Teleri (telerib) wrote,

Life Skill: Chocolate ganache

How did I go 31 years without knowing about this?

Do you like chocolate? Do you know someone who likes chocolate? Do you like the attention of slavering hordes of hangers-on, who will be bending over backwards, sitting up, playing dead and/or doing other tricks to get some chocolate? Then you, too, need to know about this.

And it's easy.

First, get equal ounces of cream and chocolate. Yes, one's a measure of volume and the other's a measure of weight. That's fine. I used 16 oz light cream and 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks (Baker's). Chocolate chips were recommended. Or use your favorite luxury bar chocolate and chop it up small.

Scald the cream. According to Betty Crocker, this means heating until just before boiling. Small bubble will form at the edge of the pan and a skin will form on top. I did this without stirring on medium heat. A few bubbles formed, and I waited until there were bubbles along most of the edge. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or not, but it doesn't seem to have hurt unduly.

Add in the chocolate.

Wait five minutes.

Stir until smooth. I had little chocolate particles that wouldn't melt; I tried heating the mixture again (carefully! Boiling would be bad) but they didn't go away. But a few hours later and it didn't seem to matter.



It's like a stiff pudding; when I cut out spoonfuls in the pot, the cut edge stays put. It is smooth and chocolately and not as overwhelmingly rich as fudge. I am told that you can whip it, refrigerate again, make balls and roll in cocoa to make truffles. You could serve it in small pastry tarts (1/4 - 1/3 c. per person would be plenty) or as a fondue. Substitute for the chocolate pudding in icebox cake! Heated to liquid, it's even thicker than Starbucks's Chantico Drinking Chocolate, and is really too thick to drink - but it makes the best base for hot chocolate that I've ever had. Or use in Plumcake's Amazing Chocolate Fruit Pie Recipe, which is how this whole thing got started. I tried this over the weekend, with mixed results.

The pie was tasty. However, the chocolate ganache was runny and gritty - not very superfantastic - although it did acquire a great berry taste. The ganache leftover in the pan was beyond yummy, firm and with a silky texture, so it wasn't that I made the ganache wrong. I consulted with Tirzah, our local baronial chatalaine and Feast Wizard. She immediately diagnosed the problem as the strawberries (which I cut) adding too much liquid to the pie. Her recommendation is to make the ganache, let it set, then fold the berries into it and fill the pie crust.

Clearly, I need to test this out to see if it works.
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