If you have been on Pinterest looking at cakes over the past year or so, chances are you have see a few that look like the one above, with perfect chocolate drips cascading down the sides. It seems like a simple enough concept from the outside looking in, how hard can it be to get chocolate to spill over the sides of you cake? Making the chocolate spill over the sides isn't hard, but making it actually look cute is the tricky part. So, I have some tips for you so you don't have to go down the long, sticky road I went down to get this cute technique down.
My biggest tip is to make sure you are drizzling with chocolate ganache, not melted just chocolate chips, baking chocolate, or candy chocolate. Ganache is equal parts chocolate chips and heavy cream. So if you use one cup of chocolate, you mix it with one cup of heavy cream. To make ganache you bring your heavy cream to a light simmer over the stove, remove it from the heat, and add in your chocolate. However if you want to use your ganache for cake dripping, use more cream than chocolate, like 1 1/2 cups cream to one cup chocolate. This will make your ganache thinner and easier to drip off of the sides of your cake.
My next tip is to invest in some squeeze bottles, like these Wilton ones. These bottles will give you a lot more control over where your drips are going, as well as the size and placement of them. The first time I tried to do this I just put my ganache in a piping bag with the end cut off, and the ganache just ran out of the bag and went everywhere. Since the bottles have some suction and you have to squeeze the chocolate out, you avoid the free-flowing chocolate situation.
My last tip is to make sure your ganache is cooled, and your cake has been chilled. If you try to drizzle the hot chocolate onto a room temperature cake, you will melt your buttercream and the chocolate won't stick or stay on the cake. If you make your ganache thinner to start out with as I mentioned, it should be the perfect dripping consistency at room temperature. The benefit o chilling the cake itself is that the buttercream will hold it's shape and let the chocolate cascade over the buttercream without disturbing it.
As with any other decorating technique, it takes some time to get into the swing of it- but when you do, it is one of the simplest ways to class up any cake.