The simple mixture of chocolate and cream is a staple in every pastry kitchen because it is a product that is really versatile. Ganache can be used as a glaze, a filling for truffles and cakes or whipped into a frosting. It can as be mixed with several different ingredients to provide endless flavor combinations. Ganache can be made with dark, milk or white chocolate and the ratio of chocolate to cream used will determine what the ganache can be used for.
Equal portions of cream to chocolate 1:1
Example: 5oz of Cream + 5oz of Dark Chocolate
Milk Chocolate or White Chocolate
Reduce amount of cream to achieve the same consistancy, cream is reduced to 75% the weight of the chocolate.
Example: 4oz of Cream + 6oz of Milk or White Chocolate
The portions above will result in a ganache that while still warm can be used to glaze cakes and tortes or as a fondue. If the ganache has set up, this ratio can be used as piped truffle filling for molded truffles.
Ratio of cream to chocolate 1:2
Example: 4oz of Cream + 8oz of Dark Chocolate
Milk Chocolate or White Chocolate
Ratio of cream to chocolate 1:2.5
Example: 3oz of Cream + 7.5oz of Milk or White Chocolate
The portions above will result in a hard ganache that when it sets up can whipped into a thick frosting or be molded into hand rolled truffles. White Chocolate amount may need to be higher for truffles depending on the cooking environment. Milk and white chocolate should be given 24 hours to set up properly at room temperature.
Ganache in it's simplest form of cream and chocolate is extremely rich and wonderful on its own, but sometimes adding flavor can help give extra depth to a dessert. Flavor can be added to the cream during the heating process so these flavors can infuse into the heavy cream. Items that are great to infuse into ganache are: whole spices, fresh herbs, teas, or vanilla beans.
Infuse flavor into heavy cream for a flavored ganache.
- Add the flavored item such as fresh mint leaves into the heavy cream while heating.
- Bring cream to a boil and then remove the pan from the heat.
- Cover the pan and let the flavors steep for about 20 minutes.
- Reheat the flavored heavy cream to the proper temperature.
- Strain the hot liquid over the top of the chopped chocolate to remove the mint leaves.
- Let the hot liquid set on top of the chocolate for about 2-3 minutes then stir gently until smooth.
Add flavors such as alcohol into ganache.
- Heat the heavy cream until it begins to simmer (go just past a scald stage)
- Pour the hot cream over the top of chopped chocolate and let it sit for about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir gently with a spatula until the ganache mixture becomes smooth.
- Add in favorite flavor of alcohol. **Use strong flavored alcohol to balance with the chocolate.
- Caution - when using alcohol reduce the amount of cream so the ganache sets up properly. Example: If using 2oz of alcohol then reduce cream by 2oz
- Grainy - Cream may have been too hot when added or the ganache has been overworked
- Does not firm up - The ratio of cream was too high, add in more melted chocolate and continue to let set up
- Dull ganache - Try adding in a little butter or corn syrup to the mixed liquid ganache to increase the shine
- Ganache separates - Did not use the proper type of chocolate (chocolate chips or chocolate coating will separate) The cream may have been too hot or too much liquid flavoring such as alcohol was added.