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cmflick

Ganache issues with "Couture Chocolate" by William Curley

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Has anyone tried any of the ganache recipes in William Curley's book Couture Chocolates? I tried to make the star anise ganache (p. 66) and it didn't solidify. The recipe says to slab the ganache and cut the next day. The problem was that the next day it was still much too soft to cut. It was more the consistency of a very (emphasis on very) soft ganache for a molded chocolate.

The recipe uses a mix of bittersweet chocolate and gianduja for the chocolate component. I was suspicious of the recipe before I began because the ratio of the chocolate mix to cream is only about 1.25:1 which seemed too low to me for a slabbed ganache. Also the recipe calls for heating the chocolate to about 45C (113F) before emulsifying with the cream. Could this have contributed to the ganache not setting, at least in the 24 hour timeframe called for in the recipe? I usually use tempered chocolate to make ganaches.

The instructions also have you use a chocolate/cocoa butter mix for the foot. As this mixture crystallized on the slab it cracked a lot and was very brittle.

Meanwhile I scooped the ganache up and it's sitting in the refrigerator until I have time to make some molded chocolates. Should be a good filling for that! On the bright side, the flavor is quite nice.

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Check what cream you're using. UK double cream has a much higher fat content than US heavy cream.

J

PS Why temper chocolate for ganache? Surely the process of melting it for the ganache will destroy whatever crystal structure the tempering has introduced?


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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PS Why temper chocolate for ganache? Surely the process of melting it for the ganache will destroy whatever crystal structure the tempering has introduced?

You use tempered but still liquid chocolate and mix it with room temperature to slightly warm (but not hot enough to throw the chocolate out of temper) ingredients. It sets up much more quickly and maybe more firmly than the same ingredients combined in the usual heat cream and pour over chocolate to melt method.

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I can't tell you the reasons, but every class I have taken at Callabaut instructs you to use tempered chocolate just about for every ganache recipe. It always worked so I never questioned... :-)


David Smith

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i have done a few of the recpies in the book:

- pitschio / macha ganache - really nice, but i will use less machapowder next time

- orange / balsamic caramel - very nice, the balsamic cuts through right at the end

- seasalt caramel - his recipe was ver easy to do, and I got a creamier and darker golden caramel then I am used to when using other recipes

- rosemary / oliveoil - interesting but I wont be doing it again

- muscovadocaramel (tried both light and dark muscovadosugar) - I didnt like this at all, the muscovado gives the caramel a slightly burnt flavour although less so when using light muscovado sugar

- passionfruit/mango - this was really nice, fresh, summery and slightly tangy due to dark choclolate beeing used in the ganacahe

however, I have always used the filling in moulded bonbons (they set just fine and could easily have been cut). the book has some really interesting flavour combos - i will try more recpies in the next few weeks:) using tempered or just heating the chocolate will have nothing to do with the ganache not setting, it does however give the ganache a smoother/creamier texture. after having read grewelings book, i always temper or heat the chocolate to no more then 48 (depending on if i use white, milk or dark chocolate) in my ganaches.


Edited by tarko (log)

/Magnus - happy amateur chocolatier

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I'll have to try some more recipes from the book, but make the ganaches more like I usually do, i.e., with tempered chocolate and use for molded chocolates. I remelted the slabbed ganache and used it for molded chocolates. The texture is a little "coarser", i.e., not very creamy, than I would like, but the star anise flavor is excellent. I was especially interested in some of the caramel recipes, since there are some interesting flavor combinations. Good to hear that the caramels work well.

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I made the muscovado caramel and I really liked it. Loved the flavor although I thought it had a large amount of butter added and when I make it again I think I will add less and see what difference it makes, if any.

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I haven't yet tried any of his recipes, but I really like his flavor ideas and decoration techniques. I also noted that his chocolate-cream ratio looks pretty low for slabbed ganache (it sometimes even reaches 1:1, this is why I was afraid to try his exact recipes), and thought it might work for him for 1 of 2 reasons:

1. He onlly uses Amedei chocolate, which might have a high amount of cocoa butter in the cocoa solids, which would make the ganache firmer for him, but not for anyone using a different chocolate.

2. Using tempered chocolate, or tempering the ganache after it is ready, will always result in a firmer ganache which is easier to cut- it might be worthwhile trying the same recipe while doing this.

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I tried using tempered chocolate with another one of the Curley ganaches (passionfruit/mango) and the ganache was much too soft to slab as was the star anise ganache that I made previously. It did make a great molded chocolate though. Excellent flavor.

I also made the orange/balsmic caramel. The flavor is great, but I was somewhat surprised at how liquid the caramel is. If you bite into the molded chocolate you will definitely have a handful of caramel filling!

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Hi cmflick

I have made the passion fruit and mango ganache from Couture Chocolate and it did work for me.

I used a hot knife to cut the slab, as he recommends, and cleaned the knife between each cut. The coat of chocolate and cocoa butter on the top and bottom of the slab enable each piece to be dipped without the fork sticking to the chocolate piece.

You do get a fairly soft ganache but that is how I remember all of the chocolates I have tried from the shop. The liquid caramel is very fluid but I think I remember each of the chocolates being quite small so not such a problem to eat.

What is the butterfat content of your cream?

Lapin

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My cream is about 36% butterfat. Do you think that could effect the firmness of the ganache?

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I just ordered this book yesterday. Looking forward to trying some recipes. Has anyone seen any glaring errors in the book that a semi-newb might not pick up on? Or a place to find any errata? Finding time to make chocolates is a pretty big effort, so I don't want to waste time on a recipe that is destined to fail.


Edited by tikidoc (log)

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Hi cmflick

The cream you are using is a little lower in butterfat than standard UK whipping cream. The ganache recipes you mention all specify whipping cream which in the UK would ususally be nearer to 39% butterfat.

The difference may be small but I think it would better to have a slightly higher than lower fat content if your ganache is too soft.

Lapin

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I made the muscovado caramel and I really liked it. Loved the flavor although I thought it had a large amount of butter added and when I make it again I think I will add less and see what difference it makes, if any.

patti_h, did you use light or dark muscovado sugar for these? I'm thinking about trying out one or two of his recipes this weekend.

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sorry Donna just got on here! It was a muscovado I bought in a bulk container but it was pretty dark. I really loved the flavor. I'd like to experiment with coconut palm sugar in this recipe too, as it has a really lovely flavor. If you make it please let me know what your impression is.

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Hi Patti, no worries. The only muscovado available at the local store was dark muscovado, so that is what I used. I agree, the flavor was wonderful! Great idea to try this with palm sugar.

I did have trouble with the recipe, I wound up with an oil slick on top of the caramel. Was able to fix it and it tastes delicious but I am wondering if the problem was my technique or an unbalanced recipe. Were you able to incorporate all the butter?

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cmflick, I may have discovered the reason for your too soft ganaches. I just made the matcha & pistachio ganache and discovered that the amount of cream called for in the recipe by volume does not match the amount of cream in grams. My 1 1/2 cups of cream weighs 350 grams (not the 390 specified in the recipe). Since you had issues with your ganaches setting up, I used 1 1/2 cups of cream and weighed out the rest of the ingredients. Ganache is setting up nicely (it is quite tasty) and I will pipe it for turffles tonight or tomorrow. Hope this helps.

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cmflick, I may have discovered the reason for your too soft ganaches. I just made the matcha & pistachio ganache and discovered that the amount of cream called for in the recipe by volume does not match the amount of cream in grams. My 1 1/2 cups of cream weighs 350 grams (not the 390 specified in the recipe). Since you had issues with your ganaches setting up, I used 1 1/2 cups of cream and weighed out the rest of the ingredients. Ganache is setting up nicely (it is quite tasty) and I will pipe it for truffles tonight or tomorrow. Hope this helps.

Just to corroborate cream weights, yesterday I was making caramel and found a pint of cream to be 465g (didn't scrape the container), which would confirm a cup of cream being about 235g rather than 260g (as the recipe apparently suggests).

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cmflick, I may have discovered the reason for your too soft ganaches. I just made the matcha & pistachio ganache and discovered that the amount of cream called for in the recipe by volume does not match the amount of cream in grams. My 1 1/2 cups of cream weighs 350 grams (not the 390 specified in the recipe). Since you had issues with your ganaches setting up, I used 1 1/2 cups of cream and weighed out the rest of the ingredients. Ganache is setting up nicely (it is quite tasty) and I will pipe it for turffles tonight or tomorrow. Hope this helps.

I'll have to try to make one of these ganaches again. I did weigh the cream, so it sounds like I may have had too much. Could explain my problems with too soft ganache. The too soft ganaches do make great fillings for molded chocolates, though!

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cmflick, I may have discovered the reason for your too soft ganaches. I just made the matcha & pistachio ganache and discovered that the amount of cream called for in the recipe by volume does not match the amount of cream in grams. My 1 1/2 cups of cream weighs 350 grams (not the 390 specified in the recipe). Since you had issues with your ganaches setting up, I used 1 1/2 cups of cream and weighed out the rest of the ingredients. Ganache is setting up nicely (it is quite tasty) and I will pipe it for turffles tonight or tomorrow. Hope this helps.

Just to corroborate cream weights, yesterday I was making caramel and found a pint of cream to be 465g (didn't scrape the container), which would confirm a cup of cream being about 235g rather than 260g (as the recipe apparently suggests).

Pastrygirl and Curls, were you using cream with 35% fat?

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DianaM, I was using Whole Foods 365 heavy cream (pasturized and homoginized). Not sure what the fat percentage is but it is your standard US supermarket heavy cream (pours just like milk), definitely not manufacturing cream.

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Just to corroborate cream weights, yesterday I was making caramel and found a pint of cream to be 465g (didn't scrape the container), which would confirm a cup of cream being about 235g rather than 260g (as the recipe apparently suggests).

Pastrygirl and Curls, were you using cream with 35% fat?

Not sure. Standard grocery store whipping cream (well, organic).

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