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Do you find white chocolate ganache objectionable?

Pei Dec 15, 2006 11:44 PM

How many people like white chocolate ganache?

I know there's no substitute for a deep, dark chocolate ganche on a chocolate cake, BUT:

It's the holidays, I need the top of the cake to look like snow.

I've never even eaten white chocolate ganache. Is it horrible? Given the choice between that and plain ol' vanilla buttercream, what would you prefer? My crowd tends to prefer flavor over sugar, which is why dark chocolate ganache would have been perfect.

I'm posting on this board because I don't need any recipes: just ideas about what people like and don't like to eat. TIA

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  1. m
    MakingSense RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 12:18 AM

    Buttercream is never pure white. White chocolate ganache just ain't right.
    Try a classic Seven Minute Frosting. Made with egg whites beaten with sugar over hot water, sort of a cooked meringue. It's fluffy, holds beautifully at room temperature and easy to make once you conquer the technique. Inexpensive and fat-free to boot. How can you not love it? Recipe in Joy of Cooking.

    This is the American cousin to the Italian meringue used in many European pastry shops. It was traditionally used in the South because it was inexpensive, easily made in rural areas with ingredients on hand, and held up well in the heat and humidity.
    Italian meringues are made with a cooked sugar syrup and beaten egg whites. They are beautiful but the Seven Minute Frosting is easier.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MakingSense
      Pei RE: MakingSense Dec 16, 2006 12:31 AM

      Thought about 7 minute frosting: is it cloyingly sweet?

      1. re: Pei
        MakingSense RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 12:41 AM

        It's sweet but, after all, it's dessert. And you trade the fat for the sweet.
        It you have a slice of cake covered with that much ganache, that's pretty rich - a helluva lot of ganache, huh? Or buttercream?
        I like the fluffiness the eggwhite meringue gives the frosting.
        Hey, try a batch! It's a cheap thrill. A little sugar and egg white.

      2. re: MakingSense
        MeffaBabe RE: MakingSense Dec 19, 2006 06:13 PM

        I think the 7 minute frosting is far less sweet than the typical buttercream crap you find on most cakes.

        I love the 7 minute frosting AND its pure white. You could also add coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) to the cake to make it more snow like and even add a few edible clear sparkles to make it glisten like snow... I have done that and the effect is awesome.

      3. chowser RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 01:43 AM

        Not objectionable but not preferable. I'm not a fan of white chocolate, though, and I know people who LOVE it. I don't mind buttercream but like white chocolate, it's overly sweet w/out any other redeeming flavor. Maybe an almond buttercream, it works with your dessert--if you add vanilla, plus use yellow butter, as MakingSense said, you won't get true white. I would love rolled marzipan frosting but I know people who hate it.

        4 Replies
        1. re: chowser
          dtremit RE: chowser Dec 16, 2006 07:07 AM

          Martha Stewart (yes, yes, I know) had instructions in this month's _Living_ for making marzipan penguins, and it used some sort of a white food coloring to get the marzipan to look snowy white.

          That said, I don't understand the objection to white chocolate. It's chocolate fat! What can be wrong with that? Besides, it'd go to waste anytime they made cocoa, otherwise :)

          1. re: dtremit
            julesrules RE: dtremit Dec 16, 2006 05:38 PM

            I'm with you, I love deep dark chocolate, but I also love cocoa butter as its own more subtle thing. I wish there was some kind of less-sweet white chocolate or cocoa butter product available though. Beauty products with cocoa butter smell so good to me. I hate it when people say white chocolate isn't chocolate, I take it personally. I'm sad that way.

            1. re: julesrules
              chowser RE: julesrules Dec 16, 2006 07:40 PM

              I think it's the subtle flavor that escapes me that others find delicious. When I've had white chocolate in anything, it just tastes sweet. White hot chocolate? Tastes like overly sweet hot milk to me.

              1. re: chowser
                julesrules RE: chowser Dec 19, 2006 05:46 PM

                No the flavour is not really strong enough to flavour something, I really haven't enjoyed any white chocolate-flavoured things myself. But I like to eat good white chocolate.
                I am starting to sympathize with the "it's not chocolate!" camp. I bought Ghirardelli "classic white chips" on the weekend, because their bittersweet are the best easily available to me and I just assumed the white ones would be okay too. But they are not chocolate at all! And, they burnt when baked so what was the point of leaving out the cocoa butter? I should have known from the name, but it even says chocolate on the package as part of the Ghirardelli company name. The worst part, they cost the same as the bittersweet, when I could have had confectionary chips for much much less.

        2. t
          tartetatin RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 01:48 AM

          I would go for 7 minute frosting - I love the consistency of it and it is very snow-like.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tartetatin
            revsharkie RE: tartetatin Dec 18, 2006 12:21 AM

            I agree. Our church ladies make 7-minute frosting for their cakes and I can't keep my fingers out of it!

          2. w
            wally RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 01:55 AM

            7-minute frosting is just sweet, though. I may have had a mint one once but it is just sweet. I would go with the off white of either buttercream or a white chocolate ganache infused with something. I have had white chocolate ganache flavored with lemon grass or mint or various liquers.

            1. orangewasabi RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 02:24 AM

              white chocolate is horrible, imho, in any form.

              people seem to like it though, I don't get it

              1. Pei RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 04:16 AM

                Seems like there's no easy answer. I think I'm going to go with dark chocolate ganache for flavor, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar "snow." Thanks all!

                6 Replies
                1. re: Pei
                  MakingSense RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 05:07 AM

                  The 4x sugar may well melt from the moisture in the ganache and look like dirty snow. You may want to make a thin royal frosting to brush over the ganache where you want the snow.
                  I'm not sure if decorating sugars which are large crystals would work or not. I've only used them in colors over white frostings and it didn't matter. Never in white over very dark chocolate.

                  1. re: MakingSense
                    Pei RE: MakingSense Dec 16, 2006 05:28 AM

                    Oh dear, so much to think about (and don't think I don't appreciate it).

                    How about "Christmas in LA," meaning gingerbread men playing in an evergreen forest devoid of snow?

                    1. re: Pei
                      MakingSense RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 05:39 AM

                      Pei, that is MY kind of Christmas!
                      No snow in Bethlehem anyway! That snow tradition was invented by the Germans. And then those Druid evergreen trees? Macy's and Madison Avenue kept it going.
                      I grew up in New Orleans and it was sometimes 80+ degrees on Christmas Day. I never could relate to that winter stuff.

                      How about some Gingerbread surfers and a few palm trees?
                      To hell with the snow! Problem solved!

                    2. re: MakingSense
                      Aloo0628 RE: MakingSense Dec 16, 2006 05:54 AM

                      If he's using a ganache, won't it firm up a bit after it dries? And if that's the case, won't the powdered sugar be ok without the protective royal icing layer? I don't speak from experience as I've never tried this specific technique, but I was actually going to suggest the exact same idea when I saw the thread (you beat me to it, Pei! :-) If nothing else, if he waited until the last minute to dust his cake with 'snow,' wouldn't it be OK long enough to get served and gobbled up?

                      And if nothing else, wouldn't a nice pillowy layer of fresh whipped cream do the trick as far as creating a snowy landscape? A bit delicate, perhaps, but oh so tasty and easy to control the sweetness levels. If your cake flavors permit, add a little peppermint extract to the cream for a holiday kick, yummmmy!

                      If you use decorating sugars, make sure to apply them before the ganache firms up, else the big crystals will just bounce off your cake. But I personally don't think the big crystals will look particularly snowy...

                      Oh and I agree w/ the rest of you...white chocolate is bleh.

                    3. re: Pei
                      chowser RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 12:35 PM

                      That'll look really pretty. And, even if some of the powder disappears, you just sprinkle before serving and it'll look like it snowed.

                      1. re: Pei
                        Hungry Celeste RE: Pei Dec 19, 2006 06:24 PM

                        I used to be a white chocolate hater too, until I had a better-than-supermarket variety. Turns out that I hated the fake vanilla flavoring & the corn syrup aftertaste...the "real deal" had a subtle, cocoa-y flavor note. Not superchocolate, but not awful like the cheap stuff. So do a white choc. ganache, but seek out a quality white chocolate, like Valrhona Ivorie.

                      2. wyf4lyf RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 05:09 AM

                        IMO, white chocolate ANYTHING is objectionable. Always. Period. Blech. Dark chocolate all the way!! :)

                        What about whipped cream for the fluffy white snow?

                        1. SanseiDesigns RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 05:28 AM

                          Considering white chocolate isn't really chocolate, it is not something to which I gravitate. 7-minute frosting will be prettier and lighter in texture and flavour - hmmm like snow - light and beautiful. I've never seen snow as smooth as ganache on cake. Depending on the guests, shredded coconut could enhance the 'snowy' texture.

                          What ever you end up with, just remember not to add yellow food colouring!

                          1. h
                            Humbucker RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 06:13 AM

                            Man what's with all the white chocolate hate?

                            It's sweet, creamy and rich. I like it. Whipped cream, I can live without.

                            1. h
                              hummingbird RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 06:25 AM

                              Unsweetened coconut for snow?

                              1. m
                                marlie202 RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 01:27 PM

                                I agree coconut would be nice-I don't like white chocolate at all-I prefer chocolate--can you use whipped cream in the design??It would be yummy too-good luck.

                                1. jfood RE: Pei Dec 16, 2006 01:42 PM

                                  As my high school principal said, "I don;t care if your white, black, green or purple."

                                  Likewise, with chocalate. I like white, semi, dark, red, purple, green. Just give me a great piece of cake. If I do not like the color, just slap a blind fold on me, tell me to open my mouth and if need be feed me forkfuls with a cold glass of milk.

                                  1. l
                                    laylag RE: Pei Dec 19, 2006 06:18 PM

                                    I know you wanted a frosting for a chocolate cake but just a thought... Red Velvet Cake (just a hint of cocoa) with cream cheese frosting for a really Christmas-y looking dessert. Throw on some candied cherries (red and green) and pecans for decoration or anything else you'd like.

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