Thursday, April 4, 2013

Glorious Ganache!

Did you know that Chocolate Ganache is one of the easiest and most versatile Frosting/Filling options for desserts? It is so rich and decadent that most people assume it must be difficult to make. (Also, the word "ganache" sounds awfully fancy, doesn't it? Most people assume French = fussy) 
But with only two ingredients, ganache is actually really simple to make, and it tastes so sophisticated. Check out what you can do with a basic ganache:
 Chocolate Ganache Truffles

Chocolate Ganache as a frosting or filling for cakes

Poured Ganache (which is simply ganache that has not chilled
to the point of being firm yet) gives you a beautifully glossy glaze on cakes.
Basic Chocolate Ganache recipe:
12 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate (use good quality chocolate)
1 2/3 Cups Heavy Cream (use 1/3 Cup less for truffles)
Chop chocolate into small pieces.
In a saucepan, heat the cream until it starts to boil. Turn off the heat and add in the chocolate pieces. With a heatproof spatula, stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted.
Pour this mixture into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate as directed below:
For Truffles: Refrigerate several hours until VERY firm. Scoop out small spoonfuls of the ganache and roll into balls, then roll the balls in chopped nuts, cocoa powder, cake crumbs, whatever topping you wish.
For thick rich frosting: Refrigerate several hours until firm but not totally hard (4 hours worked for me) check it every hour or so to see if it is the right consistency. If it gets too hard, you can always leave it at room temp or even microwave it very briefly to get it back to frosting consistency. Frost cake. Store the cake at room temp or refrigerated, not it a very warm place.
Poured Ganache: You don't want to chill this very long, basically you just want to get it down to where it is not HOT anymore. If you use it while it is very hot, it will thin out a lot. So what I do is refrigerate for ten minutes at a time. Every ten minutes I check it and stir it, and take it out when it is thick but still pourable. To top a cake with poured ganache, start by pouring it in the center of the cake and spreading outward toward the edges of the cake. I like to let it droop over the sides a bit.

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