I recently had a friend request that I post about Chocolate Ganache. I had a list of future blog post ideas and ganache actually wasn't among them so I figured, why not?
Ganache is actually
really simple to make and I use it for a lot of things: truffles,
frosting, glaze, sauce for ice cream, or for dipping. The basic recipe
is always two ingredients: heavy cream and chocolate, but what you
intend to do with the finished product is what determines the ratio of
those two ingredients. For example, if you want to make frosting or a
sauce, you would use equal parts chocolate to cream (this ratio also
stays closest to a liquid when chilled). To make truffles you would
increase it to two parts chocolate to cream (for a thicker, "fudgier"
consistency). For chocolate covered strawberries, or for coating those
truffles you just made, you would need three parts chocolate to cream
because this ratio will harden the most (people often add a tablespoon
of corn syrup or a dash of vegetable oil to keep the final product
You will want
to use a bittersweet chocolate. I usually go with Ghiradelli 60%
cacao. You will not get the same result with milk or white chocolate as
they have a higher cocoa butter content. I tend to use chocolate
chips, but if you get it in bar form just be sure to chop it into small
pieces. You can do this with a very sharp knife, or by banging the crap
out of it with a rolling pin (also a good stress reliever).
Yes, I said heavy cream. This is not low fat or fat free and any
substitutions will result in a completely different (and probably
disappointing) final product. This is indulgent chocolatey goodness.
Just go with it.
The easiest way to make ganache:
People assume anything with melted chocolate is fussy and
difficult, but ganache is quite simple. If you can heat liquid in a
pan, you can make ganache.
-Place desired amount of heavy cream in a sauce pan on
medium/low heat. You might want to stir it occasionally. Do not walk
away from it as you do not want it to boil at any point.
-Heat until tiny bubbles just barely begin to form around the edges of the pan.
-In the meantime, place desired amount of chocolate in a bowl
(metal or glass is preferable). Chocolate should be room temperature.
-Pour hot cream over chocolate and walk away for a few minutes.
very slowly stir the two to combine. You can use a whisk, but I always
use a wooden spoon because it means the chocolate will get on the
wooden spoon and I can lick it off. Its much harder to lick a whisk.
Things to Make With Your Ganache:
-Dress up the flavor: add orange zest, or a tablespoon or two of a flavored liquor, bourbon, or espresso.
make truffles: use the 2:1 ratio, pour into a shallow dish and cool in
frig, use a small ice cream scoop and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll in
powdered sugar, cocoa powder, nuts, anything!
-Frosting: use the 1:1 ratio, let cool on counter, transfer to mixing bowl and whisk to desired frosting texture.
covered strawberries: use the 3:1 ratio, while still warm dip
strawberries* and place them on a sheet of wax paper.
-If you need the
strawberries to cool quickly you can place them in the frig, but just
know they might sweat.
I hope you find all this chocolate
talk informative and helpful. If you're not salivating by now I have
not done my job. Do you have any dessert ideas that you have questions
about? Feel free to post them below and they will be featured in future Reader Request posts! That's all for now, I need some dessert.
*For extra flavor, immediately after
dipping strawberries in chocolate, roll them in other coatings such as
coconut or crushed nuts. You can also try this with bananas.