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Ganache breaking when adding rum


Stan Kitson
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Rum ganache is breaking and I can't figure out why.

 

I created a chocolate ganache using 66% dark couverture chocolate (37% fat), cream and butter.

I heat the chocolate and cream before combining, then add the butter using an immersion blender.

When I added the rum (40 proof, 6% of the total mass)  the ganache broke.

I made several attempts to fix it including adding a tablespoon of warm water, heating the ganache a little, adding more rum, adding cocoa butter.

Each time it looked good coming out of the blender, but broke within minutes.

 

I remade the recipe, this time heating the cream then adding the rum to the cream. Then pouring in 1/3 of the cream into the melted chocolate, stirring, adding the next 1/3, stirring, then the final. Adding the butter, the ganache broke.

I attempted to fix it by adding a tablespoon of warm water, more rum, etc., to no avail.

 

The proportion of fat from cocoa butter, cream, butter to liquid from cream, rum, butter is 1.6 : 1.

Looking at my other recipes, this isn't out of line.

 

I've theorized that the alcohol is the issue, does it emulsify the same way fat and water do?

 

Any help is appreciated.

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58 minutes ago, Stan Kitson said:

I've theorized that the alcohol is the issue, does it emulsify the same way fat and water do?

 

I don't think so, but can't offer more enlightenment than that.  Different molecules gonna be different, alcohol isn't water. Or is only half water ;)

 

How essential is the butter?  If the second way was fine until you added the butter, see how the ganache sets up without it.

 

1 hour ago, Stan Kitson said:

The proportion of fat from cocoa butter, cream, butter to liquid from cream, rum, butter is 1.6 : 1.

Looking at my other recipes, this isn't out of line.

 

If alcohol doesn't emulsify the same way then the same ratios won't apply.  Try decreasing the overall fat.  Or add twice as much rum 🤪

 

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What @pastrygirl says - you've got too much fat. The alcohol acts as water does when you have a broken emulsion and adding enough of it would eventually overcome the broken emulsion - but too much rum is not really desirable in a ganache. So less butter and if that isn't enough a bit more rum and more pure water. 

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15 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

What @pastrygirl says - you've got too much fat. The alcohol acts as water does when you have a broken emulsion and adding enough of it would eventually overcome the broken emulsion - but too much rum is not really desirable in a ganache. So less butter and if that isn't enough a bit more rum and more pure water. 

Hi Kerry, I can always count on you! I figured it was too much fat because it broke, but the percentages of the other ingredients are in line w/ other recipes. I"ll give it another go with less fat and see how it goes. 

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4 minutes ago, Stan Kitson said:

Hi Kerry, I can always count on you! I figured it was too much fat because it broke, but the percentages of the other ingredients are in line w/ other recipes. I"ll give it another go with less fat and see how it goes. 

I have found some chocolate types seem to encourage splitting - strikes me the Extra bitter Guayaquil was one that was frequently giving me trouble.

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I had a ganache once, a coffee one from Andrew Shotts, that persisted in splitting. I tried all the tricks, and it seemed to work, but a short time later, the separating would start again. The last time, I had it in the piping bag, and as I piped it into the molds, it separated--in the mold. I gave up at that point. But next time I reduced the butter in the recipe, added more liquid, and it has worked ever since. As Kerry pointed out, it might be the chocolate itself; the problem always seems to come down to too much fat for the amount of liquid.

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