Sunday, 4 August 2013

Chocolate Ganache

This is a seriously rich, grown-up glaze, which gives a very smooth finish to cakes. You could also use it as a sauce, filling or topping for various puddings and pastries. Traditionally it’s made by grating or finely chopping dark chocolate, then boiling cream and pouring it over the chocolate. In the interests of time and effort, I just melt the chocolate and cream together in one bowl.

Makes enough to cover one large cake.

Gather your equipment
Essential equipment:  Mixing spoon, scales, saucepan, heatproof bowl
  • The heatproof bowl should be able to ‘sit’ on top of the saucepan, so that the water in the pan does not touch the bottom of the bowl
  • Scales are not strictly needed for this – most recipes vary the ratio of chocolate to cream needed anyway
Gather your ingredients
For this recipe you'll need: 125g dark chocolate, 150ml double cream
Optional: 2tbsp butter, vanilla essence, brandy/rum/flavoured liquers
  • Try to use good quality dark chocolate for this as it is the dominant flavour
  • Adding a couple of spoons of butter will make your finished ganache even smoother and glossier.
  • Vanilla essence is usually alcohol based, and other flavoured alcoholic liquers such as Kahlua, can be added for an extra flavour kick 
Pour a little water into the saucepan, and rest the bowl on top – if the bowl touches the water, take out some of the water until it no longer touches. Start boiling your water over a gentle heat on the stove, whilst you weigh and break up your chocolate, and weigh out your cream.
Start melting your chocolate and cream together
Once the water is simmering, rest your bowl on top of the pan. Stirring occasionally, allow the cream and the chocolate to come together. This does not need constant heat – every now and again, remove the pan from the heat but keep stirring. The ingredients will soon come together to form a thick, glossy sauce.

Alternatively – microwave method!
Use a microwave to heat the double cream. Meanwhile, very finely chop your chocolate (this is why I avoid this method – I hate cutting chocolate). Once your cream has reached boiling temperature, pour it over the chopped chocolate and stir gently until everything is melted together.

Using your ganache
You can use the chocolate ganache immediately to cover cupcakes, cakes etc. and this will give quite a messy finish as the ganache will dribble down the sides of any cake you cover it with. If you don’t want to use it straight away, you can leave the ganache to cool and thicken slightly, and it will reach a spreadable consistency. Alternatively, or if you have any leftover after icing, refrigerate it for a few hours, then take teaspoons of the mixture and form them into balls using your hands – then roll them in cocoa powder/icing sugar to make some very rich truffles.

Here is a cake I made for Father’s Day, using chocolate ganache as a topping:
And here is the cake from whose recipe I originally stole my ganache from – the Bruce Bogtrotter cake from Matilda! This comes from the ‘Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes’ book and will no doubt be making an appearance on this blog at some point.

Chocolate ganache: - enough to cover one large cake
125g dark chocolate
150g double cream
Flavourings such as vanilla essence, liqueurs

  1. Melt together the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir gently until they come together to form a smooth, thick sauce
  2. Alternatively, finely chop the chocolate and pour boiling cream over. Stir gently until the ingredients come together

Recipe originally from: Bruce Bogtrotter Cake, from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes

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