How to get ganache just right

You don't need to be a master chocolatier to get the perfect, most decadent ganache. These hacks will make sure you nail it every time.

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Easy melting and mixing: Heating cream before pouring over chocolate

 

Chop the chocolate

  • Finely chop chocolate with a knife for easy melting. A serrated knife works best if you have a lot of chocolate.
  • Avoid using chocolate chips, they often contain ingredients to keep the chip shape and this may result in your ganache not coming together.

Heat the cream

  • Make sure you bring the cream to a simmer before pouring over the chopped chocolate.
  • After you have poured the warm cream over the chocolate it’s essential to let it stand undisturbed for 1-2 minutes  to give the chocolate a chance to melt before gently stirring. This way, you don’t end up with bits of solid chocolate pieces in your ganache.

 If it splits

  • If your ganache looks grainy, the emulsion has broken. This means that the fat molecules have separated. 
  • To fix a split  ganache, warm the mixture over a double boiler while whisking vigorously. 
  • If that doesn’t work, vigorously whisk in a small amount of room-temperature milk or even a liqueur. Don’t use cream as the mixture already contains too much fat and it won’t come together.

Pay attention

  • Pay attention to percentages on the chocolate label – it’ll give you a good indication of how much cocoa is in the chocolate. This will affect how well the chocolate melts and mixes in with the cream.
  • Don’t use less than 60% dark chocolate to make ganache.
  • Since ganache is only two ingredients be sure to use good quality chocolate and cream for the best flavour.

Dairy

  • Butter: Butter can stabilise a ganache and some chocolatiers say it ‘fixes’ the flavour. In essence it adds shine and richness a little goes a long way so 1tbsp will do, stir it in last.
  • Cream: Add just enough this is dependent on the purpose of the ganache. Always heat your cream to a gentle simmer not a boil as it can seize your chocolate  or split the ganache, you’ll end up with grainy rather than a smooth ganache (The ratio of chocolate to cream determines the consistency of ganache).

Chocolate ganache ratios

  • For a medium ganache: 1:1, equal parts chocolate and cream. 
  • For spreading, piping and making truffles: 2:1, two parts chocolate to one part cream. (ganache cools to a firm and smooth texture)
  • For a pourable ganache best used for a glaze and sauces: 1:2, one part chocolate to two parts cream.( can be whipped into a mousse-like consistency.)
  • For the greatest precision, measure the chocolate and cream by weight rather than volume.

Storage

  • Place a piece of clingfilm directly on the surface of the ganache before storing. This prevents a film or crust from forming.
  • Ganache may be stored at room temperature for up to two days. Refrigerate if you want to store it for longer periods

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