The drip cake has the potential to be the most enduring trend within the baking community in many years. Since its emergence in 2016, the trend has been at the forefront of social media and there seems to be no end in sight. And why should there be? The drip is a personal favorite of mine, it boosts any cake from plebian to positively luxurious with the addition of nothing more than a bit of ganache. With that being said there are a few tricks to getting it just right.
It’s Black It’s White
There are two kinds of drips out there, those made with white chocolate and those made with milk, or dark chocolate. Even the most inexperienced home baker knows that white chocolate is a very different animal than traditional chocolate and it is notoriously finicky to work with.
So why does white chocolate present so many unintended issues? Some would say that the answer lies in the contention that white chocolate is not actually chocolate at all – allow us to elucidate. Dark chocolate is made up of cocoa solids, sugar, and emulsifiers. In contrast, white chocolate is missing what many consider to be a vital ingredient: chocolate. These cocoa solids are instead replaced with milk solids, then mixed with sugar, a fatty substance called lecithin, and cocoa butter.
White chocolate is often-times made of very poor quality ingredients, be wary of any chocolate that looks too white or is priced very cheaply. Some manufacturers replace the cocoa butter in their recipes with vegetable oils, palm oils, and other fillers. For white chocolate drips the integrity of the chocolate is less important than for other applications but no one ever wants to feel like she’s been “had”.
Great White Hope
The thing about white chocolate is it’s not exactly white, in fact, it’s more of an ivory color so when creating drips if you want them to be truly white you’ll need to add white food coloring to the mix. We recommend Americolor’s Bright White food coloring gel. Just about ½ a teaspoon should get you a nice white without changing the viscosity of the ganache too much.
Some people think using candy melts are an acceptable alternative; don’t make this mistake. Candy melts are created with sub-par ingredients and that is directly reflected in their flavor and mouthfeel.
Once your ganache has been made and thoroughly whisked together you must have the patience to let it cool properly before use, otherwise, you risk drips that simply slide all the way down your cake. Give your ganache about 20-30 minutes to cool to room temperature. Trying to speed up this process by sticking ganache in the fridge doesn’t seem to be very effective either, the chocolate tends to cool unevenly and will leave you with gloppy drips.
Be wary of stirring too frequently as well as this could lead to fat separation. An oil will emerge on the top of the chocolate and the ganache will become dull and grainy in appearance. If, heaven forbid, your ganache should split you can remedy the situation. Simply, reheat your ganache to 92F and stir until everything has recombined then begin the process of cooling all over again.
Be sure to properly chill your iced cake before using your ganache. Give it at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before attempting the drip. These cooler temperatures will help ensure that you don’t have a drip that travels too fast down the side of your cake and simply pools at the bottom of your serving platter.
Once more we encourage patience with this process. Before jumping headlong into your drip cake, do a practice drip. If it slides right down to the bottom, your ganache is still too warm, give it a little more time. If it instead globs up or doesn’t travel nearly as far as you might have hoped, reheat the ganache slightly in the microwave (no more than 10 seconds) give it a stir and try again. Once you have achieved the ideal temperature you will achieve the ideal drip.
Start With the Sides
Whether you use a spoon or a squeeze bottle for application we encourage you to start your drip with the sides instead of pouring your ganache into the middle and trying to control it all at once. By working your way around the edge first you give yourself much more control and ensure that your drips are exactly how you envisioned. Fill in the center after, being careful not to overfill the middle. This could cause the chocolate to start dripping down the sides a second time and leave you with weird double drips.
And that concludes our guide to the perfect White Chocolate Drip. Armed with our tried and true tips your success is practically guaranteed. And he said unto them: “As for you, go forth and make beautiful on-trend cakes” or something like that.
White Chocolate Ganache Drips
The perfect white chocolate drip
- 1 cup White chocolate (190g)
- 1/3 cup Heavy cream (79ml)
- 1/2 tsp White Gel Food Coloring
Measure out your white chocolate into a medium-sized bowl.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan bring heavy cream just to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to rest for a few minutes (approximately 5)
using a rubber spatula so as not to incorporate too much air, stir the cream and chocolate together until thoroughly combined. Add in the gel food coloring. Mix again, then allow the ganache to cool to the “ideal” temperature we mentioned above.