Ganache Question
Posted: 06 May 2014 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Every so often I have some ganache issues and I usually end up reading up on ganache fixes.  Here’s my question:

What is the risk of heating the ganache to 115F or higher?  I understand that since it is an emulsion and that the cocoa butter will (possibly) separate from the cocoa solids at that temperature…YET isn’t the temperature of the ganache greater than that following combination of the cream and chocolate (adding cream and chocolate)?  I meant to take a temperature reading today after I used the food processor and forgot.  Will definitely do this next time. 


So, I ended up reheating the ganache to about 150F ... still looked grainy to me.  I used the immersion blender on it and it now looks great and silky smooth.  I will see how it looks upon further cooling.  It tastes the same. 


I decided to use a 1:1 ratio milk chocolate ganache with some semi sweet chocolate in place of the milk chocolate.  I’ve encountered differing views on whipping—do it at room temperature or do it chilled.  My experience with Rose’s “Light Whipped Ganache” has always been that colder works better even though instructions say 65F.  However, since I wasn’t even sure I wanted a whipped ganache, I left it out for a few hours at room temperature.  After placing some ganache on a metal spoon and seeing that it didn’t set after about 20 minutes, I decided to try whipping to expedite the process.  It whipped, but was very soft.  I pushed it and got a grainy mess. 


When this happens, I usually gently melt—trying to keep under 115F, but in my experience, the graininess never goes away completely.  So…next time it happens, I will try immersion blending at 115F ....or I may try reheating to the temperature of the ganache right after processing.  I will see how this mess turns out!  Thoughts??

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Posted: 06 May 2014 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Sherrie - I do not keep as detailed records as you but I recently melted some ganache and also felt the graininess did not completely go away.  If I stet out wanting to whip the ganache, I do so in an ice bath….  that once was the only way I made ganache.  San Food Processor I put hot cream on chocolate let the chocolate melt and then put bowl in ice bowl and whipped.  Probably not what you are asking but I think whipping cold works well but you have to be careful not to over whip

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Posted: 06 May 2014 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The ganache is still a bit grainy but only due to overwhipping.  I am hoping it will remain soft but I have my doubts—it seems pretty firm.  My house is around 19C even with springtime temperatures and I struggle to keep ganache soft unless it’s the middle of summer!!  I think I will make the ganache the night prior to needing it and then I hope the long, undisturbed set will make for an ultra smooth frosting.  Not sure if it will make a difference for whipping.

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Posted: 07 May 2014 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Update:  For the mini cake I remelted remaining ganache.  Chilled until almost like molasses and then I whipped it with a whisk.  Stayed glossy and supple while frosting.  Will see how the frosted cake fairs.  The previous cake with the slightly grainy grainy ganache has hardened—BOO!  I’m sending it with my hubby to work but it’s not going to be a luscious frosting.  It will be hardened ganache…any suggestions on how to serve it and make it less brick-like? 

I should add:  this ganache was done as per usual (hot cream added to choc in food pro), then remelted to 150F, then chilled and whipped (slight grain), remelted and immersion blended (temp unknown) and chilled and rewhipped.  So far it is glossy and looks nice on cake.

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Posted: 07 May 2014 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Not sure I can answer all your questions, but in general I find the best ganache texture comes from a long, slow overnight set.  Chocolate is finicky and doesn’t always do what you want it to.  I have also had a batch of ganache turn out grainy, and I had to re-melt/set maybe four times before it was passable.  Ganache will set quickly if you pour it onto a sheet pan, but I only do that in a pinch (like when I have to remelt four times). 

Pastry Chef En Ming Hsu uses an immersion blender for every batch of ganache, in order to help the emulsion and produce a smooth texture. 

re: your ganache frosted cake that is too firm, can only imagine that a warmer temp will help.  You could try something like draping a heating pad or warm towel over the outside of the cake carrier, but it would be imprecise and you’d need to be careful not to go too hot and melt the ganache.  A surprising number of people love cool/firm frosting, it will still taste great.  Slice with knife dipped in hot water if possible.

You can always add more cream or liquid to keep the ganache softer at cooler temps.  smile

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Posted: 07 May 2014 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for the suggestions, Julie.  I am surprised that the remnants of the ganache that ended up on my mini tester cake turned out so well.  It is fine…but the larger celebration cake, well…I am hoping there are no ganache connoisseurs in the group…ha ha!  I noticed a few places where I had used a warm spatula were more glossy, so I heated some spoons and went at the cake once again, but it’s still not silky smooth.  It does taste good, but as I read else where….more like chocolate butter!!  Biggest disappointment is the amount of chocolate used.  I finished off my supply of Lindt milk chocolate Piccoli—I think it is my favourite milk chocolate.  It has the most amazing caramel undertones and incredible smoothness.  Compared it to some Green and Blacks yesterday and the Lindt is by far my favourite!

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Posted: 07 May 2014 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Interesting to know about your preference for Lindt milk chocolate!  I like their white chocolate for the glaze on my cinnamon rolls. smile

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Posted: 08 May 2014 10:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Interesting you used Lindt and interesting it was milk chocolate.  Just earlier this week I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate and found it firmed up too quickly as I was putting on cake. I could not get it smooth and photo pretty.  The biggest trouble I recall with ganache ever was milk chocolate. 

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Posted: 08 May 2014 11:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Ooh yes…70% is quite high for ganache.  What ratio of cream to choc did you use?  I think the immersion blender will see more use in my future ganache adventures!

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Posted: 09 May 2014 01:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Sherrie - 08 May 2014 11:57 PM

Ooh yes…70% is quite high for ganache.  What ratio of cream to choc did you use?  I think the immersion blender will see more use in my future ganache adventures!

I increased the cream per the chart in RHC and added butter   It was well rec’d but I prefer 62%.  If I find the 70% on sale, I may use it for modeling chocolate

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Posted: 09 May 2014 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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It was well rec’d but I prefer 62%.  If I find the 70% on sale, I may use it for modeling chocolate

You can still use the 70% in ganache—just dissolve enough sugar in your cream to make it the equivalent 62%.  If you’re going to pay $$$ for chocolate, might as well get chocolate and not (cheap) sugar!  I usually get 85% and 90% and work with it that way.  Sometimes I mix it with cheap milk chocolate to average out the sugar to the % I want—you’d think it would give it a cheap flavor, but it actually adds a roundness.  Go figure!

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Posted: 09 May 2014 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I will often use chocolate combinations as well.  However, I have found a good source of decent 60% chocolate that isn’t outrageously expensive….Costco.ca (may have a options in the US as well) sells Galerie Au Chocolat (Canadian Company) in callets for about $100 for 10 kg.  It’s decent…has a slight coconut taste (though not an ingredient), very smooth, and well balanced taste.  I actually prefer it to some Lindt Excellence Single Origin Varieties that are in the 60% range.  I think I still prefer the Callebaut Callets but in all it’s a decent chocolate if you are willing to invest in 10 kg (BTW—I vacuum seal it in smaller packages so it doesn’t get consumed!!).

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Posted: 10 May 2014 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Anne in NC - 09 May 2014 11:11 AM

It was well rec’d but I prefer 62%.  If I find the 70% on sale, I may use it for modeling chocolate

You can still use the 70% in ganache—just dissolve enough sugar in your cream to make it the equivalent 62%.  If you’re going to pay $$$ for chocolate, might as well get chocolate and not (cheap) sugar!  I usually get 85% and 90% and work with it that way.  Sometimes I mix it with cheap milk chocolate to average out the sugar to the % I want—you’d think it would give it a cheap flavor, but it actually adds a roundness.  Go figure!


Anne, for years I 100% chocolate with sugar in the cream and just poured the sweetened cream over chocolate and butter. This was just then slightly whipped.  i think I may return to it.  It never gave me any issues.

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