decorated cake, but this is one of many things that are not allowed.

In short, if consumers are likely to recognize the character or image, it is likely to be copyright and trademark infringement. Hand modeling makes no difference.

The safe bet is to buy licensed characters or edible images from companies like DecoPac, which negotiates licensing deals with Disney-Pixar, professional sports teams (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) and others including popular character brands and even the US Military.

“These companies have invested a lot of money in protecting their copyrighted or trademarked images. Many companies strictly enforce the rules,” says Lynn Schurman, owner of Cold Spring Bakery in Cold Spring, Minnesota, and director of education for the Retail Bakers of America.

Schurman echoes the sentiments of many bakery shop owners when she says, “I don’t want to go out of business because I got sued. I can’t do it.”

“It is getting really hard to decorate because you don’t know all the rules,” she adds. “Our goal is to post guidelines for what cake decorators can do and not do on the RBA website (www.retailbakersofamerica.org).”

What you can’t do

Disney and other leading brands are very particular about copyrights and trademarks, and many celebrities own the rights to their own images.

You can’t copy or recreate anything that is copyrighted or trademarked without permission.

What you can do

  • Buy a licensed character or edible image
  • Obtain a blanket or one-time permission
  • Create a cake for a customer that has permission (for example, a Harley Davidson corporate event)

Most colleges and universities, except the Big 10 and other power conferences, will grant permission to use licensed images on graduation cakes.

What you can copy

  • Free clip art
  • Government images
  • Your own personal designs
  • Photographs taken by you/customer