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Ganache: Tips & Techniques


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#61 Syrah

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 05:09 AM

thanks for posting that.  That gave me an edge to figure out the search engine.  I use to just put in a word an search, I didnt know there was a sub page to adjust the search settings.

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FYI, I used "All Forums" and "Search Title Only" with the keyword. The regular search bar used to drive me crazy until I started using the Search page.

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THANKYOU! I had no idea the search could be narrowed so much.

#62 Matthew Tomkinson

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 05:11 AM

At work we find melting the chocolate and butter together gently and then whisking in the cold cream and any flavourng works the best . We do not use pasteurised and find it keeps fine for several days.
The quest for perfection will lead you to role models that will last you for life (Nico Ladenis)

#63 akwa

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 07:38 AM

for emulsion i have found that boiling the cream and pouring it over chocolate already in the robot coupe produces the best emulsion with the least incorporation of air

for mass production which i have much less experience, i have found that the more traditional french technique of melting the chocolate and emulsifying with previously boiled cream is the most efficient way to make large batches.

wg

#64 Samaki

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 09:52 PM

Thanks for your replies everyone - and thanks for the link to the older thread. You'd think I would have thought of searching before I asked, but of course I didn't.

The thing I like best about not boiling the cream is that it seems to give the ganache a fresher taste. I just need to be sure it will still hold for a couple of weeks when made that way. I guess some testing is in order. I haven't tried the stick blender yet to get a good emulsion, but will.

#65 Ling

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 02:44 PM

My ganache broke for the first time today. It was fine at first, but when I left it for a moment to check on my tart shell, the ganache looked grainy when I came back. I whipped it up with the mixer, and it was better, but not 100% smooth and glossy...there still seemed to be a bit of a sheen to it. So instead of doing caramel pecans on top of the ganache, I decided to do a "nut dust" (just some nut flour) on top, and then I did a layer of chopped candied pecans. I rewarmed some of the leftover, slightly grainy ganache with a bit of whipping cream and it came together again, so I poured that over the pecans, and edged the tart with more candied pecans. I hope it tastes OK.

#66 scott123

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 02:11 PM

I've been working with a chocolate lately that isn't quite sweet enough, so I've been adding some sugar to my cream before bringing it to a boil. Almost immediately after reaching a boil, the cream loses all it's creaminess, turning translucent/almost clear.

What's going on here? Is the elevated boiling point from the sugar causing this? Should I melt my sugar separately and then add it to the heated cream?

#67 A Patric

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 02:26 PM

Sear Scott,

Would it be possible to boil the cream and then, off-heat, add the sugar. It should dissolve very quickly I would think, and then you would be able to use the cream for what you want. Or have you tried this already?

Due to my ignorance about making ganache, though, may I ask why the cream needs to be boiled? Is it just to heat it enough so that the chocolate dissolves in it?


Good luck!

Alan

#68 John DePaula

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 02:43 PM

Typically, one uses glucose, corn syrup, invert sugar or honey to sweeten. Also, these help prevent recrystallization of your ganache, which could be a problem if you use granulated sugar.
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#69 scott123

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 10:59 PM

Sear Scott,

Would it be possible to boil the cream and then, off-heat, add the sugar.  It should dissolve very quickly I would think, and then you would be able to use the cream for what you want.  Or have you tried this already?

Due to my ignorance about making ganache, though, may I ask why the cream needs to be boiled?  Is it just to heat it enough so that the chocolate dissolves in it?


Good luck!

Alan

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Alan, as far as I know, cream doesn't have to be boiled for ganache. I think boiling is common practice because it's an easily discernable state/temperature for people to work with. I've come across quite a few recipes where the cream is boiled and then added to the chocolate directly. I've also seen recipes where the cream is allowed to cool briefly before adding it to the chocolate. That's my approach. Ideally, you want the cream to be just hot enough to melt the chocolate and no more, as the more heat the chocolate is exposed to the more volatile flavor compounds are lost. At least that's what the experts say.

#70 scott123

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 11:00 PM

Typically, one uses glucose, corn syrup, invert sugar or honey to sweeten.  Also, these help prevent recrystallization of your ganache, which could be a problem if you use granulated sugar.

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At which point are these sweeteners added to the cream? I'm guessing after heating, correct?

#71 SweetSide

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 06:52 AM

Sear Scott,

Would it be possible to boil the cream and then, off-heat, add the sugar.  It should dissolve very quickly I would think, and then you would be able to use the cream for what you want.  Or have you tried this already?

Due to my ignorance about making ganache, though, may I ask why the cream needs to be boiled?  Is it just to heat it enough so that the chocolate dissolves in it?


Good luck!

Alan

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Alan, as far as I know, cream doesn't have to be boiled for ganache. I think boiling is common practice because it's an easily discernable state/temperature for people to work with. I've come across quite a few recipes where the cream is boiled and then added to the chocolate directly. I've also seen recipes where the cream is allowed to cool briefly before adding it to the chocolate. That's my approach. Ideally, you want the cream to be just hot enough to melt the chocolate and no more, as the more heat the chocolate is exposed to the more volatile flavor compounds are lost. At least that's what the experts say.

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I was taught to bring the cream to a boil 3 separate times before making ganache for truffle centers. The reason being was for killing any lurking bacteria in the cream, thereby extending the life of the filling. The three times was because of the impact of the heat on the bacteria and how it is destroyed (don't have the full science on this one.)

For those professional chocolatiers out there -- is this a holdover from the days before (ultra)pasteurized creams?
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#72 John DePaula

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 07:54 AM

In recipes that I infuse a spice such as lavender, vanilla or fresh mint, I boil the cream by itself first and then do the infusion. When that's done, I add the glucose and reheat just to the boil stirring well all the while. I do not want to damage the delicate flavor profile of the infusion.

In recipes that are flavored with liqueurs, I usually boil the cream with the glucose, and pour onto the chocolate. Proceed normally to make the emulsion, and then fold in the liqueur.

So I guess the answer to your question is that it really doesn't matter when you add the sweetener as far as the end product is concerned. I prefer to add it at the start, just for convenience.

I haven't heard of boiling the cream three times. I do happen to use organic ultra-pasteurized cream, and my chocolates are shelf-stable for about 3-4 weeks, just what you'd expect for not using preservatives.

So I just went to take a look at the Wybauw book, Fine Chocolates / Great Experience. In some of the recipes, he adds the sweetener at the start even if he's doing an infusion (basil ganache). In some he folds in the sweetener, in this case honey, after the hot cream is already added to the chocolate (Anise and Honey Ganache). By the way, I highly recommend this book. You can find threads about it on eGullet.

Ideally, you want the cream to be just hot enough to melt the chocolate and no more, as the more heat the chocolate is exposed to the more volatile flavor compounds are lost.


That's absolutely true. In addition, if your cream is too hot you are in for a long wait while the ganache cools down enough to use. If it's not hot enough, then all of your chocolate doesn't melt. This is definitely a "Goldie Locks" situation.

Don't worry about your cream going translucent when you heat it with sweetener. I think it just means that more of the solids in the cream are going into solution and mixing with the sweetener. The end product isn't adversely affected.

Hope this helps.
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#73 jcho

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 05:35 PM

In recipes that are flavored with liqueurs, I usually boil the cream with the glucose, and pour onto the chocolate. Proceed normally to make the emulsion, and then fold in the liqueur.


To tag along on this thread, can you tell me why you fold the liquer into the emulsion, rather than adding it to the cream before the chocolate? Is it a matter of safeguarding flavor compounds? I've seen this frequently and have always wondered.

Thanks for all so far!

#74 John DePaula

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 08:59 PM

In recipes that are flavored with liqueurs, I usually boil the cream with the glucose, and pour onto the chocolate. Proceed normally to make the emulsion, and then fold in the liqueur.


To tag along on this thread, can you tell me why you fold the liquer into the emulsion, rather than adding it to the cream before the chocolate? Is it a matter of safeguarding flavor compounds? I've seen this frequently and have always wondered.

Thanks for all so far!

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The alcohol adds some complimentary flavors and can be used as a vehicle to carry the aromatics in the chocolate. Because it's volatile, depending on the desired effect, you don't want to boil it off by placing it in the hot cream.
John DePaula
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Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#75 alanamoana

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 07:51 AM

to go back to the initial question, the translucent cream is perfectly okay. i don't know why this happens but any time you add sweetener (glucose, sugar, corn syrup, etc) to cream and heat it up, it changes consistency and appearance.

maybe a food scientist can answer why.

#76 Karen Williams

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 07:33 AM

I taught a cooking class a couple of weeks ago at an Art Institute and we were demonstrating hand dipped truffles. We had the folks designing there own transfer sheets with colored cocoa butter. It was a hands-on class and none of the students had any chocolate experience. Last night, one of the students had mentioned that the ganache that we used as the base for the truffles had become grainy over time. It was smooth at the time of the class and to the best of my knowledge the truffles were all completely enrobed in chocolate. It was a cold night here in the midwest. Could this have had something to do with the change in the texture of the ganache over time? Thanks

#77 Tweety69bird

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 07:39 AM

Maybe the student over mixed the ganache and caused it to seize up a bit, but didn't realize?
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#78 Trishiad

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 08:20 AM

It might have been that the fat wasn't properly emulsified. Did the grains melt on your tongue?

Did the recipe include some kind of sugar which might have crystalized over time?

#79 John DePaula

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 08:44 AM

For sweetening the ganache, you need to use something like corn syrup, glucose, honey or invert sugar to prevent, or at least slow down, crystallization.
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#80 Aria

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 07:20 PM

Hello everyone!
Imagine my disappointment when my ganache split and became grainy after adding cognac to it! I tried everything to get it back but it's just not up to par. Is there a trick with adding liquer to ganache. I've done it a few times before and it's been fine. Any help would be appreciated!
Aria

#81 doronin

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:38 AM

Hello everyone!
Imagine my disappointment when my ganache split and became grainy after adding cognac to it! I tried everything to get it back but it's just not up to par. Is there a trick with adding liquer to ganache. I've done it a few times before and it's been fine. Any help would be appreciated!
Aria

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I had exactly the same problem when tried to prepare chocolate fondue... with Grand Marnier.

#82 Tweety69bird

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 05:45 AM

From my experience, you have to be very gentle when mixing in the alcohol or flavouring into your ganache. Mix slowly, carefully and not too much. Good luck.

Edited to add to comment.

Edited by Tweety69bird, 28 February 2006 - 05:46 AM.

Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

#83 culinary bear

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 06:48 AM

I always add the liqueur to the cream used to make the ganache (1350g couverture, 1100g 48% cream, 150g liqueur). I've never had a problem with the ganache seizing when done like this, so it's a pretty foolproof method.

Edited by culinary bear, 28 February 2006 - 06:48 AM.

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#84 doronin

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 07:20 AM

Any importance of a relative temperature between the parties (the cognac and the chocolate)?

#85 Tweety69bird

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 07:22 AM

Any importance of a relative temperature between the parties (the cognac and the chocolate)?

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I think room temp would be fine for the liquor.
Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

#86 alanamoana

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 10:04 AM

if you have a good ganache recipe that works every time without the liqueur and you are adding the liqueur to taste, you might be adding the wrong proportion of liquid.

in my swiss confectionary book (granted, they can be a little anal :wink: ) they list specific percentages of liqueur to add to different types of ganaches.

chocolate is sensitive to how much liquid it will tolerate being added to it and maintain an emulsion.

#87 devinf

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 12:40 PM

As a rough guide, liquor should be 20-25% the weight of the cream.

Devin

#88 Sugarella

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:06 PM

Ganache can actually take an awful lot of liquid, especially bittersweet, and I can't see you adding so much cognac, with its high alcohol content, that it'd be too much and still palatable, so I doubt that's the problem.

Is it possible your ganache was too cool when you did it this time? You mentioned it's worked before so that's why I'm wondering. Should still be warm, with room temp alcohol slowly mixed in.

#89 Truffle Guy

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 02:49 PM

Hello everyone!
Imagine my disappointment when my ganache split and became grainy after adding cognac to it! I tried everything to get it back but it's just not up to par. Is there a trick with adding liquer to ganache. I've done it a few times before and it's been fine. Any help would be appreciated!
Aria

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Was your ganache with white chocolate? White chocolate is much more sensitive than dark. I've never had a problem with dark chocolate ganache and I've thrown everything but the kitchen sink in there. I have noticed on occassion if the temp is too high and butter is added and melts....it can be quite a mess. But...if you let it cool down and mix it thoroughly...it should come back together.

Also, if you used white chocolate for the ganache...did you use chips and if so check the ingredients most have palm oil etc and don't work well. Did you add more cream/butter to try to recover the ganache? I've had many similar situations and always have been able to get a smooth ganache by altering the temperature or the ingredients. Did you premelt the chocolate? I've had much better success when I have melted chocolate prior to adding the cream/butter/flavorings. It may be your chocolate was bad and if it wasn't melted you wouldn't know that was the culprit. Sorry more questions than answers.

#90 Aria

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 02:51 PM

Thanks a lot! I did actually add too much liqueur this time. Also, I did add it rather fast. So I'll watch those things. I am intrigued by the adding liqueur to the cream method. Has anyone else tried it?