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schneich

Ganache: Tips, Techniques & Troubleshooting

610 posts in this topic

I would imagine the reason being your chocolate wasn't properly emulsified and or properly cooled. Next time I suggest tempering the chocolate with one of chef greweling's methods before allowing it to set up in bulk form.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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Is there anything I can do to fix grainy ganache after it has set??

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Try heating it gently again and then adding small quantities of hot milk, while mixing from the center and out, until it emulsifies

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What kind of milk? Whole or skim? How hot should it be? just boiled?

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You can heat the ganache to about 35 degrees, boil the milk (I use 3%, it doesn't really matter as long as it's not as fatty as cream). I don't divide the ganache into 2, I just add the hot milk in small quantities. Pour some in the middle, then start mixing in very small circles, until the center begins to emulsify. You can then mix in greater circles, if it still gets grainy, or the doesn't emulsify enough,, then add more milk and repeat from the beginning.

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And when mixing the ganache, use an immersion/stick blender if you can. It's by no means essential but it helps

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Try heating it gently again and then adding small quantities of hot milk, while mixing from the center and out, until it emulsifies

Just tried this, and although it initially looked like a disaster--the ganache went from being merely grainy to looking like oil-slathered, chocolate-covered muesli--it eventually came together. Only complaint is that the flavourings (lime zest and clove) are now rather muted and bland. But the consistency is lovely; I'm waiting to see how this sets up (usual firmness, or softer, owing to added fluid).

Update, nearly an hour later: The ganache seems to be setting up firmly enough to form, but is either going to be a bit softer than usual (for base recipe using 200g 80% c.m. chocolate and 125 ml 38% cream), or is taking longer to reach its final firmness.


Edited by Mjx (log)

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Hello. I guess I should offer a bit of an introduction before I ask my question. I'm not a professional chocolatier, just a bit of a hobbyist making chocolates in my home kitchen. However, a few years ago I did have the good fortune to work with a local chocolatier for a few months learning the basic techniques. I also have both of the Greweling books and the Shotts book and have read 'em all cover to cover multiple times. I've been reading this forum for years now but just recently signed up and am looking forward to more active participation here.

Two weeks ago I wanted to try out a flavor combination I'd been thinking about for a while. I made a batch of ganache, scooped and rolled it into balls and hand dipped 'em in chocolate. As the chocolate set, I noticed most developed cracks in the shell. I guess the tempered chocolate was a bit thin resulting in a pretty thin shell. Since I had already decorated the shell with a sprinkling of spices I didn't want to dip 'em again. A couple of days later I looked at the pieces again and it appeared that the cracks had sealed. You could still see where the cracks were but they were closed and no ganache burst out through the cracks.

I still have some of those pieces left as well as some ganache that I hadn't scooped and dipped. I'm curious if these would still be good to eat. I know there are a lot of things that can affect the shelf life of a piece. But is mold the only sign that it's time to trash these pieces? If there is no mold, can I assume the pieces are still good?

Here's a pic of the different pieces I made. The hand dipped pieces are the only ganache ones. The molded pieces were caramels.

Thanks for any input and advice.

Tony

chocolate.jpg

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I'd say that given the available water level of most ganaches suitable for scooping into truffles - that mold would probably be your most likely problem. So if you don't see mold on the ganache you haven't scooped and dipped - your dipped pieces are probably still OK.

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Thank you, Kerry.

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I recently made two batches of ganache, both of very different composition. (One used coconut milk.) I put both in the fridge in sealed containers, but even after becoming chilled, neither had really set to any type of hardness.

Pegging them as useless, I put them in the back of the fridge until I could figure out how to fix them. However, two days later, I open them up to find some perfectly solid ganache.

Any thoughts?

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The coconut milk probably has a detrimental effect on the ganache's setting. Coconut fat does that eutectic thing with the cocoa butter.

Other faults that come to mind is your chocolate could have too low cocoa butter content (had that happen to me when making ganache with chocolate chips). Or there is a formula error.

Also, you get a better quality set if you let it set at roomtemp. Takes a while though, like overnight.

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Was your chocolate tempered?

No. The pour-scalded-cream-into-chocolate technique I'd been acquainted with usually gets hot enough to distemper the chocolate. I'm re-jiggering my sous vide bath for chocolate, which will hypothetically allow me to combine both at about 90F. Would this help?

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I find that keeping the chocolate in temper makes the ganache set up much faster (though I'm not sure this is your issue, a few days is a long time to get it to set tempered or no!). I use the hot cream technique as well, but let the cream cool down before pouring it over the chocolate. I don't remember what the magic temp is though (and it depends on the ratio of cream to chocolate, of course).


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I have my chocolate at around 30 and my liquids at around 40 when I combine - and it sets up very quickly. In the past I have had ganaches that took days to firm up - due to excess heat - and you never knew when they were going to suddenly turn grainy.

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I've been thinking of switching to a butter ganache to avoid this kind of problem, but I have no experience with them.

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Lentia had a renowned pastry chef doing some demos last fall, and he had some ganaches that he made and he said that they need a few days to dry. If the bonbons are going to be eaten within a few weeks of creation...you generally can't go too wrong with your formulations. I make a caramel ganache that needs a good 24 hours to dry before capping.

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Ganache takes about 48 hours to fully crystallize, so it won't set up in the first couple of hours. You should allow it to crystallize at room temp overnight at least. Refrigerating it for 30 mins or so will speed the process, but you should not store your ganache in the refrigerator. Like tempered chocolate, ganache does not like humidity. So even though it may solidify more quickly in the fridge, you are shortening the shelf life. Mold and bacteria love water.

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Ganache takes about 48 hours to fully crystallize, so it won't set up in the first couple of hours. You should allow it to crystallize at room temp overnight at least. Refrigerating it for 30 mins or so will speed the process, but you should not store your ganache in the refrigerator. Like tempered chocolate, ganache does not like humidity. So even though it may solidify more quickly in the fridge, you are shortening the shelf life. Mold and bacteria love water.

I was under the impression that, if placed in a sealed container, no additional humidity could enter: just wait until the ganache hits room temperature before opening. Also, refridgerators are generally quite dry.

For my next batch, I'm going to heat both cream and chocolate to 90F in mason jars and then dump one into the other. I knew I built the sous vide rig for something...

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Ganache likes to be stored between 50 and 68*F. Look in Wybau's book Fine Chocolates, Great Experience 3. Also take a look at Greweling's book, Chocolates and Confections. There is a whole section on the refrigeration of ganache. When you refrigerate ganache, unstable fat crystals begin to form in the the ganache which cause it to be too soft when you bring it to room temperature and try to work with it. It also changes the texture and the shelf life. The air in the refrigerator has a higher humidity level than room air (unless you live in a humid climate.)

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Hi eG-ers!

I hope it's ok to resurrect this thread! I am experiencing problems with my dark choc ganaches, and need some help.

I formulate all my ganaches based on Greweling's guidelines, and am always super careful about percentages. My milk ganaches, or the mixed milk+dark ganaches are always beautiful, never had an issue with them.

But the dark ones are a whole different matter. I use Cacao Barry 64% (40.5% cocoa butter). The ganaches look shiny, and nicely emulsified when mixed, but by the next day they become grainy. When I bite into the bonbon, the centre does melt smoothly, and there is no granular mouthfeel. But the centre looks grainy, and when cut, small bits crumble away.

I checked Greweling, he says ganache is grainy if: 1) heated above 34C; 2) agitated excessively; 3) allowed to crystallize when separated.

But I've had the same issue even when the ganache was at the right temp. I only agitate enough to emulsify fully. My ganache looks fully emulsified, I wouldn't pipe it into shells if I saw it was separated.

My process is identical when I make the milk ganaches and the dark ones. Why then my results are different?

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Going to try to attach a pic of the ugly, ugly, grainy ganache.

DSC_3584.JPG

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