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Chocolate Ganache

Information, uses and recipes for Chocolate Ganache

 

See Also:  Tempering Chocolate  |  Origin, History & Uses of Chocolate  | Chocolate Recipes  |  National Chocolate Week

 

 

Jump to:-       Ingredients Used  |  How to make Ganache  |  Ways to use Ganache  |  Hints & Tips

 

 

What is Chocolate Ganache?

Chocolate Ganache is basically a mixture of chocolate and cream which, depending on how it is further treated, can be used as an icing/glaze, a light filling/frosting for cakes similar to a butter cream (butter icing) consistency, or as a firm truffle mixture suitable for filling tarts, rolling or shaping.  It is widely used by professional chefs, particularly in the pastry kitchen, but don't let that put you off,  as making chocolate ganache for any of the above purposes is very easy, although it helps to follow a few guidelines to ensure the end results are exactly what you want.
 

 

Ingredients for making Chocolate Ganache

 

What type of chocolate is used to make ganache

It is best to use a dark, bitter-sweet chocolate. When using dark chocolate for culinary purposes, use as high a quality as you can afford - i.e. containing higher proportions of cocoa solids, preferably 70%. This information can usually be found in the ingredients section on the label. 

 

Ganache can also be made with white chocolate and the same rule applies re quality and cocoa solids, preferably 40% cocoa solids. You can also use milk chocolate however it will not produce the dark colour which is so often desirable. When using either milk and white chocolate,  the proportion of cream to chocolate will be less than when using plain chocolate. For more detailed information about chocolate in all its forms click  HERE .

 

What type of cream is used to make ganache

It is best to use double (heavy) cream although part of the amount can be substituted with single cream or milk. However, it will have an effect on the texture of finished ganache which may also be less shiny.

 

Additional Ingredients

Other ingredients can be added to the basic ganache mixture including a small amount of butter which makes the mixture very shiny, liquid glucose which makes the mixture more runny and flavourings such as liqueurs, vanilla extract, rum or brandy. See below for quantities.

 

How to make Chocolate Ganache

 

Preparing ingredients for making chocolate Ganache

The only preparation needed is to break the chocolate into small pieces: the smaller the pieces the quicker they will dissolve and mix with the cream.

 

Basic Ganache Mixture

Much is spoken/written about the ratio of chocolate to cream with many cooks altering the ratios according to what the ganache will be used for e.g. as an icing, filling or truffles. However the basic ratio of one part chocolate to one part cream can be used for most purposes. Here are the weights and measures to produce about 360ml/12fl.oz/1˝ cups of ganache mixture which is enough to glaze a 23cm/9" cake or make around 24 -30 truffles.

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Chocolate 175g 6 oz 1 cup (very small pieces)
Cream 240ml 8 fl.oz. 1 cup
Butter (icings ) 13g ˝oz 1 tbsp
Liquid Glucose (icings) 5ml   1 teasp
Liqueurs, rum, brandy 30-45ml 1-1˝ fl.oz 2-3 tbsp
Vanilla Extract 5-10ml   1-2 teasp

 

If you want a very dark shiny icing, use up to twice as much chocolate.


How to make the chocolate ganache mixture

 

1. Break the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl

 

2. Bring the cream almost to boiling point, if using additional ingredients, add these to the hot cream,  then slowly pour the cream over the chocolate and stir constantly with a wooden spoon or balloon whisk, until the chocolate has completely melted and well blended.

 

Ways to use chocolate ganache

 

To ice or glaze a cake or torte with chocolate ganache

Use the mixture whilst warm and pour over a cake or torte for a smooth and shiny glaze. As mentioned above, if you want a very dark shiny icing, use up to twice as much chocolate to cream and add a little butter.

 

To use chocolate ganache as a cake filling or topping

Cover with clingfilm and allow the mixture to stand at room temperature until just cool - about 30 minutes - then whip with an electric whisk for a few minutes. The mixture will become much paler, light and aerated similar to a butter cream mix, and will increase in volume. Use immediately to sandwich together cakes or pipe to decorate the tops of large cakes and cupcakes.

 

To use chocolate ganache as a firm truffle filling for tarts

Pour the mixture into a pre-baked pastry tart case and allow to cool at room temperature. The tart can then be decorated if desired and chilled until ready to serve. Decorate with chocolate scrolls, whipped cream or make up some extra ganache and use as a glaze/icing as can been seen in the picture.

 

 

To use chocolate ganache to make truffles

Cover with clingfilm and allow to cool at room temperature for a minimum of 2 hours until very firm. Dust your hands with icing sugar and roll small portions of the mixture into balls about the size of a small walnut. Immediately roll in cocoa powder or your chosen coating. Chill until ready to eat.

 

Hints and Tips when making and using Chocolate Ganache

 

  • Always break the chocolate into very small pieces to facilitate quick and easy mixing with the hot cream
     

  • If the ganache mixture splits, try whisking briefly.  Mixing in  a few drops of liquid glucose will help bring the mixture back together but don't add too much as it will affect the consistency. Adding a little extra very hot cream can also help.
     

  • When making truffles, do not refrigerate the mixture before you form the truffles as although it will firm the mixture up more quickly, once formed the truffles may not keep their firm consistency when returned to room temperature.
     

  • If your ganache mixture has stood for a long time and is too firm for your use, it can be very carefully warmed up in a microwave however, only heat in short bursts of 10 seconds until the desired consistency is achieved.
     

  • When using as an icing or glaze on cakes, clear the top of the cake with a pastry brush to remove any loose crumbs, then spread a very thin layer of the mixture on the top of the cake and place in the refrigerator for a few of minutes to set. This is called the "crumb coat" and prevents crumbs getting into the top coat of icing so you get a nice smooth blemish free glaze.
     

  • The chocolate ganache mixture  can be covered with clingfilm and kept for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to a week in the refrigerator. Soften in the microwave as above before use if necessary.

 

 

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