Ganache - What is quickest?
Posted: 28 January 2013 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]
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What are my options for quick and easy ganache?  I am working from home but am trying to fit making some between emails and conference calls. 

I have some 62% Scharrfenberger, some 70% Lindt, and 60.3% Callebaut Callets

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Posted: 28 January 2013 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi, CRenee!

Equal weight chocolate and ...

sour cream—yum!  Rose’s sour cream ganache.  Make sure it’s room temp and stir in to melted chocolate.
cream (of course, but you know that)—bring to a near-boil adn pour over the chopped chocolate; after about 2 minutes, begin stirring, slowly, from the inside out until it’s all smooth.
coconut milk—use like cream.  (If you happen to have any in the fridge, you can just take off the “solid” top for a richer ganache)

You can also add about 2T of liquor of choice for each 8 oz chocolate.

For all ganaches, I stir very gently every 1/2 hour or so to help equalize the temperature until it’s cool and usable, which is often overnight.

If you want to make truffle centers, use 1/2 weight of cream/coconut milk/sour cream, rather than equal weight to chocolate.  Also, for ganache centers, you can sub nut butters—-perhaps for “regular” ganache also.

I think Hector has subbed fruit purees for liquid, also, to excellent effect!

Any other fun ganaches out there?

Happy ganaching!

—ak

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Posted: 28 January 2013 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thank you Anne, I will go with the heavy cream and chocolate.  I wonder if I can make regular ganache and then take part and thin it out to make a pourable glaze.  I need a glaze and a spreadable version for two different cakes.

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Posted: 28 January 2013 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I would think so, as you can always re-melt ganache, so unless the “order of ingredients” or something gets in the way it should work fine.

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Posted: 29 January 2013 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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re: the glaze, I would just warm the ganache slightly with a few seconds in the microwave.  It will take far less heat to melt the ganache than it does to melt chocolate.  Then when it cools to a thick-but-pourable texture, pour it over the cake.  I wouldn’t thin it down much as it won’t have the right texture on the cake, too thin and it will show every little bit of texture through the thin layer.

For quick ganache, I use the food processor to grind the chocolate into the smallest pieces possible.  While that’s grinding I heat the cream in a pyrex in the microwave, then make the ganache.  If I need it to cool quickly I pour it into a sheet pan instead of a bowl, but I try not to put it into the fridge as that seems to make it more likely to set up a bit grainy.  However, cleaning up the food processor doesn’t fall into the category of “quick”.

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Posted: 29 January 2013 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Speaking of not refrigerating—if you ever want to make truffles, if you don’t refrigerate the ganache but just leave it to set (takes around 14 hours or so), then you can roll it into balls with little mess, as it’s not sticky.  For some reason, the refrigerator adds the gookiness.

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Posted: 29 January 2013 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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thank you, Julie.  that pouring in sheet pan to cool is a great idea….and thank you for the warnings on the fridge…. I have seen that and this is good reminder, I might have forgotten.

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Posted: 30 January 2013 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hey CRenee, I suppose you have already made your ganache, so I’m probably too late for what you were doing yesterday. However, in the future you might consider the following approach:

What I like to do is slightly different than the conventional approach of adding hot cream to chopped chocolate. Instead, what I like to do is bring the heavy cream to a boil and then remove the pan from the heat as soon as boiling begins (I have an electric stove top, but I think you can just turn the flame off if you use a gas stove). At this point I like to add a little rosemary to the boiled heavy cream. Just add the leafy part (adding the stem imparts a bitter taste to the ganache) and let the cream and rosemary set for about 30 minutes. This will allow the oils from the rosemary to infuse with the heavy cream. Next, I melt the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water until most of it has melted and there are just a few chunks left in the pot. I remove the pot from the double boiler and wipe down the bottom of the pot so no water will contaminate the chocolate and cream mixture and then stir the chocolate until the few remaining lumps are gone and it’s nice and smooth with a creamy texture. At this point I then add the cooled cream and rosemary mixture to the melted chocolate by pouring the mixture through one of those wire mesh type sieves with a handle. The mesh doesn?t have to be superfine. It just has to be fine enough that the rosemary leaves do no pass through the sieve. Then I stir the melted chocolate and cream mixture until everything has blended into a nice homogeneous mixture with no visible distinction between chocolate and cream (the same as you would using the conventional method of adding hot cream to solid chocolate chunks).

Using this method I have never had a problem with my ganache setting properly. The nice thing I like about this method is that it also helps ensure that you will not scald the chocolate by adding something too hot to it too quickly. If you are looking for a thinner consistency then you can add some olive oil. Anywhere from 1-2 Tbsp to ? cup, depending on how large of a batch you?re making and how much you want to thin its consistency. Doing this adds a nice flavor and also adds a nice sheen to the ganache.

This isn?t the quickest method which is what you were looking for yesterday, but because it requires some cooling time for the cream and rosemary to be infused it allows you to get some other chores done around the house between steps. Overall this may take 45 minutes to an hour to complete, but each step, except for the cooling part, will only take about 5-10 minutes to complete. One other thing to consider here is you can play around with the herbs you might like to try infusing with your cream. I?ve only done it with rosemary and I haven?t been disappointed. However, one of the nice things about doing this at home when you have time is that this is where your own creativity and personal tastes come into to play. You can try things you might like and develop your own favorite flavor infusion.  If you decide to give this a go, especially with a different herb, I?d love to know how it turned out for you.

Happy baking,
MP

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