Have you ever made a ganache? If you haven’t, does it sound intimidating? Don’t worry! In about 2 minutes you will know all you need about ganache. It sounds a lot scarier than it is!
The one thing you need to know is to be called a “ganache”. It must contain chocolate. It doesn’t matter if it is white, milk, dark or whatever! But, if you think about it, you melt chocolate then let it cool, you know it would be hard. You would bite into it and it would snap like a candy bar or bark.
A ganache is a soft chocolate. That way when it sets, it will be soft and not have the snap of melted chocolate. A ganache is chocolate plus liquid. Usually, the liquid is heavy cream, but it does not have to be. It can be puree, fruit juice or include extracts, citrus zests or nut pastes.
When you take a look at your ganache recipe, most will tell you to chop up your chocolate into small pieces. The reason is that there is usually about twice as much chocolate as there is cream/liquid in the recipe. They tell you to chop up the chocolate because if you don’t, you will heat up the liquid and pour it over the chocolate. And if it is a big chunk of chocolate, the cream will cool before it can melt the chocolate completely. So, the chopped chocolate will melt faster. Some may say “lazy”, but I say “efficient”.
We make hundreds of pounds of ganache a week at Finesse Pastries and I am not going to sit there and chop all that chocolate up. What I like to do is bring a pan of water to a boil. And once it is at a full boil, you can turn the heat off and set the bowl of chocolate on top. That way, the steam will melt the chocolate without someone sitting there and stirring it. It also takes out the risk of the chocolate burning because you turned off the boiler. Worst case is you forget about it, the water will cool and the chocolate will harden and you start over! Then all you have to do is warm the liquid and combine with the chocolate. You do not have to completely boil the liquid because the chocolate is already melted, but just warm it enough to combine with the warm chocolate. If you pour cold cream over hot chocolate, the chocolate will seize and make chocolate chips. If this does happen, don’t freak out! All you have to do is make a double boiler and re-melt the entire ganache.
Once you whisk the chocolate and liquid together, put it in the refrigerator until it is piping consistency. If it gets too hard, put it in the microwave for ten seconds at a time in the microwave and stir. If it gets too loose, place it back in the refrigerator. Once it is piping consistency, you can pipe the filling down the row of shells that are faced upwards. Then squish! After they set there’s only one more important thing to do… Enjoy!!