- Chocolate tends to lose its delicate flavor when its temperature is over 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 49 degrees Celsius.
- It becomes lumpy or seizing when coming into contact with even a tiniest drop of water.
As a blend of chocolate and hot cream, the popularity of chocolate ganache is largely due to its versatility. It can be used to coat cakes, frost brownies, dip cookies, or as a filling for cookie sandwiches. We can also add butter, liqueur, or other flavorings to create a variety of delicious flavors.
I like to make chocolate ganache in advance and freeze it for later use. If frozen, it can keep for at least 9 months without losing quality. Thawing frozen ganache is as simple as slowly reheating it in a water bath or double boiler. Placing an entire container of frozen chocolate ganache in a pan of hot water also works very well.
The following tips and precautions have helped me a great deal in preparing this sumptuous dessert topping.
- Chocolate chips are not a good candidate for melting because they contain vegetable oil that keeps them from melting properly.
- Chopping chocolate bars or chucks into small pieces to preserve good flavor and ensure a velvety texture.
- Making sure the bowl that will hold chocolate pieces is totally and completely dry.
- Working away from any possible source of moisture such as boiling water.
- Stirring often and gently to assure even melting and avoid overheating.
- Never covering chocolate during and after melting because moisture will condense on the lid, drop into chocolate and cause seizing.
It is great if you have a double boiler for melting chocolate. I usually place a stainless steel or glass-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Just be sure that the bowl is wider than the pot and its bottom does not touch the water.
Chocolate ganache recipe #1 has unconventional melting instructions, and can be found in The Essential Guide to Cake Decorating published by Whitecap books.
|Dark chocolate||5 oz. or 155g|
|Cream||5 fluid oz. or 155 ml|
- Place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure that the base of bowl does not sit in water.
- Stir gently with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
This next recipe is great for glazing. It is from Great Cookies – Secrets to Sensational Sweets by Carole Walter
|Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate||6 oz.|
|chopped into small pieces|
|Heavy cream||¾ cup|
|Light corn syrup||1 Tbsp|
|Vanilla extract||¾ tsp|
- Heat heavy cream and corn syrup together in a small saucepan over low heat.
- When it comes to a simmer, immediately pour it over chocolate pieces.
- Stir constantly to assure even melting.
- Wait 1 minute before adding vanilla extract and stir again.
- Allow the ganache to cool and thicken. Refrigerate it to encourage thickening if necessary.
Recipe #3 is for white chocolate ganache. It is not ideal for coating dark-colored desserts because of its translucency. It also has a softer set than dark chocolate.
|Chopped white chocolate||1 and 1/3 cups|
|Heavy cream||1/3 cup|
Bring heavy cream to a simmer and pour it over white chocolate. Stir until completely smooth. Allow ganache to cool completely before using. This recipe yields about one and a half cups of white chocolate ganache.
I learned recipe #4 in one of my baking classes, and prepared it most often as a filling for my favorite Parisienne macaroon sandwiches. It is in On Baking – A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals by Sarah R. Labensky with Eddy Van Damme, Priscilla Martel and Klaus Tenbergen.
|Bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces||1 lb. or 480g|
|Heavy cream||2 cups or 480ml|
|Almond or coffee liqueur||1 fluid oz. or 30ml|
- Bring heavy cream to a boil and immediately pour it over chopped chocolate. Gently stir with a rubber spatula until all chopped chocolates have melted.
- Stir in the liqueur and allow it to cool.
Well, I am sure you have figured out what theobroma cacao means by now. Here is the answer anyhow. 🙂