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Pastrypastmidnight

Overly viscous ganache—what am I missing

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Posted (edited)

I am having so much trouble with the viscosity of my ganache for molded bonbons. I made a lime ganache last night and by the time it was cool enough to pipe it was so very thick. 

 

100g 65% dark 

105g lime infused cream

9g invert sugar

13g butter

 

I partially the chocolate until it was 35C, heated the invert sugar and cream to around 40C and added it in 4 additions, making sure the temperature was between 35 and 40C (as per the Valrhona method), added the butter at 34C, cooled to 29C and piped. 

 

You can see how thick it was: 

BB7EADCF-D839-43C6-894D-D7D3406C0BCB.thumb.jpeg.87a9e68f05e2a7e6ace08fbbb3edc3c6.jpeg

 

The ratio of chocolate to cream is already right about 1:1. Is it the method? Thoughts? This is not the only time I’ve had this problem. The only time I’ve ever achieved a self-leveling ganache it was a white chocolate one. :( 


Edited by Pastrypastmidnight Hit post on accident (log)

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Wonder what would happen if you mixed regular method rather than valrhona method?

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15 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Wonder what would happen if you mixed regular method rather than valrhona method?

I’ll try that next. Thanks. 

 

But it’s weird that it would be that thick with that ratio, right?

 

I feel like I’ve read so many posts and books and I actually really like chemistry, but I feel like I don’t totally understand the science behind ganache and the role the various ingredients play in shelf life vs. viscosity vs. flavor vs. texture, etc. 

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I always have this issue with dark chocolate ganaches. I find it extremely hard to get them even close to flat on the surface. I avoid dark chocolate ganaches because of this. :D But with that much cream? Super weird that it's high in viscosity. I use way less than that in my ganaches.

 

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I haven't encountered that problem but I have no good advice or answers as to why that is other than maybe blind luck. I've never tried any of the fancy mixing methods. I usually just melt the chocolate, heat the liquid ingredients, dump it all over the chocolate at once and stir it in, then work in the butter. When it cools down enough, I stir in some silk from the EZtemper and pipe. I haven't noticed the silk having an immediate effect on the viscosity so I'm sticking with "luck". :D

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I don't even melt my chocolate for the ganache, I pour the hot cream over it. Never had a problem doing it that way.

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4 hours ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I’ll try that next. Thanks. 

 

But it’s weird that it would be that thick with that ratio, right?

 

I feel like I’ve read so many posts and books and I actually really like chemistry, but I feel like I don’t totally understand the science behind ganache and the role the various ingredients play in shelf life vs. viscosity vs. flavor vs. texture, etc. 

Unless the process you have exposed it to has essentially tempered it and thickened it up for that reason.

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12 hours ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I am having so much trouble with the viscosity of my ganache for molded bonbons. I made a lime ganache last night and by the time it was cool enough to pipe it was so very thick. 

 

What was it like after sitting overnight? It it's extremely firm, you could add more liquid to the recipe to help a bit. The puzzle is that Greweling recommends a ratio of 2:1 dark chocolate to liquefier, so you are way beyond that in the amount of liquefier.

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8 hours ago, Rajala said:

I don't even melt my chocolate for the ganache, I pour the hot cream over it. Never had a problem doing it that way.


I used to do it that way, it always worked fine as far as end result goes. I started melting the chocolate because sometimes, especially in small batches, it would cool down before all of the chocolate completely melted. I figured if I'm going to have to use the microwave or heat gun at the end to get it all melted, I can just as easily melt the chocolate at the beginning and be done with it with the added benefit that there's zero risk of overlooked little pieces of chocolate that didn't melt. I don't consider it a necessity or special technique or anything, just personal preference.

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4 hours ago, Jim D. said:

What was it like after sitting overnight? It it's extremely firm, you could add more liquid to the recipe to help a bit. The puzzle is that Greweling recommends a ratio of 2:1 dark chocolate to liquefier, so you are way beyond that in the amount of liquefier.

I still need to cap them but they feel—softish? Like they should, I think. I feel like they must be crystallizing before I can pipe. Like the agitation is maybe making it set up as it’s cooling down?

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I guess you do need to make the same ganache with the traditional method. As I described elsewhere recently, I keep my chocolate in temper as I make the ganache, so (according to the theory at least) it is crystallizing almost from the beginning (Greweling recommends making ganache with tempered chocolate). All that said, however, I have certainly had the issue you had--a ganache that is too thick to pipe properly by the time it gets to the proper temp. I consider it a good day when the ganache self-levels.

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Posted (edited)

Was the cream weighed before of after heating and infusing?  You may have lost a little in that process, or it may be high fat cream and high fat chocolate. 

 

I think every book recipe needs to be adjusted to your particular ingredients.  Cream can be from 30% to 40% fat, and chocolates can have varying ratios of cacao solids to butter in a given percentage.  Your 65% dark could be 30% solids and 35% fat or 45% solids and 20% fat or anywhere in between. 


Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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24 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

 Your 65% dark could be 30% solids and 35% fat or 45% solids and 20% fat or anywhere in between. 

 

 

Getting producers to reveal 'the split' (%fat - % solids) would be very helpful in many applications.

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55 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

Was the cream weighed before of after heating and infusing?  You may have lost a little in that process, or it may be high fat cream and high fat chocolate. 

 

I think every book recipe needs to be adjusted to your particular ingredients.  Cream can be from 30% to 40% fat, and chocolates can have varying ratios of cacao solids to butter in a given percentage.  Your 65% dark could be 30% solids and 35% fat or 45% solids and 20% fat or anywhere in between. 

 

I weighed the cream after infusing/straining and added additional cream to make up the weight lost. Cream is 33%. The chocolate doesn’t have the split on it (cocoa solids vs. butter) but it is Madagascan criollo chocolate—which I kind of remember hearing is extra viscous? Maybe that’s part of it?

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I weighed the cream after infusing/straining and added additional cream to make up the weight lost. Cream is 33%. The chocolate doesn’t have the split on it (cocoa solids vs. butter) but it is Madagascan criollo chocolate—which I kind of remember hearing is extra viscous? Maybe that’s part of it?

Nothing that is going to help with the issue here, but when you infuse cream you should make up the difference with milk. Water is selectively taken up by the plant material and you can end up with too much fat when you add additional cream.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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1 minute ago, Kerry Beal said:

Nothing that is going to help with the issue here, but when you infuse cream you should make up the difference with milk. Water is selectively taken up by the plant material and you can end up with too much fat when you add additional cream.Nothing that is going to help with the issue here, but when you infuse cream you should make up the difference with milk. Water is selectively taken up by the plant material and you can end up with too much fat when you add additional cream.

Okay, thanks! It was a pretty small batch—I think I only lost 7 g of cream, but I’ll try that next time. 

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29 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Nothing that is going to help with the issue here, but when you infuse cream you should make up the difference with milk. Water is selectively taken up by the plant material and you can end up with too much fat when you add additional cream.

I am very glad to hear that explanation. Greweling says to do it but (to my knowledge) never explains why. I must confess I have always ignored the advice. I will repent and amend my ways.

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1 hour ago, Kerry Beal said:

Nothing that is going to help with the issue here, but when you infuse cream you should make up the difference with milk. Water is selectively taken up by the plant material and you can end up with too much fat when you add additional cream.

 

35 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

I am very glad to hear that explanation. Greweling says to do it but (to my knowledge) never explains why. I must confess I have always ignored the advice. I will repent and amend my ways.


I'm glad to hear it as well. I just assumed it was because water is what would cook off first when heating the cream. Glad I haven't been spreading that around like I knew what I was talking about. :D

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Interestingly I've never used this ratio for dark ganaches, if I do mine would certainly turn out as yours have!

 

I typically follow the below but adjust depending on other ingredients/ varieties etc. 

 

White choc ganaches cream:choc 1:2

Milk choc ganaches cream:choc 1:1

Dark choc ganache cream:choc 2:1

 

Out of interest, when people are using 1:1 for dark ganaches, how does it set up? Is it very firm? Do you need to pipe it at a higher temp?

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25 minutes ago, understandingcocoa said:

Interestingly I've never used this ratio for dark ganaches, if I do mine would certainly turn out as yours have!

 

I typically follow the below but adjust depending on other ingredients/ varieties etc. 

 

White choc ganaches cream:choc 1:2

Milk choc ganaches cream:choc 1:1

Dark choc ganache cream:choc 2:1

 

Out of interest, when people are using 1:1 for dark ganaches, how does it set up? Is it very firm? Do you need to pipe it at a higher temp?

That’s really interesting. What method do you use to mix your ganache? What is the shelf life like?

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Posted (edited)

Hi @Pastrypastmidnight

 

To be honest - your ganache looks great.

 

You won't likely get as flat of a top as in, say, a tart or when pouring a slab, as in those instances you are able to pour the ganache at a higher free-flowing temperature because you aren't concerned about melting a shell. You can get pretty close though, by tapping the mould carefully on the counter immediately after piping. 

 

Your ganache ratio is fine. The below ratios are recommended by Ewald Notter and are the ones I typically use.

 

Ganache Ratios

Slabbed:

Dark 2:1

Milk 2.5:1

White 2.5:1

_______________________

 

Piped pralines (freeform shapes)

Dark 1.5:1

Milk 2:1

White 2:1

_______________________

 

Soft ganache (for moulds and truffle shells)

Dark 1:1

Milk 1.5:1

White 1.5:1

 

Ganache piping temperatures correlating to the shell's chocolate type

Dark 31 °C

Milk 30 °C

White 28 °C

 

Other tidbits

Cream

30-40% butterfat works. The higher the cocoa solids percentage contained in your chocolate, the higher percentage of butterfat in your cream is preferred.

 

Butter

Provides mouthfeel and is useful for extending missing butterfat in cream.

A Cream based ganache can have 10% of the total ganache weight, of butter added to it.

Before butter is added, it should be as soft as possible without being melted, otherwise, it will have a negative effect on the mouthfeel. 

 

 


Edited by Goober (log)
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1 hour ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

That’s really interesting. What method do you use to mix your ganache? What is the shelf life like?

 

I pour the hot cream over unmelted chocolate, leave for about 1 minute and then stir - emulsifies beautifully every time!

 

If I use glucose, about 8-10 weeks (although I've cut open at 16 weeks with no mould), without glucose about 2 weeks - how does this compare with yours?

 

 

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On 4/24/2018 at 11:47 AM, understandingcocoa said:

 

I pour the hot cream over unmelted chocolate, leave for about 1 minute and then stir - emulsifies beautifully every time!

 

If I use glucose, about 8-10 weeks (although I've cut open at 16 weeks with no mould), without glucose about 2 weeks - how does this compare with yours?

 

 

I’ve never actually had mold in one of my bonbons, but as I’m not in business yet, and I’m mostly still experimenting and gifting, I haven’t done a formal shelf life study yet. They do tend to fade in flavor (fruit flavors mostly) or dry out sometimes. I usually have a bit of glucose or invert sugar in my ganaches—depending on which book I’m using as a framework for recipes at the time. 

 

Do you have a standard percentage of glucose you add to your ganaches?

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12 hours ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I’ve never actually had mold in one of my bonbons, but as I’m not in business yet, and I’m mostly still experimenting and gifting, I haven’t done a formal shelf life study yet. They do tend to fade in flavor (fruit flavors mostly) or dry out sometimes. I usually have a bit of glucose or invert sugar in my ganaches—depending on which book I’m using as a framework for recipes at the time. 

 

Do you have a standard percentage of glucose you add to your ganaches?

 

Ah I see, experimenting is always the funnest part!

 

Yes, 20g per 100g of cream 

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