Saturday, December 17, 2016

Making Ganache

Double chocolate pie
During the holidays, my Dad and I manage the grocery shopping. It’s a relief for my mom who is happiest spending as little time as possible on kitchen-related activities. But it also poses a problem. Bewitched by a deep love of food, my Dad and I operate as if time were suspended any time we step into a supermarket. Dad starts in the cheese aisle, where he carefully assesses the smoked gouda, then reverently moves on to evaluate the mixed nuts  and to peruse the wine section. Should it be Merlot or Cabernet? And should it come from Spain, Argentina, or California? I head to my culinary playground - baking supplies - and ogle at the local honey and sparkly sprinkles. Then consider all the things I can create with chocolate: airy mousse, toothsome brownies, lush ganache. All the while, my Mom is tapping her foot and wondering when we will show up so she can get it and out of the kitchen, liquidly split!

Used to sculpt truffles, fill cakes, and blanket tarts, ganache is the home cook’s oh-so-easy-to-make secret weapon. It requires two ingredients: heavy cream and chocolate. Since the chocolate goes unmasked, be sure to buy the finest quality you can afford. 

How to Make Ganache

To make ganache that’s on the thinner side (and perfect to pour over tortes or spread over cakes in lieu of icing) start with an equal ratio of chocolate to heavy cream. To make ganache with a fudge-like consistency, use twice as much chocolate as heavy cream.

Finely chop the chocolate with a chef’s knife.  

Finely chopped chocolate
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. 

Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl
Pour the cream into a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, and then quickly remove it from the heat to help stop the water in the cream from evaporating

Pour cream in a pot and bring to a boil
Carefully pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a minute. The chocolate will start to melt. 

Pour cream over chopped chocolate
Pour cream over chopped chocolate
Stir the chocolate and cream, beginning in the middle of the bowl. After several minutes, it will start to emulsify and silky, smooth ganache will appear in the middle of the bowl. 

Stir beginning in the middle of the bowl
Continue to stir
Stir in wider circles to blend the rest of the chocolate and the cream.

Continue to stir
Continue stirring until the chocolate and cream are completely combined.

Mix until completely blended
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