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Ganache: Tips, Techniques & Troubleshooting


schneich
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Yes.  You can make ganache with water.  The texture will be more chewy and less melty without the extra fat.  Also, use a little less milk than you would cream.  Or if you are simply out of cream and need to substitute, you could use milk and butter.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

8 oz dark chocolate

4 ounces double cream

.5 ounce cocoa butter

.5 ounce butter

.5 ounce glucose syrup

small spoon vanilla 

 

Is this ganache to fatty? I feel like it's not setting up properly but I'm not sure if it's the proportions of the ganache or something else. Also it seems runny. Should I add more chocolate? I'm trying to make a filling to go in shell cups. So the ganache shows, I don't cover it.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :-)

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You're messing with my head being from the UK but using ounces! A very basic ganache like that is often just equal parts cream and chocolate...there are countless recipes however that are more or less of both. But 2:1 chocolate to cream seems like it should not only set up, but set up firm. I ran to Paul Young's book to see his basic and its 250g:250g and 150g muscovado. I've used that one before and its a firm ganache...almost firm enough to slab for dipping.  

 

Another common base for me is 500g chocolate, 250g cream, 150g butter.

 

So...are you waiting long enough for it to set up? Is your room too warm for it to set up? Throw a spoonful in the fridge and see what happens.

And I don't think it would make a difference but tell us about your process...maybe there's a clue in that.

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I heat up the cream with all the rest of the stuff until just before boiling and put it on top of the tempered chocolate pellets (cocoa Barry). I then wait before mixing gently. Maybe the problem is I add some hazelnut bits after this? I don't know with the first pic above, the undecorated ones, I actually attempted to repair the ganache by heating it and then by adding glucose syrup and finally by adding some milk and it still ended up looking like that.

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Oh I ended up adding about two

Ounces melted chocolate to it as well which is why this morning it's quite hard!

Oh and Rob:

I'm American even though I live in London lol! I'm actually comfortable with both but it just happens that I measured this out in ounces probably because I was looking at Andrew Shotts book.

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I then wait before mixing gently.

 

The more movement your ganache gets, the finer the emulsion will be and the smoother the mouth feel will be. Try blitzing it with a stick blender or a food processor. This will also cause it to set firmer, iirc.

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What sort of shelf life do you need on this piece?  I'm wondering if you cut back on the cocoa butter and added a bit more of some other liquid to help with the emulsion.  What actual chocolate are you using - I find that some of the more acidic formulations are difficult to get into a good emulsion.

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The more movement your ganache gets, the finer the emulsion will be and the smoother the mouth feel will be. Try blitzing it with a stick blender or a food processor. This will also cause it to set firmer, iirc.

I thought too much agitation breaks the emulsion? So can I blitz it and then add the hazelnut chunks after?

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Kerry, shelf life is not a factor. They don't generally last more than three days lol!

The chocolate is not particularly acidic, it's the lowest dark chocolate the 55% or whatever I'll check it when I'm near it.

I think it's the way I incorporated the butter that may have broken the emulsion. I think I should add the butter after I've incorporated the cream into the chocolate. But this doesn't explain why I couldn't fix it.

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Typical sequence: Bring cream/glucose to simmer, very short rest (:30), pour over chocolate, short rest (:60), mix - like said above, I use either my food processor or a stick blender. I never stir by hand. Try it again and see if you never truly got the emulsion.

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Typical sequence: Bring cream/glucose to simmer, very short rest (:30), pour over chocolate, short rest (:60), mix - like said above, I use either my food processor or a stick blender. I never stir by hand. Try it again and see if you never truly got the emulsion.

 

Funny you should say that because I always mix by hand and as of late haven't had issues with improper emulsions, other than with my dairy free ones sometimes and I think that's a balance issue more than an emulsion issue.  I'm sure once I graduate to larger batches I'll forgo hand-mixing, but for now it's all I do.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi guys,

 

 

So I'm still trying to improve the above and still no luck. It's still not a smooth emulsion. I made it today as below. I used gfron's method. I added the glucose syrup and cocoa butter to the cream and stirred it continuously as it simmered for less than a minute. I used a stick blender but it didn't work out that well so I stirred with a spatula. I have no idea what's wrong!  

 

250g dark chocolate

250g double cream

.5 ounce cocoa butter

.25 ounce butter

.5 ounce glucose syrup

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I'll watch as others answer, but ratios are often not as important to getting the emulsion. I say this because you'll see all sorts of recipe with wildly varying ratios of chocolate to fat. Temperature is a big factor and fat content, but the formula you used isn't mine, just one I've passed along and it works. Also, as you advance, there are very precise formulas that include the temperature of the cream before it hits the chocolate. 

 

On a long shot - was the chocolate old or previously used where it might have been out of temper itself with bloom?

Edited by gfron1 (log)
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I'll take a shot--It looks like your process is ok up until you start mixing. If stirring by hand, start in the center of the bowl and stir, stir, stir in a small circle. After a few minutes, you will see a swirly pattern start where the dark chocolate is forming a star shape in the cream. Keep stirring and enlarge the circle until all the cream has been incorporated. This should give you a good emulsion. I don't understand how using a stick blender didn't work for you. If you do the same thing and put the stick in the center and leave it there until the emulsion starts, then move it around, it should do the same thing. Good luck.

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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Hi guys,

 

 

So I'm still trying to improve the above and still no luck. It's still not a smooth emulsion. I made it today as below. I used gfron's method. I added the glucose syrup and cocoa butter to the cream and stirred it continuously as it simmered for less than a minute. I used a stick blender but it didn't work out that well so I stirred with a spatula. I have no idea what's wrong!  

 

I don't think this could be the problem, but I have never seen a ganache recipe call for heating cocoa butter with the cream.  You may be getting the cocoa butter too warm at that early stage, and then you are mixing that (perhaps unemulsified) mixture into chocolate (more fat, needing more emulsification).  All recipes I have seen that call for adding cocoa butter say to add it after you have formed the emulsion with cream and chocolate; if that initial emulsion has formed successfully, adding some more fat should not be a problem.  If you are getting separation of the fat, you could try adding drops of skim milk with an immersion blender to bring the emulsion back (to give credit where it's due, I think I got that idea from Kerry Beal).  I don't want to jinx my future efforts, but I will say that I have never had this method fail--even with Valrhona's temperamental Opalys white chocolate.

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I usually mix in a figure 8 pattern.

 

I did worry that adding the cocoa butter to the cream might be a problem. So should I melt it and add it in after the emulsion has formed, like I do with butter?

 

The chocolate was fresh from the box, in temper pellets.

 

The stick blender didn't work maybe because there wasn't enough in the bowl, it was having trouble. Or maybe it's because it's a bad quality stick blender :-) I don't have a food processor. So I'm stuck with perfecting this by hand.

 

The ganache looks grainy, it's not smooth and shiny.   

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