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schneich

Ganache: Tips, Techniques & Troubleshooting

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yes, I suppose you are right. A large piece of something to drag across is also an excellent idea. Thanks

It helps if your tool is rather stiff as the tendency is for it to bow in the middle with pressure and you end up with a dished out slab. I use a very stiff 14" wide drywall knife and hold it at least 45 degrees to prevent this. I also do this with the ganache as soft as it can be right after pouring in the frame. With practice I've managed to get a nice flat surface.

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Wow! A drywall knife that wide!! Sounds perfect! That is exactly the problem-the palette knives are bendy. I will goon a search at the hardware stores. I hope I find one here! Otherwise my mom will have to add it to her very weird list of things to bring me from the states! Poor her! A Reynolds vacuum sealer, a compressor, natural colored cocoa butter, Elaine Gonzales' book, a pooper scooper(not for chocolate!!), and 7 seasons salad dressing packets... the list goes on...

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This drywall knife is my favorite for scraping. I own it in widths from 2 inches to 10 inches. I have another Richard drywall knife like this one 12" for even wider scraping needs. These taping knives are not too flexible, excellent for scraping molds, making cigars, curls etc.

I get my dad to buff the edges to remove any small burrs.

The palette knife that I like because it's not too flexible is the Ateco 1375.

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I like to use a Hyde Super Guide, which is some kind of painting decorating tool. I find you get more control than using the dry wall knife/chocolate scraper, because it's easier to use 2 hands...

Hyde Super Guide

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I love the innovation of using all these tools! I hope I find them or similar at the hardware store here. I have so many palette knives and scrapers cause I am always looking for just the right one! Another thing I thought about is why isn't there an apparatus for cutting ganache besides the expensive guitar. I thought about a grid made up of lots of connected shapes, say squares. That is like a bunch of cookie cutters connected so I just place it over the ganache and press down and "walla!" I have a bunch of perfect squares.

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I love the innovation of using all these tools! I hope I find them or similar at the hardware store here. I have so many palette knives and scrapers cause I am always looking for just the right one!  Another thing I thought about is why isn't there an apparatus for cutting ganache besides the expensive guitar. I thought about a grid made up of lots of connected shapes, say squares. That is like a bunch of cookie cutters connected so I just place it over the ganache and press down and "walla!" I have a bunch of perfect squares.

I'm working on buying something like that from a french company for cutting caramel - I've been waiting 2 months and they seem to have stopped replying to my e-mails.

Not sure how it would work with ganache, might have a problem with the ganache sticking in all the little squares. Then it would be "walla - my ass"!!

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I love the innovation of using all these tools! I hope I find them or similar at the hardware store here. I have so many palette knives and scrapers cause I am always looking for just the right one!  Another thing I thought about is why isn't there an apparatus for cutting ganache besides the expensive guitar. I thought about a grid made up of lots of connected shapes, say squares. That is like a bunch of cookie cutters connected so I just place it over the ganache and press down and "walla!" I have a bunch of perfect squares.

There is always my home-made guitar cutter. If you or someone you know are moderately handy with simple shop tools, you can trade your time in building for quite a few dollars. This was built with a table saw, a hand drill, and a hand torch. After using JB-Weld expoy to attach the handle I'm wondering if the whole unit couldn't just be glued together.

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Another thing I thought about is why isn't there an apparatus for cutting ganache besides the expensive guitar.

Can anyone explain to me why the guitars are so expensive? They seem like such a simple gizmo... is it really just supply and demand for this niche market, or is there something unique about them that justifies the price? I could see hundreds of dollars, but thousands? Wow...

(edited to add some respect for the gizmo... I just checkout out the thread on the homemade cutter and there is more to it than I had guessed...)


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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plexiglass strips work very well too, and as guides. But if your ganache is properly tempered for slabbing then a little shake and settle should be enough to keep it flat.


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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Excellent!! My hubby is very handy-I am sure he can do it- in the few free hours he has... I will convince him...

Thank you!

I love the innovation of using all these tools! I hope I find them or similar at the hardware store here. I have so many palette knives and scrapers cause I am always looking for just the right one!  Another thing I thought about is why isn't there an apparatus for cutting ganache besides the expensive guitar. I thought about a grid made up of lots of connected shapes, say squares. That is like a bunch of cookie cutters connected so I just place it over the ganache and press down and "walla!" I have a bunch of perfect squares.

There is always my home-made guitar cutter. If you or someone you know are moderately handy with simple shop tools, you can trade your time in building for quite a few dollars. This was built with a table saw, a hand drill, and a hand torch. After using JB-Weld expoy to attach the handle I'm wondering if the whole unit couldn't just be glued together.

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Hello, I'm new to chocolate, but I've learned so much by reading eGullet!

I'm making round, hand-dipped truffles and my ganache is well emulsified and set with a long bite and smooth mouth feel. The chocolate coatings have a beautiful glossy surface and a satisfying snap. Sounds pretty good, huh? Trouble is, I'm getting some cracked shells and nearly every truffle ends up with the tiniest, but unacceptable opening in the center of the bottom due to the ganache settling through the chocolate coating before the coating sets. To prolong shelf-life I want the ganache completely enclosed. I know if I were making flat truffles I could pre-coat the bottom, but I want round truffles. I'm using 61% at about 88-90°F for dipping, room temp is at 70°F and rolled ganache centers are at room temp and have been given time to dry a bit. How can I avoid double-dipping?

Thanks for any tips you can offer and Happy Holidays!

P.S. I love details.

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I had that very same problem with chocolate covered cherries. I found that if I left the stem on I could suspend them long enough to let the bottom set, but not otherwise.

My solution was to cut out a large number of small diameter chocolate disks to set them on, though my first try had rather thick disks.

Better than that would be to take a 1mm thick silicone mat, punch small holes, and use that as a template on parchment paper. That would produce small thin premade bottoms to drop your truffles on.

The other solution is to double coat them, creating a thin initial coating by coating them with a little chocolate in the palm of your hand. That's the method JPW used when showing us how to use a truffle grid.

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Oh, another way is to pipe your ganache into premade shells. That's what I did this year to obtain a sphere for a soft caramel truffle. I made the shells myself with a two piece mold.

Of course that's probably more work than double coating...

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This problem is exactly why I abandoned round truffles!

Pre-coating, as David describes, will work. Changing your dipping chocolate might work - chocolates that have a very high cocoa butter content and corresponding low viscosity are much more likely to sink through.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Hi purple-klick, and welcome.

I hand roll about 75% of my truffles and I double roll them. Both times are done with a very thin coating, but doing that initial roll is enough to keep the ganache from leaking through.

Not what you wanted to hear, I know, but it is what it is!

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I double coat my round truffles. I dab tempered chocolate on my fingertips and gently roll the round until it is coated. Once the first coat sets, I use a wand to dip if I want a smooth finish, or do a second had coat if I want a textured finish.

Another way is a 'pre-bottoming' technique I got from the folks a Guittard Chocolates.

Pipe out dabs of tempered chocolate on a parchment sheet. The spacing should be far enough apart so your rounds won't touch each other. Once the dabs set, you can dip your rounds and center them on the hardened dabs. You'll have to find the right height and diameter for the dabs so your rounds will rest on them and not roll off, which would defeat the purpose of the pre-bottoming.

You also might try lowering your room temperature to 65 - 68 degrees so the chocolate will set faster, lessening the chance of melting through the bottom.

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Cream boil

Emulisfy

table ganache

Pipe ganache

Allow to set slightly

hand roll ganahce

allow to set

Hand roll again to be perfect

allow to set

use a thin amount of chocoalte in the palm of your hand rolling the truffles for pre coat.

all the truffles to roll from your index finger over all your fingers to drop off of the pinky onto the sheet tray

wipe your holding hand

allow to set

heavily coat the second round and repeat procedure of pre coating.

I'll post some pics in a couple days. Maybe.


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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I just did a Christmas run of 5 batches of 100 truffles each.

Each batch was 'precoated' by hand.

I coated the first two batches of Frangelico and Orangecello truffles by had rolling the finish coat. It took about 3/4 pound of tempered chocolate to coat the 200 truffles.

I then did a special dark sugar free batch for a friend. The couverture seemed to be overly thick and was clumping up on the first couple of rounds so I thinned it with about 7% cocoa butter, re-tempered, and continued to dip with a wand. I was having problems with "bigfoot" due to the decrease in viscosity. Then I remembered Alanamoana's hint on dragging the wand across the surface of the chocolate and wiping the bottom. I got much better results and after the first few, I had truffles with an acceptable footprint. My friend was very happy with the results as they had a nice, smooth, thick coating, which had a nice snap at first bite, and a very soft creamy center which just oozed away into chocolate nirvana.

Encouraged by the wand dipping, I dipped batch 4 (Chambord) using Waialua Estates 70% dark. This chocolate is very runny and was causing me to really adjust the dunk time. I ended up with lots of bigfoot truffles which I had to trim so they would fit in my candy cups. After the fact, I realized I should have reduced the operating temperature instead of increasing it. However, there's always the next batch to do.

I got bored of dipping rounds so batch 5 (Waialua Coffee) was done by precoating the ganache slab then dipping squares with a fork. The first 50 were done with "stock" couverture. I ended up using about 1.25 pounds to coat 50 truffles which I think is too much. I made another batch of couverture thinned with about 5% cocoa butter. Much better, I ended up using only half a pound to coat the remaining 50 truffle squares.

Dipping with a wand or fork takes way more time and more couverture than hand rolling, but I needed a way to identify my flavors without any "garnish". If I want a smooth finish, I'll just have to allow extra time to use a wand/fork and make sure I temper twice as much chocolate as when I hand roll. If I'm in a rush or want a thin delicate coating, I'll hand roll. I think I can roll three or four truffles in the time it takes me to dip one with a wand. I will get better and faster if I keep practicing with the wand. Maybe I'll split my next batch into hand roll and wand dip portions and accurately note the time it takes to dip and the amount of chocolate used to enrobe the truffles.

The best part of all of this truffling is that no truffles developed cracks and only two hand rolled truffles leaked. I'm convinced that double coating is the way to ensure no cracks or leaks.

Right now, I'm all truffled out and I have to finish packing the truffles for delivery.

Mele Kalikimaka e ka Hauoli Makahiki Hou.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Hawaii.

Alooooooooooooohaaaaaa.

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Hello! Well we are having a cold spell here- it must be about 14C outside. Now this may be spring for some of you, but for us it is cooooold!! I am having ganache problems. I do 1:1 more or less for ganache to fill my pralines, but now it hardens much too much and cannot be piped. It is messy! I tried various methods of carefully and slowly warming it which usually results in curdled, nearly curdled or kind of slimy weird looking ganache. How do you deal with this problem? Does anyone want to rescue me?!

Thanks!

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I put my ganache to be piped in disposable plastic piping bags and will store it in the fridge when I'm finished. I put it in the micowave in the piping bag on the lowest power for as few seconds as required to bring it back to pipeable consistency.

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