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Ganache: Tips, Techniques & Troubleshooting


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2 hours ago, Altay.Oro said:

Have you ever experienced a ganache refusing being emulsified to death?

 

My initial ingredients ... milk chocolate - 100 grams, cocoa butter - 20 grams, honey - 10 grams, cream - 50 grams ...

I worked at correct temperatures, stirred between 30 - 35 C,

Tried immersion blender,

Later, I poured considerable amount of cream,

And even added pure water at the end ...

But no luck.

 

Can you describe what the ganache looked like?  And what were the approximate temperatures of the cream and chocolate when you first tried to emulsify them?

Edited by Jim D. (log)
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2 hours ago, Altay.Oro said:

Have you ever experienced a ganache refusing being emulsified to death?

 

My initial ingredients ... milk chocolate - 100 grams, cocoa butter - 20 grams, honey - 10 grams, cream - 50 grams ...

I worked at correct temperatures, stirred between 30 - 35 C,

Tried immersion blender,

Later, I poured considerable amount of cream,

And even added pure water at the end ...

But no luck.

Maybe too much fat?  Why add extra cocoa butter to ganache?

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16 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

 

Can you describe what the ganache looked like?  And what were the approximate temperatures of the cream and chocolate when you first tried to emulsify them?

 

It was a little bit grainy and weak ... maybe can be said a little bit soupy. I used Greweling method for slabbed ganaches, that is, combined tempered and melted milk chocolate with cream which cooled down to 40 C. First I added the honey at the room temperature to the cream ... poured it down onto the chocolate. My temperature was between 30 - 32 C, I guess, when I started to stirring. I worked in the melter so I think that it never saw below 30 C.

 

Pastrygirl is right, I realized later that there was too much fat in my original formula, but I could not understand why it was not emulsified with the added cream and as a last resort with water.

 

6 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

Maybe too much fat?  Why add extra cocoa butter to ganache?

 

Without extra cocoa butter, the cocoa butter ratio was % 19 in the recipe ... for a slabbed ganache, I wanted to increase it to % 25 or more, but I missed the amount of water required to emulsify the increased amount of butter.

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On 4/5/2021 at 11:56 PM, Jim D. said:

 

Can you describe what the ganache looked like?  And what were the approximate temperatures of the cream and chocolate when you first tried to emulsify them?

 

Second try,

I took the photo this time.

At 30 - 31 C,

Never emulsified and I got this mixture after stirring, also tried with an immersion blender.

This grainy appearance is an indication of too much fat in the recipe, isn't it?

 

IMG-01245.thumb.jpg.890856a3bac200fc42211169638c2de4.jpg

Edited by Altay.Oro (log)
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9 minutes ago, Altay.Oro said:

 

Second try,

I took the photo this time.

At 30 - 31 C,

Never emulsified and I got this mixture after stirring, also tried with an immersion blender.

This grainy appearance is an indication of too much fat in the recipe, isn't it?

 

Actually that ganache does not look curdled/broken/split to me.  Here is an image of such a ganache:

 

How To Fix Broken Ganache

 

If I'm misinterpreting your photo, then the fix is to add warm liquid (skim milk, purée, liquor, water, NOT cream).

 

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Yes, this one was not looking like a curdled ganache ... even with excessive stirring it did not curdle.

I tried with extra cream and with water, and keeping it nearly at the same temperature level during the whole process, but I never got an emulsified mixture.

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6 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

@Altay.Oro try warming it up to 35C to emulsify

 

It seems that two reasons there can be ... shortage of water and temperature ... I added enogh water I suppose ... then most likely it is the temperature I missed 👍

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My ganaches with dark chocolate usually look like that in the beginning when I use my stick blender. After a while, it goes away and I get a smooth shiny result.

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16 hours ago, Rajala said:

My ganaches with dark chocolate usually look like that in the beginning when I use my stick blender. After a while, it goes away and I get a smooth shiny result.

 

Yes, it is constantly occuring with dark chocolate ganaches ... generally milk chocolate ganaches is easily emulsifying at the beginning of stirring.

I've not made slabbed ganaches before so much, and I've started to see it in milk chocolate ganaches when I start to add extra cocoa butter for ending up with a really firm ganaches to be able to cut it very cleanly.

Another possible reason ... it may be a problem related with milk proteins acting as an emulsifier which milk chocolate contains a lot ... but maybe not enough for extra cocoa butter added to the recipe.

Edited by Altay.Oro (log)
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1 hour ago, Altay.Oro said:

 

Yes, it is constantly occuring with dark chocolate ganaches ... generally milk chocolate ganaches is easily emulsifying at the beginning of stirring.

I've not made slabbed ganaches before so much, and I've started to see it in milk chocolate ganaches when I start to add extra cocoa butter for ending up with a really firm ganaches to be able to cut it very cleanly.

Another possible reason ... it may be a problem related with milk proteins acting as an emulsifier which milk chocolate contains a lot ... but maybe not enough for extra cocoa butter added to the recipe.

 

 You might try the proportions of the original recipe you posted but omit the cocoa butter, so:

100g of milk chocolate, 10g of honey, 50g of cream.  That provides a ratio of 2:1 chocolate to liquefier.  I start with chocolate from the bag (so, we assume, still in temper), melt the chocolate until there are a few pieces left, take it off the heat, then stir to melt all of it, which (unless you have overheated it by a lot over 90F/32C) should still be in temper.  Meanwhile heat the cream and honey to 105F/40.5C.  Use just a spatula to emulsify the chocolate and cream mixture.  Sometimes an immersion blender can be too much.  If I see bits of unmelted chocolate, I place the pot on heat for a few seconds.  If the ganache still separates, add liquid (skim milk, liquor, even water, but NOT cream) a few drops at a time, still stirring.  At the right point you should see that texture that successful ganache has; I describe it as like chocolate pudding, a bit spongy, glossy in appearance.  I found this video on fixing broken ganache that might be of help.

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6 hours ago, Jim D. said:

 

 You might try the proportions of the original recipe you posted but omit the cocoa butter, so:

100g of milk chocolate, 10g of honey, 50g of cream.  That provides a ratio of 2:1 chocolate to liquefier.  I start with chocolate from the bag (so, we assume, still in temper), melt the chocolate until there are a few pieces left, take it off the heat, then stir to melt all of it, which (unless you have overheated it by a lot over 90F/32C) should still be in temper.  Meanwhile heat the cream and honey to 105F/40.5C.  Use just a spatula to emulsify the chocolate and cream mixture.  Sometimes an immersion blender can be too much.  If I see bits of unmelted chocolate, I place the pot on heat for a few seconds.  If the ganache still separates, add liquid (skim milk, liquor, even water, but NOT cream) a few drops at a time, still stirring.  At the right point you should see that texture that successful ganache has; I describe it as like chocolate pudding, a bit spongy, glossy in appearance.  I found this video on fixing broken ganache that might be of help.

 

Thanks a lot ...

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A couple of general questions about the mixing process for the folks here. 

 

I know there's been discussion on the "Valrhona emulsion" method here, i.e., hot liquid is poured onto melted or partially-melted chocolate. What's the purpose of doing this instead of say, pouring boiling liquid onto unmelted chocolate? Is it just easier temperature control? I think I've seen it said that you want to keep the ganache between 35-40°C (95-104°F) while making it, so is the entire point just that it's easier when your ingredient starting temperatures are closer to that range? I know that Valrhona also recommend always finishing with a hand blender, but not sure if that's related to this point. 

 

Also, for whipped ganache recipes, there's always a portion of the cream that's left cold and added to the fully-emulsified ganache at the end. How do you decide how to divide the cream? I've seen some recipes where it's simply divided in half - half is heated, half is left cold. I've seen other chefs say that the weight of the cold cream should be equal to the weight of the initial ganache (hot cream + chocolate + any invert sugars used). Even other recipes don't seem to follow any specific ratios. Of course, it may depend on the total ratio of cream to chocolate used for the whipped ganache, but in general, does it really matter how the cream is divided?

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2 hours ago, Cahoot said:

I know there's been discussion on the "Valrhona emulsion" method here, i.e., hot liquid is poured onto melted or partially-melted chocolate. What's the purpose of doing this instead of say, pouring boiling liquid onto unmelted chocolate? Is it just easier temperature control? I think I've seen it said that you want to keep the ganache between 35-40°C (95-104°F) while making it, so is the entire point just that it's easier when your ingredient starting temperatures are closer to that range?

 

I think it's a little easier since you're not relying on the heat of the cream to melt the chocolate and you eliminate the risk of having un-melted bits left in your ganache. 

 

Don't they also claim that breaking the ganache with too little liquid then bringing it back together with more has an effect?  Makes it denser or something? 

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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

 

I think it's a little easier since you're not relying on the heat of the cream to melt the chocolate and you eliminate the risk of having un-melted bits left in your ganache. 

 

Don't they also claim that breaking the ganache with too little liquid then bringing it back together with more has an effect?  Makes it denser or something? 

That's what I recall - you get a 'real' emulsion instead of a pseudo emulsion. Wonder if someone can find the video of the technique and explanation. To me it was too much fiddly work when I really had no trouble making emulsions with my chocolate at 30º C and liquid at 40º C method.  

 

Here is where we discussed it before. 

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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9 hours ago, Cahoot said:

@pastrygirl and @Kerry Beal makes sense, thanks for the explanations. And that was a very interesting thread to read, it's funny seeing everyone else from 10 years ago asking the same questions I'm asking today about that method!

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

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I want to play around with using freeze dried fruit powder to bolster flavor in ganache. Specifically, in this instance, I want to add banana powder to the Michael Laiskonis banana ganache recipe. Are adjustments to the liquid ratio necessary or do you just add it to taste to the existing recipe? I'm willing to experiment, just thought I'd look for an educated starting point since freeze dried fruit powders aren't inexpensive. 

Pretty sure it's ok to include the recipe since he made it public himself on his blog...

475g heavy cream
2 vanilla beans
40g trimoline 
780g white couverture
100g banana purée  
100g unsalted butter, softened 
30g dark rum
 

Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

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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1 minute ago, Tri2Cook said:

I want to play around with using freeze dried fruit powder to bolster flavor in ganache. Specifically, in this instance, I want to add banana powder to the Michael Laiskonis banana ganache recipe. Are adjustments to the liquid ratio necessary or do you just add it to taste to the existing recipe? I'm willing to experiment just thought I'd look for an educated starting point since freeze fried fruit powders aren't inexpensive. 

Pretty sure it's ok to include the recipe since he made it public himself on his blog...

475g heavy cream
2 vanilla beans
40g trimoline 
780g white couverture
100g banana purée  
100g unsalted butter, softened 
30g dark rum
 

I'd probably just add to taste

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  • 3 weeks later...

If there is enough water in the environment to emulsify with oil molecules ... can there be any reason other than the shortage of emulsifier for the failure to emulsify?

For example ... when making a low ratio chocolate ganache (1:1 with milk chocolate or even less chocolate), have you ever experienced a difficulty in emulsfying chocolate with cream?

 

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7 hours ago, Altay.Oro said:

If there is enough water in the environment to emulsify with oil molecules ... can there be any reason other than the shortage of emulsifier for the failure to emulsify?

For example ... when making a low ratio chocolate ganache (1:1 with milk chocolate or even less chocolate), have you ever experienced a difficulty in emulsfying chocolate with cream?

 

 

I would guess that it would emulsify without a problem, but the final water content might be cause for alarm (in terms of bonbon shelf life).  It sounds more like a chocolate sauce.

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15 hours ago, Altay.Oro said:

If there is enough water in the environment to emulsify with oil molecules ... can there be any reason other than the shortage of emulsifier for the failure to emulsify?

For example ... when making a low ratio chocolate ganache (1:1 with milk chocolate or even less chocolate), have you ever experienced a difficulty in emulsfying chocolate with cream?

 

 

I've done 1:1 with chocolate and cream, no problems. I guess the lecithin found in most chocolate will help with that as well. The AW reading is out the roof though.

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Does anyone have any advice when creating a ganache with sour flavors such as fruit and you dont want to combine it with cream and chocolate. How would you be able to make a filling thick enough for it to be piped into a shell.

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9 hours ago, MikanPotatos said:

Does anyone have any advice when creating a ganache with sour flavors such as fruit and you dont want to combine it with cream and chocolate. How would you be able to make a filling thick enough for it to be piped into a shell.

 

I think that, by definition, ganache contains chocolate, but if you are making a filling without chocolate, I don't see any workable way to do what you want.  You could undoubtedly find a way to thicken it (cornstarch, pectin, etc.), but the water content would be so high that (assuming you are intending to make bonbons) the shelf life would be unworkably brief.  I attempt to get fruit flavors as close to the taste of the original fruit as possible by making a pâte de fruit, then (after some steps to reduce its water content) pipe it into a mold, usually layering it with something else--one example is cherry PdF plus pistachio gianduja.

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14 hours ago, MikanPotatos said:

Does anyone have any advice when creating a ganache with sour flavors such as fruit and you dont want to combine it with cream and chocolate. How would you be able to make a filling thick enough for it to be piped into a shell.

 

You don't want to use dark chocolate, trying to keep it dairy free, or ... ?  Valrhona's Inspirations are worth exploring  -  cocoa-butter based so they act more or less like chocolate, but with freeze dried fruit replacing cacao solids. 

 

Otherwise you'd need a ton of sugar, like a fondant-based filling, thick caramel sauce or jam/jelly.  Or maybe a liquor syrup that crystallizes would work?

 

 

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