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Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

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asked September 29th 2019

Ganache & cake shelf life

To the Cakeflix team,

I am attempting the tank cake for my son’s birthday party on Saturday morning (5th October). It’s sunday evening and I have already made Paul’s chocolate cake and it’s currently in the freezer.

I have all the decorating ingredients ready but have no idea when is best to get the cake out the freezer and start making the milk chocolate ganache and begin decorating the cake to ensure it is still fresh for saturday’s party?

Please could someone advise? Thank you very much, Natalie x

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Hi Natalie

Ganache is pretty stable and will last a couple of weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. Make sure the cream is well in date or use UHT cream which will give a better shelf life. It can be made the night before you start decorating. Once made, cover the surface of the ganache with cling film to prevent a crust forming on it. It doesn't have to be refrigerated. However, if you decide to place it in the fridge, it will become solid. To bring back to working consistency, remove the cling film and gently heat it in the microwave on medium heat for 20 -30 seconds increments. Gently mix after each warming until you have a thick glossy emulsion.

Take the cake out of the freezer the day before you need to decorate and let it defrost in a cake box in the fridge. If you have it covered in clingfilm, leave that on to keep the cake moist. Paul's chocolate cake has a shelf life of approximately five to seven days so you could start carving and decorating it three days before your son's birthday. I bake Paul's recipe quite and lot and it stays moist.

Ganache and cake shelf life is discussed comprehensively throughout Q & A. To see helpful answers, links to blogs, please search 'ganache' and 'shelf life of cake' in the search bar parallel to the right of your user name. Also, search 'ganache' in the blog section to see related topics.

Please let me know if this helps or if you need any other information. 🙂

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That’s all so helpful, thank you very much. I’ll be making ganache today with the intention of starting decorating Wednesday/ Thursday.
Thanks again x

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You’re welcome Natalie. Hope all goes well, good luck and Happy Birthday to your son. 🙂

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Hi everyone,
Is it ok to mix milk and plain chocolate for ganache, I have various bars and brands that I want to use up?
Also how would I calculate the cream to chocolate ratio please.
Thankyou x

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Hi Sandra Bibby

Milk can be used to make ganache but it won’t be as strong as when made with cream. Milk has a lot less fat content so, although the liquid will blend in with the chocolate, it will not have the strength or shelf life. It will probably crack once dry and not have the same shine. You could add some butter into the ganache which will boost its fat content.

To calculate chocolate to cream ratios, take a peek at the Cakeflix ganache calculator which you will find under the resources tab. There you will also find other useful calculators. Here is the link:

Cake Calculators

Hope you find them all useful. 🙂

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