Chocolate Ganache

I imagine you’re landing here and saying to yourself… “Oh, no… not another cake post”.

OK, bear with me.  I promise I’m not going to turn this into a cake blog… but cake is sort of what my head is wrapped around right now.

I’ve made several cakes over the last few weeks and from here on out, I’ll try to pace myself and space-out my cake-sharing around here.

white cake chocolate topping

Actually, this post is less about cake and more about chocolate ganache so, I think technically I might be safe.

While I’ve figured out an ultra-smooth frosting technique… you may remember I had a little trouble with my chocolate topping as seen on my chunky chocolate Mother’s Day cake from a few weeks ago.

Ever since then, I’ve been trying to perfect making chocolate ganache.

I appreciate all the helpful suggestions and tips that a few of my lovely readers provided and emailed me. I have the sweetest readers.

I’m still working through several of the recipes but for this cake, my ganache turned out much better.  It’s still not perfect but it is much smoother so, I think I’m on the right track.

You can find this simple,  2-ingredient ganache recipe further down in this post.

cake styling

Of course, experimenting with chocolate ganache also provides another opportunity to practice my food styling and presentation.

I set up everything in my foyer because that’s where I get the best natural light.

My subject base is an inexpensive marble pastry board.

You may recall that I’ve talked about how I use white foam core board to help bounce light onto a subject and that’s what I did here with the large board on the right.

If you love that marbled backdrop, that’s a simple creation too.

I just covered a large foam core board with some white marble contact paper that I purchased online.  The backdrop is super lightweight and wonderfully portable.

pewter plates

I’m including a closer look at these pewter plates because I want to share their backstory.

I was browsing an antique shop several years when I spotted the plates and was especially was drawn to their rough texture, slightly spotted/vintage appearance and their solid weight (@1.35 pounds each).

The dealer said they were authentic Civil War-era plates that were actually used by U.S. soldiers during the war in the 1800’s.

Apparently, each soldier was provided with one pewter plate which was packed and carried along with other military-issued gear and that’s what they ate on when rations were distributed.

SAFETY NOTE: There’s a big difference between modern pewter which is generally considered food safe and antique pewter (like these plates) which is NOT recommended for food use because of its lead content. The slices in these shots were arranged on these plates for display purposes only. They’re nice as props but considering what they’re made from, it does make you wonder how safe they were for soldiers back in the day.  Plates like these, if used should include a barrier (like a doily or napkin) between the food and the metal to ensure safety.

cake slices

Simple Chocolate Ganache
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Ingredients
  • 9 ounces of dark gourmet chocolate
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Chop up the chocolate into small chunks.
  2. Place heavy cream in saucepan and heat until it simmers. Do not allow it to boil.
  3. Pour hot cream over the chocolate chunks.
  4. Gently blend with a whisk until all chocolate is melted.
  5. Allow it to cool slightly to thicken up just a bit. The longer it sits the thicker it will get so, monitor the chocolate to achieve desired thickness.
  6. Pour over frosted cake.

simple ganache

 

Thanks for stopping by.

See  you back here next time. 

 

 

  • Botanic Bleu

    Lisa,
    Chocolate anything calls my name. What a great idea to use marble contact paper on foam board as a photo backdrop. Thanks for sharing not only your food recipes, but your photo styling tips as well.

    Judith

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much, Judith. You know, it’s amazing how many ordinary items and products can end up creating lovely backdrops.
      I use wood boards, old baking trays, fabric and just about anything else I can think of-lol.
      Have a wonderful week.

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Your cakes are absolutely gorgeous. I love the simplicity. The smooth exterior and then the special topping. You are tempting me to bake and I don’t have anyone close by to gift the fantastic creations. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂 Have a nice weekend.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Marisa, I can’t wait to see your cakes. Please don’t forget to let me know how yours turns out. I’ve gotta warn you, after you have a few successful frostings… you’re gonna be as hooked as me-lol
      Have fun.

  • Patti

    Lisa – Love everything about this post! Beautiful cake, styling, photography!

  • Barbara F.

    I’m enjoying the cake posts and especially the tips on making chocolate ganache! The Civil War plates are a fabulous find – I’m envious!! ?

  • Jae

    love those plates, and your cake is beautiful! You probably know this, but if you have ganache left over, you can chill it, then beat it well…..it becomes mousse like and makes a great filling….

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Love that idea, Jae. No, I didn’t know that. I’m just learning about chocolates and ganaches so I’ll definitely keep that in mind. Somehow, I know I’m going to be making more chocolate ganache soon-lol.

  • [email protected] Designs

    P.S. Love those awesome pewter plates…love the history behind them and how great that you were able to find a set of them!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much, Shirley. This was a fun shoot. I accidentally omitted some important information about using antique pewter with food (which I have now added to the text). I hope you can check that out when you get a chance. Happy weekend!

  • [email protected] Designs

    Beautiful cake …. wonderful ganache recipe …. GORGEOUS photography!!!
    I am sure your family does not mind your cake posts! I wouldn’t!

  • Rebecca Turner

    Makes me hungry for cake! There is nothing I’d rather eat than cake, but the store bought variety is so disatisgying that I don’t even bother…however, I hardly ever make it at home anymore because I don’t need the calories, and my hubby can’t eat sugar anymore. But you go ahead and enjoy and think of me. Thanks for including helpful photography tips! Also enjoyed the history behind the pewter plates!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much Rebecca. Unfortunately, I’ve been eating a lot more cake around here than I should since I’ve been on this cake-making binge.
      Yes, the plate history is very cool and please check out my corrected text about the use of antique pewter plates in food serving when you get a chance.

  • Barbara

    Keep posting your cake blogs! I enjoy reading and seeing your progress! I was happy to see another pits as I had been wondering how you were progressing. Beautiful cake, beautiful ganache, and beautiful photography! Thank you also for showing us the behind the scenes photo shoots! It’s amazing to me (creative-challenged person that I am) to see the set-ups to your gorgeous photography! Just lovely! Thanks for allowing me to peek over your shoulder! 🙂

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks Barbara, I’m going to try to include more behind the scenes shots like this in more of my posts and I’m glad you like to see the setups. I also like to see how other people pull their shots together. Be sure to check out a few of my other photo tips in my photography section for more ideas and tips.

  • cindy

    You just go right ahead and keep posting your lovely creations…although I will confess, I always seem to have a sudden urge for chocolate;) The photos are divine, and those plates are fabulous! It’s always so much fun when you come across a really cool piece with some history…but those are really cool history!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much Cindy. My cake making is kinda getting out of hand-lol. Yes, the plates are cool history. I’ve also added some important additional information about the safety of using antique pewter plates for food serving that I forgot to include earlier.

  • Jeanne

    Lisa – Love your photographs and your styling tips…and those plates…Wow!…are they really from the Civil War(?)…such history…if those plates could talk. Here’s a food question – is pewter food safe?

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks Jeanne and I appreciate your thoughtful question about the safety of pewter in food serving. I neglected to add a cautionary line about that in my original text and your query reminded me to add a special note to the post to that effect.
      Antique pewter is NOT considered food safe. I used the plates here for display purposes only and that’s an important point that is now amended in my text. Thanks again and have a great weekend.

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