06 November 2009

Ganache. When chocolate simply isn't enough.

My husband is a chocoholic. Dessert is not dessert if it's without chocolate. His chocolate consumption is only topped by his Nutella consumption: a small (400 g) jar lasts a week. But mostly it's more like 4 days. So one evening, I saw him rumbling and rustling through the kitchen and the pantry. Like a tiger in a cage - going back and forth and looking again at the same places for chocolate or something similar. Luckily, he doesn't touch my chocolate stack - I only like the darker varieties, which he despises. Though he seemed desperate, he refused to eat the 60% chocolate (quite a low percentage for my taste).

Finally, I had mercy with him and made a ganache. With the 60% chocolate. And he ate the entire bowl. Just like that. Gone in a couple of minutes. This stuff is magic.

In the case you don't have chocolate-hungry monster in your house, you can do all sort of wonderful things with ganache: truffles (just roll the hardened ganache into balls and dip in melted chocolate), fillings and toppings for all kinds of cakes and muffins. And of course use it as filling for macarons.

And you can even use white chocolate instead of dark and add all kinds of fruit purees or spices. For example instant coffee, rum, lime/lemon juice, your favorite jam or just cinnamon. I know it sounds a bit lame, but the possibilities are endless!


100 g / 3.5 oz chocolate (I used a regular 60% chocolate - no special baking stuff)
100 g / 3.5 oz heavy cream (minimum 30% fat)
1 tablespoon cognac (optional)

Chop the chocolate and put it into a bowl. No need to go super-fine, but the chunks should all be roughly the same size. No big chunks, please!

Bring the cream to a boil. Simple as that.

Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate.Then let it sit of exactly one whole minute. Using a timer.

And now start to stir. If it looks like this, you're not ready with stirring.

If it looks like this, THEN you're ready stirring. Look at that silky texture! Now add the cognac and stir a little more until you see no more streaks of alcohol.

Then chill it and hope nobody touches it until you are ready to use it... It will get the texture peanut butter (imagine adding that to your ganache!) if you use the 1:1 approach of cream:chocolate. Of course the ganache will be softer if you add more cream and other liquid ingredients and harder/denser if you take more chocolate.


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