Ganache is another one of those French words that sounds far fancier than it really is. However, it does have a leg up on tartine, because it is made from an enchanting seed known for its mysterious charm and antioxidant properties. Oh yes, I tempt your tongue with talk of chocolate. And ganache is perhaps easier to craft than you might think.
Boil cream. Pour over chopped chocolate. Whisk. Voila! In three short steps you have a chocolate ganache worthy of frosting a cake, rolling into creamy, cocoa-dusted truffles, or filling chocolate macarons (oh yes, I did).
The ratio of chocolate to heavy cream is what matters with ganache (this post part of my continuous effort to encourage ratios, as opposed to recipes). The standard for concocting hard (sculpting) ganache for truffles is 3:1, chocolate to heavy cream.
Side Note. For frosting a cake and filling macarons, equal parts chocolate to heavy cream is a good starting point (weigh the heavy cream). Want it thicker? Simply add more chocolate (and melt over a double boiler). Want a thinner ganache with a sauce-like consistency? Begin with more heavy cream and pour it warm right over that slice of cheesecake.
Softer ganache (1:1) can also be chilled and whipped for a light and airy frosting for decorating cakes. Or spooning directly down the hatch. Because the real beauty of ganache is it won’t tell a soul.
Soft Chocolate Ganache
for filling macarons or decorating macarons, for frosting a cake double the recipe
8 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (Ghirardelli or similar) 8 oz heavy cream (slightly less than one cup)
Method: Bring heavy cream just to a boil in a small sauce pot. Pour immediately over chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Let stand for two minutes, then whisk until smooth.
If mixture is not smooth, place bowl over a small pot of simmering water, and heat gently, whisking to smooth out ganache. Cool to room temperature, and pipe into center of chocolate macarons.
Hard Chocolate Ganache
makes around 30 truffles, or a decent amount of anything else you can dream up
1 pound semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 3/4 cup heavy cream (a little more than 5 ounces) AN cocoa powder, for dusting
Method: Bring heavy cream just to a boil in a small sauce pot. Pour immediately over chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Let stand for two minutes, then whisk until smooth. Refrigerate ganache until it is firm, but still pliable.
Scoop out truffles using a parisienne scoop or small ice cream scoop. Roll between palms to finish shaping, and toss gently in cocoa powder Truffles can also be coated with tempered chocolate.
Tip. Buy an inexpensive digital kitchen scale. For goodies such as ganache and macarons that revolve around weights and ratios (of both solids and liquids), it will make your baking life much easier and consistently more successful.