Ganache is a staple of chocolate work. It’s the first thing we make in our Introduction to Chocolate courses. Its soft creamy texture and the ease at which it melts in the mouth is one of the finest experiences in life! I’ve been meaning to get this post up for a while, so it feels good to be putting it out here.
The simplest way to describe ganache is “chocolate emulsion”.
It is cocoa butter, the natural fat in cocoa beans that makes chocolate melt when it gets warm and harden as it cools. This means if we want our chocolate to be soft when it’s cool we need to mix chocolate with a liquid. And that’s all a ganache really is.
Now there are some things to consider if we want to get great results every time. First of all it depends how firm or soft you want your ganache to be, and that will usually depend on what you’re doing with the ganache once you’ve made it.
The recipes I’m giving here are a rule of thumb for a medium-firm ganache which is quite versatile, but feel free to play around with the measurements to get the desired firmness for you. Just bare in mind the main principle above!
Secondly we need to make sure that the chocolate is properly melted with no lumps, and preferably tempered. (Another post is coming for the basics of tempering)
Next heat the liquid. I usually find it best to bring the liquid to a boil in a saucepan, so I know that I’ve killed any bacteria which may be present.
Let the liquid and the chocolate cool until they are ideally between 25-30°c and then start gradually mixing the liquid into the chocolate until you have a smooth and glossy mixture, that is the consistency of cake batter.
Now you can pour the ganache into a tub ready for shaping, into a frame if it’s to be cut, or into a piping bag for use later. Ganache should be left for about 12 hours to set fully at room temperature, but if you need it quickly you can put it covered in the fridge until it’s set.
This basic fresh ganache has a shelf life of up to 2 weeks.
White & Milk Chocolate
125g Whipping Cream
170g Whipping Cream
Troubleshooting: If your ganache becomes split and oily then either the liquid or chocolate may have been too hot. This can be saved with a bit of elbow grease. Try whipping it together with a stick blender if it’s too much to do by hand!
Another way to save a split ganache is to add a tablespoon or two of boiling water and whip it together. This will of course add liquid to your ganache making it a bit softer.