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Ganache: Tips, Techniques & Troubleshooting


schneich
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Okay--I am re-heating the ganache for dipping, and it seems to separate alot these days...hmmmmm. Never had this problem before.

Re-heating--over a bowl of med. hot water--not scorching hot.

Seems to lose it's shine. I have immersion blended, processed it to get a better emulsion...........seems to work okay. But, still not shiney like the first initial batch.

Recipe is with butter,and corn syrup--butter at room temp.

What's going on?

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How many times are you reheating it? I can get away with once maybe twice over hot water. After that, it gets thick and gloppy - it separates if I heat it too much. At that point, if I still have some left, I have better luck adding some of the "older" ganache to a small fresh batch and stirring slowly.

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Are you letting the ganache come up slowly to room temp out of the cooler before you stick a scoop or spatula in there...it will break very easily that way.

In so far as adding the 'old' batch to a fresh batch, that is a great way to fix it. In general, slowly adding a broken emulsion to an established one is an excellent way to go. Optionally, you can toss a little of the broken emulsion into a robotcoupe (not one you share with garlic chopping and the like) and letting it run until it is fixed (you can hear the awful sloshing sound suddenly disappear and it will run silent)...then slowly add the rest to the now fixed emulsion, just as to the new batch.

I know, people will object to the air introduced and all, and it depends what you are going to do with it. Chances are, many other issues will serve to limit your shelf life before the bit of air which got in there comes into play. Again though...it depends what you're going to do with it, and remember...it's not a first choice, it's one last ditch way to save the batch.

Randall Raaflaub, chocolatier

rr chocolats

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I always find that if I use a ganache that's made with butter or corn syrup or anything else in addition to the standard "cream and chocolate" recipe, separating becomes an issue. If you stick to just cream and chocolate, you'll have far less trouble.

If you want to use a ganache with butter or other things in it, use that ganache for fillings or truffles or anything else that isn't really "seen". If you want a nice dependable shiny ganache for the outsides of things just stick to cream and chocolate. Less hassle. :wink:

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Are you letting the ganache come up slowly to room temp out of the cooler before you stick a scoop or spatula in there...it will break very easily that way.

Are you saying DON'T let it come to room temp slowly, or DO?

I am saying...do let the ganache warm up slowly, or at least don't start mucking around with it physically until it has warmed up a bit. Otherwise, it will break very, very easily. That said...I believe chefpeon is right that ganaches with significant corn syrup and/or butter will break even easier than simple chocolate and cream ones.

Randall Raaflaub, chocolatier

rr chocolats

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ahhh, ok. that's what I thought you meant but I wanted to make sure.

Does anyone have experience with the sauce James Peterson calls "chocolate butter sauce?"

It's just chocolate melted with a fairly large quantity of liquid (water, liqueur, brandy, whisky, etc.) and then enriched with butter melted in at the end. I assumed it was a standard sauce, because along with ganache and chocolate creme anglaise it's one of only three chocolate sauces in his whole epic book. But I haven't seen anything by that name or recipe elsewhere.

It's a great ganache alternative (easy to flavor, and to make to whatever consistency you like) but I've suspected it would be more fragile than ganache, especially with regards to reheating, since butter usually makes more fragile emulsions than cream. But I haven't tested this.

Any thoughts?

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 1 month later...

I recently made some butter cookies and 'sandwiches' them with a layer of ganache. However, the moisture of the ganache turned the crispy cookies into 'soft' cookies after a night. :sad:

How can I avoid this situation? Is there anyway to make ganache without using cream and milk?

Thanks a lot for all your help in advance.

BakingBee :biggrin:

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Try just using butter instead of the liquids. Play with the ratios, but really for that purpose you just want to soften the chocolate, so try say 1 C. chocolate with 1/8 C. Butter. And also for that purpose just nuke/melt the chocolate versus doing the whole stove top thing...

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I recently made some butter cookies and 'sandwiches' them with a layer of ganache.  However, the moisture of the ganache turned the crispy cookies into 'soft' cookies after a night.  :sad:

How can I avoid this situation?  Is there anyway to make ganache without using cream and milk?

Thanks a lot for all your help in advance.

BakingBee :biggrin:

So what you're going to have to do is coat the cookie bottoms with a thin layer of melted chocolate (or cocoa butter). Let that set before sandwiching the ganache into the cookies. This will form a moisture barrier between the cookie and the ganache.

Hope this helps.

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

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  • 2 months later...

I used 2 cups finely granulated sugar, 1 cup of water, and 2 teaspoons lemon juice, simmered for 30 minutes. PLEASE tell me if I should chuck this, as I don't want to ruin my truffles!! Let me add that this is my first time making my own invert sugar (duh!).

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sounds to me like you just made a relatively saturated sugar syrup. using acid and simmering will help to invert some of the sugar, but this is in no way similar to a manufactured invert sugar such as Trimoline or Nulomoline. these products have been treated with an enzyme (invertase?) which breaks down sucrose into the monosaccharides glucose and fructose. if i understand correctly, i don't think you can reproduce this at home, unless you are using invertase.

the properties of invert sugar that you're looking for when making confections are tying up loose moisture (lowering the AW) and keeping things like ganache smooth, creamy and to keep them from drying out.

i don't know if the syrup you've made at home will do all of those things the same way that a manufactured product can. also, invert sugar is "sweeter" than sucrose, which you'd need to account for in your recipes as well.

but, someone else with more knowledge, please chime in. i guess, the recipes wouldn't call for these products (especially by name) if you could just make them at home :wink:

Edited by alanamoana (log)
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Thanks! I've ordered invertase as well, but am hesitant to try it. I will be making truffles that will be taken to Europe, and want to increase their shelf life- keep the ganache smooth and fresh. If it turns out that my invert sugar is indeed a dud ( I don't want to find out by wasting a batch of truffles) I guess I'll have to go with the invertase instead.

BTW, I should be receiving Greweling's book in the mail this week. See what he has to say.

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I have used the lemon juice method to make a substitute for corn syrup, and it seemed to work fine. And while acid hydrolysis can be used to create an almost completely "inverted" syrup, the process would not be easy to do at home, and requires too much acid to be palatable (not so much a problem in a manufacturing system where the acid can be neutralized and removed after the inversion process). And for some reason, the process tends to produce a syrup that is not 50/50 as you would expect, but somehow contains disproportionately more fructose.

Here is a link to an old paper (~1945) that examines many of the variables involved in producing inverted sugar using the acid method:

Some observations on the acid inversion of sucrose PDF file

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Mette the raspberry ganache chocolates look gorgeous - I love the colour you have achieved which looks natural and very artistic at the same time.

I have made a concentrated raspberry puree using freeze dried raspberries. By not adding too much water to them when rehydrating to make the puree it was quite intense. Quite hard to sieve the pips out as the puree was rather thick but this produced a very fresh tasting but intense puree.

I have used freeze dried strawberries this way too.

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  • 1 month later...

Does anyone know why a perfectly good ganache might get grainy after a couple of days in the fridge? It didn't go in that way, and it's fully at room temperature now. The graininess goes away after a couple of seconds in your mouth. Any way for me to get rid of it? I don't mind starting over, but I also don't want it to happen again, and while it's on the cake, which I'm serving tomorrow.

To those of you who helped with a previous thread re: these cakes for my neighbors' sons, thank you. I will never agree to such a folly again. There's a reason people get paid to do this!

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I'll let the chocolate experts help you, the only times I've had grainy ganache is from stirring it as it cooled (which I do intentionally sometimes if I'm going to use it as a base layer for something so it gives the illusion of pastry at first then melts into smooth chocolate). I'm just chiming in to say don't get discouraged/give up on doing things like this if you enjoy it. Mistakes and difficulties happen to the best and I'm far from anything resembling the best so I get lots of mistakes and difficulties but I just laugh and try again (ok, sometimes I say less-than-polite words and try again). A grainy ganache that goes smooth right away probably wouldn't be noticed as a problem by anybody but you if you don't tell them ("Sorry the ganache turned out grainy." "Oh yeah! It kinda is now that you mention it... I hadn't noticed.") but that advice is easier to give than receive. If I'm not happy with a result it goes to the garbage or the birds (depending what it is) so I understand where you're coming from.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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No idea how to fix it but bripastryguy has an awesome recipe for a ganache glaze that has cream, butter and corn syrup in it. Unfortunately I've deleted the e-mail but you could PM him. I'd be tempted to warm it and try stirring in some room temp butter and then some corn syrup to see if it helps. Good luck!

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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