Go-To Glorious Ganache

By Patti Cook, BA, MS, Ed.D., Culinary Grad and B & P Student

I’ve learned ganache is a building block for many desserts. It is also one of the tastiest, easiest and most versatile recipes I’ve learned to cook in the baking and pastry program. I’m not quite sure how I’ve lived without it all this time. It’s an absolute must for the serious foodie. Once you know how to make ganache, your go-to dessert wow power increases exponentially.

Even if you don’t know what it is, you’ve probably had ganache before. Ganache is a mixture of chocolate, cream and butter. Depending on the ratio of chocolate to cream, it is used as a piped decoration, as a filling or as a base for candies. Since I’ve gotten the hang of ganache, I’ve been inspired to create chocolate decorations on my desserts, make a filling for meringues and make chocolate truffles.

Some keys to success include using high-quality ingredients, including 65%-cacao or higher dark chocolate, room-temperature (soft) unsalted butter and heavy (not whipping) cream. It’s important to both finely chop the chocolate so it thoroughly melts and to let the hot cream, chocolate and butter sit for a few minutes before stirring. This allows the chocolate and butter to melt without separating. Whisking at the end assures a smooth and creamy texture, deep chocolate flavor and a nice sheen, with no air bubbles or lumps.

To make a light ganache for piping:

Bring ¼ cup cream to a boil and pour it over 4 ounces 65% (or higher) dark chocolate (finely chopped) and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature) in a small bowl. Let sit until the chocolate is almost melted. Stir to combine and then thoroughly whisk until smooth. Let cool. Spoon into a piping bag or a plastic bag (with one corner snipped) and use the ganache to garnish cakes, cookies or other desserts.

 

To make a medium ganache for filling and the best sandwich cookies in the world:

Bring 2 tablespoons cream to a boil and pour over 4 ounces 65% (or higher) dark chocolate (finely chopped) and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature) in a small bowl. Let sit until the chocolate is almost melted. Stir to combine and then thoroughly whisk until smooth. Let cool. Use as a filling for cakes, pies, cookies or other desserts. I love meringues—and ganache sandwiched between meringue cookies is a heavenly mix of creamy and crunch.

 

To make a heavy ganache and the best chocolate candy in the world:

Bring 2 tablespoons cream to a boil and pour over 6 ounces 65% (or higher) dark chocolate (finely chopped) and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature) in a small bowl. Let sit until the chocolate is almost melted. Stir to combine and then thoroughly whisk until smooth. If the chocolate hasn’t melted enough, microwave at 50% power in 15-second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until semi-firm. Roll 1 tablespoon of the ganache into balls. If desired, roll in chopped nuts (pistachios are especially pretty and delicious), toasted coconut, cocoa powder or, even, sprinkles.

 

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to our blog and stay up to date with Escoffier Online, industry news and the newest cooking trends!

Recommended Posts