I appear to be incapable of buying powdered sugar. Visiting the baking aisle has become part of my weekly shopping routine, as I have been going through flour like nobody’s business (I graduated to the 10 lb bag, but it’s still gone within a week). Picking up flour tends to jog my memory as to other baking supplies I need. Not so with powdered sugar, it’s been weeks and weeks and I still haven’t bought any.
Now I don’t need powdered sugar often, so I’ve been trying to find ways around it. The first time I wanted to make frosting and was missing the key ingredient I tried whirling some granulated sugar in the blender. While this method works when you have the super fancy $400 blender, the $30 blender provides less than perfect results. We still ate the cake of course, but the frosting was grainy, which was not what I was going for.
My second way around the problem (which I’ve used several times now) was to make ganache – a smooth chocolate glaze. I discovered ganache relatively recently, and it’s become a preferred frosting method because it’s less sweet, super easy, and uses no powdered sugar. And as a bonus, it sounds fancy!
Recently I made some lovely cakes using this Chocolate Banana Cupcake recipe from Love & Olive Oil. When it came to time to frost, I once again had no powdered sugar, but I also had no cream! What was I to do? Certainly not go shopping. So I decided to use some of the coconut milk and mashed banana left over from the recipe, in place of the cream. What I got was a pretty tasty ganache! It set up more slowly than traditional ganache, and was not as smooth (due to bits of banana), but it poured nicely and had a hint of banana flavor What I didn’t use on the cake I stirred into a cup of milk and heated up to make hot chocolate.
The recipe below makes enough ganache (with a bit to spare) for a one layer cake. You can easily scale up the recipe for bigger projects.
I like to use dark chocolate for ganache, it provides a richer chocolate taste which offsets the sweeter cake (as compared to semi-sweet chocolate). You can use whatever kind of chocolate you like, although I do recommend using a higher-quality chocolate, it will just taste better.
In the picture the ganche is pretty shiny, but when it sets up it has a matte finish.
1/4 cup banana, mashed
1/4 cup coconut milk
6 oz cup (aprox. 1 cup) chocolate, chopped
Mix the banana and coconut milk in a small sauce pan and bring to a bare simmer. Add the chocolate and stir. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes.
Stir the ganache some more – it should be mostly smooth (the banana prevents it from being completely smooth). Place your cake on a wire rack over a large pan (to catch the drips) and pour the ganache on. Allow to set up for at least 30 minutes. If you don’t have a wire rack you can tuck wax paper under the edges of your cake to catch the excess ganache. Once it’s set up, remove the wax paper.