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schneich

Ganache: Tips, Techniques & Troubleshooting

610 posts in this topic

I taught a cooking class a couple of weeks ago at an Art Institute and we were demonstrating hand dipped truffles. We had the folks designing there own transfer sheets with colored cocoa butter. It was a hands-on class and none of the students had any chocolate experience. Last night, one of the students had mentioned that the ganache that we used as the base for the truffles had become grainy over time. It was smooth at the time of the class and to the best of my knowledge the truffles were all completely enrobed in chocolate. It was a cold night here in the midwest. Could this have had something to do with the change in the texture of the ganache over time? Thanks

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Maybe the student over mixed the ganache and caused it to seize up a bit, but didn't realize?


Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

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It might have been that the fat wasn't properly emulsified. Did the grains melt on your tongue?

Did the recipe include some kind of sugar which might have crystalized over time?

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For sweetening the ganache, you need to use something like corn syrup, glucose, honey or invert sugar to prevent, or at least slow down, crystallization.


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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Hello everyone!

Imagine my disappointment when my ganache split and became grainy after adding cognac to it! I tried everything to get it back but it's just not up to par. Is there a trick with adding liquer to ganache. I've done it a few times before and it's been fine. Any help would be appreciated!

Aria

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Hello everyone!

Imagine my disappointment when my ganache split and became grainy after adding cognac to it! I tried everything to get it back but it's just not up to par. Is there a trick with adding liquer to ganache. I've done it a few times before and it's been fine. Any help would be appreciated!

Aria

I had exactly the same problem when tried to prepare chocolate fondue... with Grand Marnier.

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From my experience, you have to be very gentle when mixing in the alcohol or flavouring into your ganache. Mix slowly, carefully and not too much. Good luck.

Edited to add to comment.


Edited by Tweety69bird (log)

Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

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I always add the liqueur to the cream used to make the ganache (1350g couverture, 1100g 48% cream, 150g liqueur). I've never had a problem with the ganache seizing when done like this, so it's a pretty foolproof method.


Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Any importance of a relative temperature between the parties (the cognac and the chocolate)?

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Any importance of a relative temperature between the parties (the cognac and the chocolate)?

I think room temp would be fine for the liquor.


Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

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if you have a good ganache recipe that works every time without the liqueur and you are adding the liqueur to taste, you might be adding the wrong proportion of liquid.

in my swiss confectionary book (granted, they can be a little anal :wink: ) they list specific percentages of liqueur to add to different types of ganaches.

chocolate is sensitive to how much liquid it will tolerate being added to it and maintain an emulsion.

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As a rough guide, liquor should be 20-25% the weight of the cream.

Devin

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Ganache can actually take an awful lot of liquid, especially bittersweet, and I can't see you adding so much cognac, with its high alcohol content, that it'd be too much and still palatable, so I doubt that's the problem.

Is it possible your ganache was too cool when you did it this time? You mentioned it's worked before so that's why I'm wondering. Should still be warm, with room temp alcohol slowly mixed in.

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Hello everyone!

Imagine my disappointment when my ganache split and became grainy after adding cognac to it! I tried everything to get it back but it's just not up to par. Is there a trick with adding liquer to ganache. I've done it a few times before and it's been fine. Any help would be appreciated!

Aria

Was your ganache with white chocolate? White chocolate is much more sensitive than dark. I've never had a problem with dark chocolate ganache and I've thrown everything but the kitchen sink in there. I have noticed on occassion if the temp is too high and butter is added and melts....it can be quite a mess. But...if you let it cool down and mix it thoroughly...it should come back together.

Also, if you used white chocolate for the ganache...did you use chips and if so check the ingredients most have palm oil etc and don't work well. Did you add more cream/butter to try to recover the ganache? I've had many similar situations and always have been able to get a smooth ganache by altering the temperature or the ingredients. Did you premelt the chocolate? I've had much better success when I have melted chocolate prior to adding the cream/butter/flavorings. It may be your chocolate was bad and if it wasn't melted you wouldn't know that was the culprit. Sorry more questions than answers.

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Thanks a lot! I did actually add too much liqueur this time. Also, I did add it rather fast. So I'll watch those things. I am intrigued by the adding liqueur to the cream method. Has anyone else tried it?

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Thanks a lot! I did actually add too much liqueur this time. Also, I did add it rather fast. So I'll watch those things. I am intrigued by the adding liqueur to the cream method. Has anyone else tried it?

That's the only way I do it. You don't want to add it too soon (don't want to evaporate the alcohol), but you can use it to speed the cooling of the cream. It's better for me to worry about two temps (cream/alcohol and chocolate) than three.

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Did you premelt the chocolate? I've had much better success when I have melted chocolate prior to adding the cream/butter/flavorings.

Truffle Guy, I was happy to see that: I have been starting my ganache with melted tempered chocolate for some time now, with good results. I've been wondering whether I was alone in that, and whether it was considered a no-no.

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Did you premelt the chocolate? I've had much better success when I have melted chocolate prior to adding the cream/butter/flavorings.

Truffle Guy, I was happy to see that: I have been starting my ganache with melted tempered chocolate for some time now, with good results. I've been wondering whether I was alone in that, and whether it was considered a no-no.

You're not alone, I started out using the 'hot cream to melt" method with o.k. results. Then the "cream to premelt", I would still get a grainy texture, every now and then. Now I add my cream to tempered chocolate in liquid state. I don't don't know if this is science or superstition. So, I'm guessing the tempered chocolate jump starts the proper crystallization. I've never had a grainy mixture since. The only adjustments I've made is to use a plastic bowl instead of metal for mixing. I found it a pain when the chocolate would start to set on the inside of the metal bowls.

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For the chocolate experts out there -- I'm wondering if adding the hot cream to a tempered chocolate premelt works better because

1) The chocolate is already melted, so mixes in better with less agitation and all the little grains get melted (which sometimes doesn't happen if there isn't enough cream to hold the heat relative to the amount of chocolate

and more importantly

2) The chocolate is not at too high a temperature to cause the ganache to split or become grainy. By definition, chocolate in temper is not over 91 degrees...

Thoughts...


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

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your chocolate doesn't need to be in temper to make ganache, but i think it is best to have the cream and chocolate at around the same temperature. less "shock" for the chocolate to go through.

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your chocolate doesn't need to be in temper to make ganache, but i think it is best to have the cream and chocolate at around the same temperature.  less "shock" for the chocolate to go through.

Agreed about the the chocolate not having to be in temper -- I was just wondering if that happened to put the chocolate at a good temperature (upper 80F) that the cream didn't cool down too much melting the chocolate and that the chocolate wasn't too hot to cause it to overheat and have the cocoa butter separate out causing problems with the emulsion...

This would be along the lines of having the ingredients at the proper temperature for the emulsion to occur easily.


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

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Hey everyone,

I made some whipped white chocolate ganache balls and left them in a cool dry place ( room temp~69F) for 4 days. The chocolate to cream ratio was a bit different than I've used before, it was 3:1. Well, when I got them out to enrobe, they were very hard on the outside and when I tasted one of the balls, it had a crunchy, sugary coating. That coating could be tasted even after enrobing. Any help with the problem would be greatly appreciated!!

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Not sure of how it happened, but does the crunchy, sugary coating add any interest to the finished truffles? I'd be tempted to call it a "feature" :wink:.


Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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1) 4 days is too long, I think. Usually, overnight will suffice.

2) Did you use any invert sugar (corn syrup, glucose, honey, etc.) in your ganache? This helps prevent sugar crystals from forming and also has a natural preservative effect.


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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