December 5, 2009


The name sounds intimidating and so French.  Don't let that keep you from making one of the easiest and most delicious secrets in baking.  Ganache is that glossy frosting you see on fancy cakes, tarts, chocolate cupcakes, and cookies in bakeries.  It is also what truffle candies are made from.  Ganache is very versatile and used to fill desserts when whipped.  I use it to cover incredible brownies and mix it into whipped cream for amazing Chocolate Mousse.  You can add any flavoring you like to compliment whatever you are making such as peppermint extract, espresso, raspberry jam, orange extract, etc.   If you love chocolate, you can not live without Ganache!  After you taste this smooth, silky, creamy ganache you know you are Cooking The Amazing.

Here is the recipe.

12  oz.  Chocolate, semi-sweet
1 c  Heavy Cream
1 t  Vanilla Extract
1-3 t of Flavoring (optional, see step 7)

TIP:  Use high quality Chocolate.  Like Ghirardelli, Valrhona, Dove.  You can use Chocolate chips but the lesser quality brands contain stabilizers that will cause the ganache to not set properly.  You can buy the above brands in bars at most grocery stores.  Ghirardelli makes a great chocolate chip 60 % cocoa that works fine with this recipe. 

1.  Using a serrated knife, chop up the chocolate into small pieces or chocolate chips and place in a medium bowl.

2.  Bring the Heavy Cream to a slow boil on medium high heat.   Remove from heat as soon as it begins to boil.

3.  Pour the hot Heavy Cream over the chopped Chocolate in the bowl.  Use a rubber spatula, push the Chocolate below the surface of the hot Cream so it is completely covered.  Do not stir.
4.  Allow the hot Cream to sit on top of Chocolate for 5 minutes undisturbed.

5.  After 5 minutes, whisk the Cream into the Chocolate.  At first, the Chocolate and Cream will look grainy and a lumpy mess this is normal.  As you continue to whisk the Cream and Chocolate it will suddenly become very liquid and shiny.  Whisk until completely incorporated and all the chocolate is melted, approx 2 mins total. 

6.  Add the Vanilla Extract and mix well.  About 45 secs more whisking.

7.  If you are adding optional flavorings, add them with the Vanilla Extract.   Choose one Optional flavoring: 5-10  T  Seedless Raspberry Jam,  Seedless Blackberry Jam,  1 T Cognac,  1 T Espresso,  1  Orange Extract.  Or choose one of your own flavorings and adjust it to your own taste by adding more or less.

8.  If the Chocolate remains unmelted in small chunks after whisking, place the bowl of ganache into the microwave for 30 secs on high.  Remove and whisk until smooth and all chunks of Chocolate are melted.  If needed, microwave for 15 secs. more and whisk until smooth.  Your ganache is now ready for your recipe calling for ganache.

For an amazing chocolate mousse that melts into your mouth try my recipe here.

Or dip chocolate cupcakes into ganache and allow to set up at room temperature for a shiny smooth icing that is rich and amazing and very French.

 TIP:  Whisk slowly and avoid incorporating air into the mixture.  Rapid whisking will develop small air bubbles that will prevent it from pouring smooth.

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