The glamour of chocolate ganache: A nifty cheat’s guide with 7 ways to use it

Chocolate ganache is seriously underrated. Here you'll discover just how versatile this two-ingredient wonder really is!

by: Julie Donald | 05 Jul 2017
 

Ganache...bless you!

For those that have never heard of it, ganache is basically a mixture of chocolate and cream. The resulting deliciousness can be used in all kinds of mind-blowing chocolate dishes. This is the cheat’s guide to making, using and storing ganache. Friday 7 July is World Chocolate Day so what better time to celebrate all things chocolate?!

ALSO READ: 4 Great tips for buying and storing chocolate for cooking

The ratios
Chocolate ganache is one of those 'un-recipe' type of recipes. Basically, it only has two ingredients, so depending on what you want to do with it, you simply vary the ratio of cream to chocolate.  

The guideline is:
For dark chocolate ganache mix them in a 1:2 ratio
(that means for every 250ml cream, use 500g chocolate).  

For a white chocolate ganache mix them in a 1:3 ratio
(that means for every 250ml cream use 750g chocolate).  

You can play around with these ratios for a slightly more or less solid result depending on what you want to use it for.  The more chocolate you add the more solid it will be.  Any chocolate can be used to make ganache, even un-tempered chocolate works brilliantly.

How to make it
The method couldn’t be simpler, all you need to do is heat up the cream in a pot to boiling. Remove it from the heat and add the chocolate (broken into small pieces). Leave to stand for a few minutes then mix well with a wooden spoon until all the chocolate has melted. Do not return it to the heat as it may catch.

How to store it
Once you have made it you can use it immediately or leave it to set. Pop it in a microwavable container and freeze any leftovers. Ganache can be frozen for up to 3 months. Take it out of the freezer the night before you want to use it, and warm slowly in the microwave to re-melt it on the defrost function. Be careful not to overheat it, or it will split.

How to jazz it up
You can add any number of flavours to the ganache. In general, add these after the chocolate has melted but before it sets or infuse them into the boiling cream. As far as flavours the sky is the limit (nuts, fruit, liqueur, spices, zest, you name it!)

1. Drip cakes  
Drip cakes are enormously popular, and the easiest way to make the drip effect is with ganache.  Use a melted ganache that has cooled almost to room temperature.  Ice your cake with butter icing first then using a squeezy bottle or piping bag, drip the ganache down the sides of your cake.  Test the consistency before you start. Too runny, it will run right off the bottom of the cake. Too firm and it won’t form nice drips. Also, beware of using very hot ganache as this may melt the butter icing.

2. Truffles
Once the ganache has set firm, you can use it to roll balls for truffles (usually the size of a large marble). The easiest way is to use a melon baller dipped in boiling water. Once you have your shaped balls dip them in cocoa, chopped nuts or sprinkles to finish. If you are making truffles, the truffle mixture can be flavoured with liqueur, orange zest, salt, spices, nuts, essences etc. Add these while the ganache is still runny.

My personal favourite is a white chocolate truffle flavoured with coconut liqueur, and rolled in lightly toasted desiccated coconut.  Or dark chocolate infused with smoked chilli flakes and rolled in red velvet cake crumbs.

3. Icing for a cake
Use the ganache to ice a cake, either once it is firm enough to spread, or as a glaze. To help set the glaze and make it shiny,add two tablespoons of liquid glucose (or golden syrup) and pour the glaze over a chilled cake.

4. Filling for a tart
Ganache tart is a simple chocolate tart. Start with a blind baked pastry shell, and fill with ganache. Leave to set and serve. Fruit, nuts or other flavourings can be added as desired.

5. Whipped ganache
The ganache can be whipped to give it a mousse-like texture. To do this, whip the cooled (but not set) ganache in an electric mixer. White ganache will go from an ivory colour to a white colour when whipped, which is a great option for a white cake icing. Once the ganache is whipped - work quickly before it sets. Whipped ganache can be re-melted and whipped again if needed.

#whippedganache I could eat this by the bowl!

A post shared by Sweet Samantha (@sweetsamantha_xo) on

6. Hot chocolate
This is a wonderful way to make the most mouth-watering hot chocolate. Heat a cup of cream or milk (or a combination) in a pot and once boiling add ¼ cup ganache and stir it in. The is the prefect end to a cold Winter’s day.


7. Mousse

Using the ganache as a base for a mousse allows you to create an eggless chocolate mousse. All you need to do is make a runny ganache (1:1 ratio – 250ml cream to 250g chocolate) and whip an additional 500ml cream to soft peaks.  Once the ganache has cooled, fold in the cream and place in small containers to set in the fridge.


Click HERE to feast your eyes on more decadent chocolate recipes!

Read more on: desserts  |  cakes  |  chocolate  |  baking
 

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