Yes, we love our chocolate ganache! If you have seen us at a show, or tried any of our baked goods, you will know that we love our chocolate ganache because we put it on every thing. I was originally intimidated by the prospect of making ganache, and then I learned how and voila! A great love was born. I am not a batter taster. We do it because we need to know what the product tastes like, but I do not truly enjoy the taste of uncooked batter.
However, a little extra ganache left over from today’s batch of tea cakes? Well then.. I can help with that. And I do, I lick that spoon every time.
How do we make our ganache? Well we are spoiled in our test kitchen. We order something called microchips, which has nothing to do with computer circuitry and everything to do with deliciousness. We use our microchips which makes whipping up some ganache a breeze for us. If I did not have the luxury of microchips, well then, I would be getting out my favorite Chef’s knife and cutting up some delicious chocolate by hand. If I really wanted a creamy batch that melts up with ease, I might use my favorite chocolate shaver.
Chocolate Ganache Recipe
So, ganache is pretty basic, melted chocolate with a little cream to smooth it out. Yum! Always gluten free, always delicious and just about always in the house. I of course cheat. I do not keep cream in the house, so I experimented with what I do have and I came up with these two cream replacements:
Recipe 1 – We only have milk in the house –
1 Ounce Butter
2 Ounces Milk
4 Ounces Chocolate
Recipe 2 (and my favorite) – We use Half & Half
2 Ounces Half and Half
4 ounces chocolate
Recipe 3 – CREAM
2 Ounces Heavy Cream
4 Ounces chocolate
Now for the fun part – making it. Regardless of the type you choose, the basic method is always the same.
Step one – heat the liquids – whether it is the butter and milk, the half & half, or the cream itself, the first step is to heat it. We do not want to boil it and we do not want to form a skin on it, but we need to heat it enough to melt that chocolate. I do stir it to make sure the temperature spreads quickly and to watch it so that it does not get too hot.
Step two – pour the warm liquids over the chocolate.Because I always pour my chocolate ganache, I usually weigh my chocolate up in a pyrex measuring cup. I then pour the warm milk/cream over the chocolate in the cup and let it sit for several minutes (approx 5). Sometimes I cannot wait and I stir it after three minutes (I am very impatient). You gently stir the confection until the liquids integrate fully and the chocolate melts. It becomes quite lovely as the chocolate melts fully.
If your chocolate has melted well, you end up with a half cup of melted pourable chocolate. You can either dunk into it, or pour it over your confections.
If your chocolate has not melted well, all is not lost.. you can fix that mess..
There have been a few times where I have either not chopped the chocolate enough, or not heated the liquids enough to get that chocolate to melt properly. Here is how I normally fix it: HEAT IT!!! SLOWLY. Yes, heat it slowly. I have used a microwave (with less success) and I have used a pan with water (way more success) to continue to raise the heat on the liquids enough to encourage the chocolate to continue melting. Because I did not have great luck with the microwave (it gets both warm and thick – thick makes it very hard to pour well – feel free to try, but I do not prefer it) I will explain the on the stove method I use.
Get a pan with some water in and and bring it to a boil. Take the pan off the burner and either put it on another burner or on a pot holder on another surface. Place the measuring cup with the not melted ganache in the pan of warm water and let it just sit for a few minutes. Then go back to the stirring. It should now be warm enough to integrate the chocolate into the liquid. On one bad bad day before the East Coast Specialty food show, I had to actually leave it in the pan on the burner letting it continue to heat up until it finally started melting the chocolate for me..
Good luck out there – chocolate ganache has replaced frosting here in my family. Less sugar, and honestly, tastes heavenly. Which is where we usually prefer to end up.