Friday, August 6, 2010

Ganache (All about, well, almost all)

Let's start with the meaning of Ganache.  Ganache is a smooth mixture of thickened cream and chocolate. You can use dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate.Dark chocolate gives superb colour and rich flavour. Butter that is added into the chocoloate mixture will result in shinier glaze. The taste and quality of ganache is very much dependant on the chocolate you use. It is also possible to add liquor, liqueur, gourmet flovouring oil, fresh or canned fruit puree, frozen fruits concentrate and nut butter .

The word 'Ganache' sounds really scary. It give me this impression that it is a very complicated stuff. I even came across a forum saying that amateur baker shouldn't try making ganache. Emmm.... Well, after all the research and experiment, I could summarize Ganache in 3 words... 'thickened/heavy cream, chocolate and tempreture'.

Room tempreture maybe vary depending to where you are and season. If you are in warm climate or season, your room tempreture maybe higher, which means, if you keep your ganache in room tempreture it takes longer time to cool off or thicken. So putting in refrigerator or soak you ganache bowl in a bucket of ice maybe a great option to let it reach or stay at the consistency you wanted. Vice versa, if you are at the colder climate or season, your room tempreture maybe be lower, therefore, your ganache may reach colder or thicker consistency at faster rate. Of course you can refrigerate them too if you want. If you want to maintain your ganache consistency in coller climate you may sit the ganache bowl on a small saucepan half full of simmering water or hot water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.

To make ganache, hot cream is pour over chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. The rule of thumb to make ganache is an equal proportion of thickened cream and chocolate.However, the proportion of chocolate and cream very much is depending on its use.

Uses of Ganache:
  1. Glaze or coat: one part cream & two parts chocolate; pour liquid ganache over cake when it is barely warm because at this point the ganache will not be too runny or too thick, if you want harder glazing/coating you should have higher chocolate ratio to cream
  2. Filling: one part cream & one part chocolate; pop in refrigerator for 25 to 30 minutes to get spreading consistency/ thicken before spreading it over the cake. For fluffier consistency whipped them just like how you whipped whip cream.
  3. Fluffy Frosting: one part cream & one part chocolate; refrigerated until thicken, ganache is ready for frosting or whipped when you are able to spoon the ganache and the texture hold, whipped just like how you whipped whip cream for fluffier texture and pipe it.
  4. Decorative Piping: one part cream & one part chocolate; refrigerated until thicken or until when you are able to spoon the ganache and the texture holds, dark smooth piping mixture good for piping words or outlines on the cake.
  5. Truffles: one part cream & two parts chocolate (less cream more chocolate harder texture); refrigerated until well thicken. Make make it into small balls.
  6. Chocolate mousse: two parts cream & one part chocolate (more cream less chocolate for lighter texture)
  7. Chocolates sauce for ice cream: cool until it is pourable or at the consistency you like
  8. Dips for fruits 
  9. Hot chocolate: Heat up milk and add as much ganache as you like
  10. Toppings/Spread for pancakes, muffins, bread

How to cover/glaze/ frost cake with ganache:-
Brush any loose crumb from cake, place cake on wire rack and pace wire rack on baking sheet or large plates for easy cleaning purposes. Then, we should crumb coat the cake in order to got smooth finished. Use about 3 tablesppon of ganache to cover the the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate for 5 minutes to set the crumb coat. To cover cake, pour remaining ganache or enough ganache on the centre of the cake and work outward quickly.

Updated 26/08/10:  Dip spatula in hot water to clean off any crumbs or acumulation of frosting. Warmed spatula can also smooth and even out frosting.

How to make truffle:-
Form the well chilled ganache into small ball using hand or melon baller and rolled into cocoa powder. Place on baking paper to cool and solidify. Store in refrigerator but serve at room tempreture

How to make chocolate mousse:-
Spoon ganache into serving dish and refrigerate or whip the ganache until fluffy for light mousse texture before spooning into serving dish and chill

Let's add some twist to ganache!!!!
The following 'added' flavouring measurement is according to 2 cups thicken cream recipe

Adding liquor or liqueur
add 1/4 cup liquor or liqueur  = reduce thicken cream by 1/4 cup therefore its 1 3/4 cup thickened cream

Adding gourmet flovouring oil
Add a few drop and follow ther recipe measurement as it is

Adding fresh or canned fruits puree
if add 1/2 cup of puree = reduce thicken cream by 1/2 cup therefore its 1 1/2 cup thickened cream

Adding frozen fruit concentrate
if add 1/4 cup of concentrate  = reduce thicken cream by 1/4 cup therefore its 1 3/4 cup of thicken cream

Adding nut butter
Add 1/2 cup and follow the recipe measurement

A Big NO-NO:
  • Never put them in freezer before whipping because it will comes out curdly
  • Do not over whipped ganache or else it will be chocolate butter 
  • If you decided to put chocolate bar in double boiler as well make sure the stainless steel bowl doesn't touch the simmering water because it will make the tempreture in the stainless steel bowl to high for chocolate thus 'spoilt' the chocolate i.e the chocolate will curdle/lumpy.

  • The coller it is the thicker the ganache and vice versa
  • Fluffiness: Cool and thicken. Beat / Whipped = Lighter in colour and may increses the volume
  • In warm wheather: keep ganache coated, frosted or fillied cake in refrigerator
  • Less cream More chocolate = Harder ganache
  • Lees chocolate More cream = Lighter ganache
 I hope this information is sufficient to ease your curiosity and difficulty in tackling ganache. Feel free to leave comments and/or additional information that I left out :)

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