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Ganache: Tips, Techniques & Troubleshooting

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By hand. I heated the cream, added to the chocolate, waited one minute and then mixed by hand. It didn't seem broken when I piped it. 

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Perhaps adding some glucose syrup to the recipe would help by preventing crystalization of the sugar in the chocolate.  Greweling recommends between 10 and 40 percent glucose relative to the weight of cream.  I usually use 20-25%.  So for your recipe, you could use 1 to 1.25 oz of glucose syrup.  You can also use corn syrup instead of glucose syrup (essentially the same thing except for maybe a different water content or dextrose equivalent).

 

Add the glucose to the cream before heating it so it dissolves into the cream, then add to the chocolate as usual.


Edited by jim loellbach (log)
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Jumping on board keychris's thought, if I ever make a dark chocolate ganache (especially over 60%) I use either an immersion/stick blender or a food processor to emulsify to prevent separation.


Edited by gap (log)

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hah, you beat me to it Gap! Using a stick blender or a food processor will give you a more stable emulsion as the fat and water particles will be more evenly dispersed.

 

To 99% of the customers that will eat your product though, they wouldn't even notice that the ganache was a problem, they would just think it was part of what you were aiming for - I tasted a friend's rose ganache once that had grains in it, I thought they were an interesting textural component until I asked her how she did it and she's like "what grains? I didn't put anything textural in there!" So long as it still tastes good, don't worry be happy is my motto :D

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"Don't worry be happy" love it! lol! But I'm an amateur trying to learn and trying not to be dissuaded by every little thing going wrong. I guess I should look at the bright side, this batch showcased the best tempering I've ever managed :biggrin:

 

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And I should add glucose syrup.. I never knew why it was added so I just don't bother. I'll go back to bothering ;-) 

 

AND I'll give the immersion blender another go... first attempt with that didn't work out well so I abandoned it. I figured it would work better when you're making a large quantity. hmm what about using the actual blender?

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If you are going to emulsify a ganache by hand, just be sure to start in the center and use small tight (fast) circles until the emulsion 'takes', then keep that circular motion going (think whirlpool) and watch the emulsion spread through your ganache...most people when doing it by hand just mix the ingredients without that tight circular motion. Emulsion requires centrifugal force (eg, food processor, stick blender) but can easily be done properly by hand in the quantities you mentioned.

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Do you ever end up with ganache that reminds you of extra-heavy mayo?  I was winging it today, testing batches that set up ok but grainy, then weirldy flexible. The 60% i usually use is 39% cocoa butter, but in this batch I used 72%, which is 45% fat.  I also made some other changes but was trying to keep a similar ratio of liquid to chocolate.  The 72% ganache is far thicker than the 60% ever is - it probably needs more cream or a splash of booze, right?  Arg, I should know this! :angry:

 

I got annoyed and left the slab out to do whatever it will overnight - cross your fingers that it is either use-able or save-able tomorrow!

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Can't help with your issue but I am crossing my fingers and toes that you find things are better than you expect tomorrow when you check the ganache. And I will be interested in an answer from our experts in this department as well (I file all expert chocolate advice in my brain for future reference - I just KNOW someday the tips and tricks etc. will come in handy when I get properly into that addiction).

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I think I fixed it well enough to not feel bad about selling 8 dozen pieces to a bride tomorrow.  Yesterday's ganache was still squishy so I melted and slightly cooled it then mixed it into a new batch of the formula that I know works.  Of course the agitation of scraping it off the silpat into a bowl was enough to firm it up nicely.  Oh chocolate ... so delicious, yet such a pain in the butt!  :x>:(:x>:(

 

Now I'll go back to pretending I know what I'm doing.  Carry on!

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7 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

pretending I know what I'm doing.

 

Dammit, that's my MO :P

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I made my first white chocolate ganache using the Valrhona emulsion method (adding 40C cream to 35-41C melted chocolate). It was the grossest, ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. First it got grainy and lumpy and all of a sudden all of the solids completely clumped together and all of the cocoa butter separated out. I kept going as instructed and it came together as a beautiful, glossy ganache as it should, but I had to mix it so vigorously to bring it together, I think I introduced a lot of air. I’m mixing by hand. Any tips for emulsifying the ganache using this method without adding a bunch of air (small circles in the center didn’t work because at one point the mixture was very much a single lump of solids and lots of melted cocoa butter). 

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41 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Immersion blender?

I’ll try that next time. This was just 1 mold worth for recipe development so I did it all by hand. Hopefully the blender will help with larger quantities. Do you use the blender from the beginning? The videos from Valrhona just showed using it at the end after the emulsion has come together. 

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Don't recall too much about it - but here is a link to the thread where it was discussed in detail - 

 

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49 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Don't recall too much about it - but here is a link to the thread where it was discussed in detail - 

 

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I made my first white chocolate ganache using the Valrhona emulsion method (adding 40C cream to 35-41C melted chocolate). It was the grossest, ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. First it got grainy and lumpy and all of a sudden all of the solids completely clumped together and all of the cocoa butter separated out. I kept going as instructed and it came together as a beautiful, glossy ganache as it should, but I had to mix it so vigorously to bring it together, I think I introduced a lot of air. I’m mixing by hand. Any tips for emulsifying the ganache using this method without adding a bunch of air (small circles in the center didn’t work because at one point the mixture was very much a single lump of solids and lots of melted cocoa butter). 

 

I know about the Valrhona method (with the liquefier and the chocolate at roughly the same temp), but I'm not sure why you would choose to follow it. Is there some advantage? "Normal" recipes (as in Greweling and Notter) call for having the liquids at a higher temp; the separation does not happen (or if it does, as I have had occur with white chocolate ganaches, it means there is too much fat and a little more liquid solves the problem). There is some disagreement about how warm the liquid should be; I myself don't follow the method of having the liquid very hot or even boiling. But I would be interested in knowing any benefit to the "Valrhona method."

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

 

I know about the Valrhona method (with the liquefier and the chocolate at roughly the same temp), but I'm not sure why you would choose to follow it. Is there some advantage? "Normal" recipes (as in Greweling and Notter) call for having the liquids at a higher temp; the separation does not happen (or if it does, as I have had occur with white chocolate ganaches, it means there is too much fat and a little more liquid solves the problem). There is some disagreement about how warm the liquid should be; I myself don't follow the method of having the liquid very hot or even boiling. But I would be interested in knowing any benefit to the "Valrhona method."

I have been trying it mostly because of a couple of Chocolate Masters hangout interviews with various chocolatiers I admire. And because the first time I tried it I created the silkiest, smoothest, shiniest ganache I had made up until that point. It worked great the first time so why not? Also, I don’t have a melter or tempering machine currently and tempering chocolate by hand separately for ganache as Greweling suggests or tabling it seems like so much extra work and mess. I like being able to use just melted chocolate. Not very scientific, but those are my reasons :) .

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7 hours ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I have been trying it mostly because of a couple of Chocolate Masters hangout interviews with various chocolatiers I admire. And because the first time I tried it I created the silkiest, smoothest, shiniest ganache I had made up until that point. It worked great the first time so why not? Also, I don’t have a melter or tempering machine currently and tempering chocolate by hand separately for ganache as Greweling suggests or tabling it seems like so much extra work and mess. I like being able to use just melted chocolate. Not very scientific, but those are my reasons :) .

Makes sense. I don't specifically temper chocolate for ganache. I start with tempered chocolate from the bag and melt it slowly over hot water (it doesn't require much attention during this) until most is melted, then remove it from heat and stir, using the unmelted pieces as the seed. It never really falls out of temper. As I am sure you know, this is one of Greweling's methods.

 

As for your question as to why the Valrhona method didn't work this time:  You said this was your first white chocolate ganache, so I would guess the chocolate is the factor. I have had many disasters with white chocolate in ganaches--disasters until I added more liquid (usually mixing in drops of skim milk or liquor or even water). This separation regularly happens with Notter's lime ganache--when the small amount of cream and melted white chocolate are mixed. Then magically, when the lime juice is mixed in, it all comes together smoothly. I used to have attacks of "ganache separation panic" when the mess appeared; now I just reach for the skim milk or liquor bottle and make a note that I need to adjust that recipe a bit. I should add that the white chocolate I use (Valrhona's Opalys) seems especially prone to this problem.

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