Ganache VS Frosting 4 Ways Theyre Different How To Use Them (1)

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6 Ganache VS Frosting

Are you making the most delicious cake ever, but can’t decide what to use on the outer layer- frosting or ganache? Well, both of them have their strong points and both help lock the moisture in your cake.

But then again which one is better? What is the differentiating point between ganache and frosting? Out of both, which flavours the cake better?

We hear people talking about them a lot but we don’t really know what the difference is all about. So today let’s find it out! But first, let us see what each of these are anyway. Shall we?

What Is Ganache?

Ganache is basically a mixture derived from melting chocolate in hot cream. As a derivative of only two ingredients ganache is quite versatile depending on the type of each ingredient and its ratio.

The kind of chocolate you use in making it strongly impacts not only the flavour but also the behaviour of ganache. Dark chocolate has a good amount of cocoa butter, hence the ganache will harden quickly even at room temperature. While the white chocolate ganache is much softer and will require much less cream for it to set.

The ratio of chocolate to cream is another important factor in making ganache. Too much chocolate will make the shell too hard which can be used for coating fruits or pralines in chocolate but not the entire cake. Conversely, too little chocolate and you get a runny ganache that will never set but will get stuck when you refrigerate it.

What Is Frosting?

The frosting is a mixture made by beating unsalted butter with sugar until it becomes light and airy. It may remind you of mousse. You can use frosting as filling, outer coat or for designing various elements like flowers, cartoons, decorations on your cake.

By blending ganache with frosting, you can even get chocolate frosting. It is a bit more complicated process as both ganache and frosting compositions are involved.

Alright, now let’s look at the differences between ganache and frosting.

Ganache VS Frosting

Ganache is much heavier than frosting as it has more cocoa solids and is unwhipped. On the other hand, frosting is much lighter as it relies on the friction between butter and icing sugar for the fluffy finish.

Ganache is compact and can be poured several times to make the coat thin or thick as desired. Frosting can be used to layer the top of the cake covering it completely in a beautiful light outer layer. It can also be used to make various decorations on the cake.

Ganache depending on the chocolate you use hardens giving a perfect hard shell. Whereas, frosting doesn’t get hard and is easier to slice through as it has millions of tiny air bubbles.

Following are the four main differences between ganache and frosting.

Ganache is more of a glaze while frosting is more of a whipped cream. Ganache is usually used for glazing to decorate cakes, eclairs, other bakery items and desserts. If you make your ganache thick enough, it may even be piped like frosting to create beautiful decorations like various shapes, chocolate dripping effect, etc. as it hardens quickly retaining the shape you create.

But the trouble with ganache as a glaze on top of the cake is that it hardens quite firmly. This may ruin the entire cake while slicing through it. Especially if the cake is very moist with lots of creams.

Frosting on the other hand works entirely differently. While ganache is poured on the cake, frosting is spooned and then set with an offset spatula to any shape we desire. It is like an extra-thick whipped cream layer covering the entire cake.

Frosting can harden as well if you let it sit in the fridge until it’s served. It won’t be as hard as ganache, yet it will be adequately firm to have a neat slicing through the cake.

Ganache is cream-based while frosting is butter-based.

Another important distinction is the way these both are prepared. Depending on personal preferences in terms of flavour and viscosity, each of these may get too heavy.

Frosting is pure butter mixed with sugar and beaten together until it gets light and fluffy. you may add various food colourings for colourful endeavours. For some people, frosting can get too thick and heavy as they can’t get over the fact that they are eating sweetened butter.

Ganache on the other hand is essentially chocolate melted in cream. The amount of butter and chocolate varies according to your recipe. It can also get overwhelming for some people due to its intense chocolate flavour.

Ganache can be easily made vegan by using vegan chocolate and having a plant-based cooking sauce. If you are wondering what a plant-based cooking sauce is, it’s a plant-based cream replacement that can be used to make a cream for your ganache.

As for the frosting, you can get vegan frosting by using margarine or shortening, but it will not be set the same way as buttercream frosting. Still, definitely worth a try.

Ganache has a stronger chocolate flavour than frosting.

Even if you make chocolate frosting using either cocoa powder or some melted chocolate in the buttercream, ganache will still have a much more intense chocolate flavour than the frosting.

So, if you are looking for a cake with rich chocolate flavour, go for ganache as it’s definitely a winner in it. If you want your cake cover to be softer, use more cream and a little less chocolate.

Frosting is much easier to slice through compared to ganache.

When you slice cakes and pastries, it is essential to get a nice clean cut. One without crumbs of extra cream and without changing the shape of the cake in the slightest. Well, on this front ganache can be a bit of a pain even when slicing through with a hot knife.

The problem is that if you let your ganache set and it becomes quite hard, it will break along the line. If your cake is also moist, it may even take parts of your cake which is highly undesirable.

Frosting on the other hand is much easier to slice through as it is soft. One can get a clean, nice cut every time they slice through the cake with frosting layers.

Can Ganache Be Made into a Frosting?

Yes, of course! You can have the best of both worlds and make your ganache into the frosting. Or at least something similar to frosting. For this, you need ganache which is semi-liquid, very soft, meaning it should have more fat than cocoa solids. So, if you are using dark chocolate, use less chocolate and more cream. If you are using milk chocolate, have a 1:1 ratio of chocolate to cream. And if you are using white chocolate use more chocolate than cream.

After melting the chocolate, let it cool down to room temperature. Now whip it passionately to make it nice and fluffy. If it’s warm, it won’t work. Hence, it requires to be at room temperature or a bit colder. To get a better result, add some room temperature unsalted butter and mix the two.

Does Ganache Get Hard?

Absolutely! Ganache hardens. The degree of its hardening depends on the amount of cocoa solids and hence on the amount and type of chocolate used.

A ganache made of dark chocolate will set really fast even at room temperature hence depending on your preference, the ratio of chocolate to cream has to be monitored.

Milk chocolate ganache will harden a litter but may be sticky to touch and won’t completely harden under room temperature. White chocolate on the other hand needs very little cream because it is incredibly thin and melty. Hence, the ratio of 1:3 of cream to chocolate is ideal for making ganache that gets hard and stays on the cake.

The Truth: Is Ganache Better Than Frosting?

One can really not decide this as both ganache and frosting serve the purposes differently. Frosting is great for sealing cakes and having a beautiful clean slice of cake and on the other hand, ganache is an absolute winner when it comes to imparting the rich chocolate flavour.

It depends entirely on your preference as well as the dish you are making. If you are coating a cake, both ganache and frosting will work depending on your preference of flavour and texture. If you are coating eclairs, then use ganache. At the same time, if you are topping cupcakes, use frosting instead.

There is this thing though. Since chocolate keeps for a good long time as compared to butter, ganache which is essentially chocolate-based would stay intact for a good time.

So, conclusively no one is better than the other. One must use ganache if you want a rich chocolaty flavour and hard texture. On the other hand, if you desire a soft, airy, easy to slice covering then use frosting instead. Or just mix the best of both worlds and whip up a ganache frosting!

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