How to make chocolate ganache for decorating cakes

by inspiredbymichelle on March 30, 2011

in tutorials

How to make chocolate ganache for decorating cakes

This is the first in a three part video tutorial series that shows you how to get those sharp edges on your fondant covered cakes.

How do you get your smooth sharp edges?” This is the question I get asked the most about cake decorating and I think the answer is a combination of how I use the ganache and the way I use two cake smoothers to get the sharp edge.

None of it is difficult but I warn you the videos are my usual simple presentation!!!

  • The first video shows you a quick and easy method for making chocolate ganache in the microwave oven. It show the consistency I use etc.
  • The second video show how I set up the cake using a base board and a very simple tool that gives the smooth edges. Link to this 2nd video.
  • The third video shows how I use two cake smoothers to finish the fondant cake with a sharp edge. Link to this 3rd video.

This is 1 of 3 cake tutorial videos.

I hope you find this helpful and it answers your questions. Make sure you watch all three videos to get all the tips and tricks.
Bye for now, Michelle

Michelle Rea
Inspired by Michelle Cake Designs

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate April 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Yum! I leftt a comment on your feb baptism post querying your techniques so these videos are just FABULOUS! I’m off to watch the second and third now – yay!



inspiredbymichelle April 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm

HI Kate, I’m glad you found them!!


Hannah Fedorowicz August 19, 2011 at 12:36 am

Your work is incredible! Thanks so much for this tutorial, it is very inspiring and I am now going to attempt a cake with ganache. I have used ganache for filling but never as an outer layer. I always use buttercream which I find is difficult to keep the perfect edges, perhaps I need to practice more! I’m originally from England where I work with marzipan and fondant, but now I’m in the states marzipan is very expensive and hard to come by a good quality. Since I’m in Florida I’m always concerned about the heat. Once you have covered your cake with ganache and gone over it with a spatula dipped in boiling water do you leave the cake out at room temp? (I can’t remember if you said that on the video or not) and I’m assuming you don’t put your cakes back in the fridge once you have covered them in fondant?
Again I am simply stunned at your work, it is perfection and your designs are just so brilliant. Thanks for sharing your talent with us.

PS I love your accent! It’s great!!!


inspiredbymichelle August 19, 2011 at 12:41 am

Hi Hanna, yes you have it right the cake stays out overnight till you cover it in fondant and it does not go back in the fridge.
A big thank you for your kind words.
I’m currently in New York and everyone has been commenting on my accent!!!
Have fun with your cake decorating!!
Bye for now, Michelle


keyla flach September 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Hi Michel!!!
Love all your post they are really helpfull!!! But im having problem to understand some things..maybe im missing it cause english its not my lenguage… but i would like to ask about the last part of leting rest the ganach…. its a night on the fridge? and the next day… you whipped? or just melt it 30 sec?? its incredible how it looks so creamy… i had try but i did something wrong… with white chocolate…it was too soft and i tryed to whiped… and looked like crumbled…or broke… funny.. :-/
Thank you so much for your passion and the way you share it with us…Its marvillius!!!!


inspiredbymichelle November 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Hi Keyla, quick answer – you make the ganache – store overnight in the fridge – bring out and bring back to room temperature – then 30 secs etc in the microwave to soften so that you can spread it with the pallette knife – you do not whip the ganache for this finish. With white chocolate you need three parts chocolate to one part cream. Thank you for writing and watching!! Bye for now, Michelle


Nettie Quist October 31, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Hi Michelle,
I am from Rotterdam, Holland ( and quite new to cake decorating) and I really love your cakes and tutorials. I just have been watching (for the fourth time) your video on how to make ganache and how to ganache your cake. I really like this and want to try it. Here in Holland we always use buttercream which I do’nt realy like.
I have a question though. You put your chocolate and cream in the microwave a couple of times. But at what highth. I can change my microwave oven from 200 up to 1000 . What do you use? I would be so grateful if you could ansqwer my question,

Love, Nettie from Rotterdam


inspiredbymichelle November 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Hi Nettie, My microwave is 1000 so I only really short bursts to melt chocolate. Use which ever setting you are most comfortable with and adjust the times. Times also vary depending on the batch size of ganache you are making and the bowl you are using. Have fun with your ganache. Bye for now, Michelle


Gace November 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Hi Michelle,

Than you for the tutorial ,your cake is beautiful.

Just wants to know how to store the ganache cakebin the hot summer.

Should I leave it on the bench overnightb until I cover fondants following night ( after I finish work), or should I leave in the fridge .

Also can I still leave fondants cake in the possible cool area during hot summer ( 35 c) or fridge. And how much I can keep the cake




inspiredbymichelle November 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Hi Gace, thank you for watching the tutorials. Leave the cake on the bench overnight and do not put it in the fridge once it is covered.
It is 35oC in the Australian summer but I always have air conditioning on as it is chocolate it will soften easily in the heat and also collapse if it is not kept cool.
I did a post the other day on the order of decorating a cake which might help you.
Have fun with your decorating.
Bye for now, Michelle


Nisreen January 22, 2012 at 11:38 am

Hi Michelle,
Thank you so much for all tutorial!
Can you please tell me which kind and type of chocolate you use for the ganache, I live here in Australia and when I buy my chocolate I buy Nestle or Cadbury brand(cooking chocolate buttons/compound Dark) Is this the right brand or I can use the normal type of Dark chocolate. I’m sorry I’m a bit confused last time I tried to make ganache with the new Cadbury melt Dark chocolate it turned out to be very soft.
Thank you so much for your time.

Kindest Regards


inspiredbymichelle January 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Hi Nisreen. as long as you are not buying a chocolate that is labelled as melts you should be OK. You are right the melts are a softer chocolate. In the baking asile of the supermarket you will find very good cooking chocolates – plaistowe, cadbury and I think Lindt has one now. This would be a good place to start.


Nisreen January 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Thank you so much Michelle! I got Hershey chocolate chips the other day and just wondering can I use it for the ganache?


inspiredbymichelle January 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Hi Nisreen, maybe not as chocolate chips are usually formulated to hold there shape during baking so they might not be the best to use. If you buy block chocolate then all you need to do is chop it into small pieces or grate it. Bye for now Michelle


tee February 6, 2012 at 5:55 am

Michelle, the white chocolate that you use appears to be some type of buttons, What brand of chocolate do you use? I remember reading that you purchase in bulk, is this an online supplier? Tahnk you


inspiredbymichelle February 6, 2012 at 10:21 am

Hi Tee, I but direct from a food/grocery wholesaler and I do not know of any on line – sorry. It is a nestle product.


Love_chocolate February 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Hi… i was wondering if you can use milk chocolate or if dark chocolate is better???

thank u


inspiredbymichelle February 8, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Dark chocolate always gives the better result only because it is firmer and easier to work with. If you want to use milk chocolate then this is softer and you will need to use the white chocolate proportions 3parts chocolate and 1part cream. Bye for now, Michelle


jenyh February 12, 2012 at 3:18 am

hi! thanks so much for this tutorial. i just wanna ask is a Dark Couverture chocolate block good for this ganache that will be covered with fondant or will it make the ganache soft? should i just use a regular compound dark chocolate block? thanks so much! =)


inspiredbymichelle February 14, 2012 at 6:29 am

the dark couverture will be fine – have fun


Juliani Borgfeldt February 14, 2012 at 12:26 am

Hi Michelle,

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I love your tutorial video and it does help me to understand more about things around cake decorating. Sometimes soon I will come to Australia for holiday around May I think and want to attend one or two of your classes. I will check your website.

Kindest Regards


inspiredbymichelle February 14, 2012 at 6:31 am

I hope we get to meet!! I’m actually have a quick trip to New Zealand in April and really looking forward to it!! Bye for now, Michelle


mis April 10, 2012 at 8:23 am

Hi Michelle
can you write here a recipe of chocolate ganache


Christina April 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

Hi Michelle,

Just watched you’re tutorial on how to get sharp edges while covering the cake with fondant. Brilliant! Thankyou.
Michelle I would really like to know , once my cake is finished with ganache and covered with fondant how long can it stay out at a room temperature say about 28 degrees? a few days???I would really like to advice my customers accordingly.

Thanks so much.



inspiredbymichelle April 26, 2012 at 1:32 am

Hi Christina, at 28oC the cake needs to be in air-conditioning only because the chocolate ganache can soften. You can get a couple of days after the cake is completed – if you look at my tutorials section there is a time line and the cake will stay fresh for at least 2 – 3 days after I have completed a cake if kept in cool conditions. Once the cake has been cut then it needs to be stored covered in the fridge. I hope that makes sense!! Bye for now, Michelle


Christina May 7, 2012 at 5:23 am

Thank you Michelle , you’re truly wonderful.



Ann May 21, 2012 at 5:07 am

What’s your recipe for the chocolate ganache? Not the white one, just the brown semi sweet choc one.


inspiredbymichelle May 21, 2012 at 5:09 am

Hi Ann it is 2 parts chocolate to 1 part 35% cream. For example 1.200kg of dark chocolate to 600ml of cream. Thank you for watching!!


Olusola December 4, 2012 at 12:16 am

Hello Michelle,

Can I use the Dr Oetker double creme which has 42% fat for ganache, I am making white chocolate ganache.

Thanks in anticipation of your reply.


Sarah January 23, 2013 at 7:09 am

Hi Michelle,
I was wondering if you have used any of the Callebaut Coverture Chocolate callets or Nestle Royale Chocolate callets for your ganache before?

I’m interested in giving it a try but not sure how if it would set the same as normal ganache that you have shown in your tutorials?

Thank you in advance


inspiredbymichelle January 23, 2013 at 8:59 am

Hi Sarah, yes I have used both with great success. In fact I use the Royal more than any other and love it. Thanks for asking. Bye for now, Michelle


Heather February 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Hi Michelle,
Thanks for these helpful videos. I have a question- I am doing a cake for Sunday. The layers are baked and frozen now. Can I defrost and fill/crumb coat with ganache on Thursday so I can cover with fondant and begin decorating on Friday? I dont want to do all the decorating Saturday.

or will my cake dry out or go bad in this time on the counter?


inspiredbymichelle February 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm

You can start filling covering and decorating now, Your cake will be fine left out for at least 5 days as long as if it is really hot you have air-conditioning. Once the cake is layered and covered in ganache it is sealed and will not dry out. Plus I’m assuming you are only using ganache for the layers etc and not cream and fruits etc. Have fun. Bye for now, Michelle


Melanie Ferguson May 19, 2013 at 3:20 am

Hi Michelle
I love your website. I’m doing a two tier celebration cake in roaring 20′s style for my rotary clubs 20th anniversary on the 27th may. Question: how far ahead can I make my ganache mixture? I’m so looking forward to this project – would love to share the finished result with you if you’re interested?
Thanks so much


inspiredbymichelle May 21, 2013 at 10:19 am

Hi Melanie, if you go to my tutorial page you will see a link to a page for the order of making a cake.
The ganache if kept covered and in the fridge will last a week at least.
Bye for now, Michelle


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