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Ganache: Tips, Techniques & Troubleshooting

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The lime recipe to which I referred is Ewald Notter's "Key Lime Pralines."  Actually I reduce the amount of cream because on the first try the result was not firm enough.  The lime juice and zest overcome any overly buttery taste (is it possible to be overly buttery, I wonder).  The ganache is somewhat soft and the recipe would probably need some tweaking if it were used for slabbing, but it's fine for piping--and delicious.  I use fresh regular limes as I don't care for the taste of canned juice and cannot easily obtain key limes.

 

As for the passion fruit recipe, it is Peter Greweling's "Toucans."  I checked and the eGullet rules don't allow for including the procedure for recipes that are copyrighted, but it's OK to list ingredients.  So:  80g cream, 20g glucose, 80g passion fruit purée reduced (start with 160g), 300g chopped white chocolate, 20g soft butter.  The procedure is like any other cream ganache.  I always have a moment of panic at the end because the mixture is very soft, but it firms up beautifully in a short time.  It can be piped or slabbed.

Jim,If use Peter Greweling's method, the passion puree taste is not enough I try before, I use 68g cream, 148g passion puree, 24g butter, 228g white chocolate, 20g cocoa butter, I adding cocoa butter this time but also hard to firm up at overnight, adding cocoa butter but chocolate seem like more soft, Why? Thank

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Jim,If use Peter Greweling's method, the passion puree taste is not enough I try before, I use 68g cream, 148g passion puree, 24g butter, 228g white chocolate, 20g cocoa butter, I adding cocoa butter this time but also hard to firm up at overnight, adding cocoa butter but chocolate seem like more soft, Why? Thank

I am no expert, but I think you don't have enough chocolate for the liquid ingredients.  You have 212g of liquid (68 cream + 148 passion fruit).  At a ratio of 2 parts chocolate to 1 part liquid, you would need 432g (white chocolate + cocoa butter).  Greweling's ratio is slightly less than 2:1, but yours is closer to 1:1.  I'm assuming your 148g of passion fruit is the reduced amount (that you start with 296g).  If you mean it's reduced to 74g before you mix it in, then you still need more chocolate but not that much.  About the flavor: all I can say is that I have made Greweling's recipe maybe half a dozen times, and the passion fruit flavor has always been quite strong.

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I am no expert, but I think you don't have enough chocolate for the liquid ingredients.  You have 212g of liquid (68 cream + 148 passion fruit).  At a ratio of 2 parts chocolate to 1 part liquid, you would need 432g (white chocolate + cocoa butter).  Greweling's ratio is slightly less than 2:1, but yours is closer to 1:1.  I'm assuming your 148g of passion fruit is the reduced amount (that you start with 296g).  If you mean it's reduced to 74g before you mix it in, then you still need more chocolate but not that much.  About the flavor: all I can say is that I have made Greweling's recipe maybe half a dozen times, and the passion fruit flavor has always been quite strong.

I try your recipe  at almost  a ratio of 2 parts chocolate to 1 part liquid but also a little soft, how do you per-coating ganache, I could per- coating suface but bottom of ganache stick on cooking paper, how do you per-coating?Thank

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Hello all,

 

This should teach me not to follow recipes from just anywhere on the internet! I got this recipe from Godiva (and yes I was wondering why would they give out recipes-don't they want us to buy their chocolates ? now I know :hmmm: ). It was for a capuccino bonbon that consists of two layers of ganache, one a white chocolate vanilla bean and the other a dark chocolate espresso. Well, I thought the recipes were odd but tried anyway. My result is a very thin, not much more than a half inch tall, double layer of ganache that's too soft to cut and dip into chocolate. My question is - is there any way to salvage this? The only thing I can think of is to roll it into balls and maybe dip in cocoa but it might even be too soft for that. I guess I could pipe into shells, but I confess I'm not good at that. Is there any way to keep the integrity of the two ganaches do you think or is it a loss....

Thanks for any comments!

Ruth

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Unless you burn it, nothing is ever a total loss in the bakery.

 

Have you tried freezing it? You might be able to cut it while frozen, then roll in cocoa, or bring up to room temp and enrobe.

 

If you can scrape it up with a big flat spatula (like one would use to spackle a wall) you could use it as a cake filling and keep the layers intact.

 

If none of that works, you can whip the two together in a mixer for a whipped ganache icing.

 

There's always the mousse route: whip in more cream, and maybe gelatin, then serve as mousse, make an entreme style 'cake', or a mousse pie.

 

It may be unseasonable, but, some ganaches make delicious hot chocolate or chocolate coffee drinks when hot water or coffee is added. If you wish to try this, test a little and see how well it dissolves and if the cocoa mass is at all gritty. If you like it, freeze the ganache and scoop out as needed. Or, freeze, cut into measured chunks and refreeze chunks in a bag for quick grabs.

 

There's a good chance you can make a cake out of it, just look for a recipe that has a similar amount of chocolate in it and reduce the amount of milk added.

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I try your recipe  at almost  a ratio of 2 parts chocolate to 1 part liquid but also a little soft, how do you per-coating ganache, I could per- coating suface but bottom of ganache stick on cooking paper, how do you per-coating?Thank

I didn't realize you intended to slab the ganache, cut it, then dip it.  Greweling's recipe is meant for piping into molds.  You could add more chocolate to make the mixture firmer.  Greweling recommends tempering chocolate when you are going to dip the ganache (you can melt it very slowly, keeping it in temper).  For slabbing, I use Ewald Notter's technique of spreading the foot on the parchment or acetate first, then pour the ganache on top, let it set, then cut it.  That way the ganache does not stick.  The ganache may need a little chilling to firm up enough.

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Well I need some advice again. I am wanting to freeze finished, molded pieces. I am following Grewlings book in regards to vacuum sealing and temperature times. I have now tried two different storage containers in which I put the finished pieces. One container was a cheap one from the dollar store and the vacuum sealing gave the container hairline cracks but pushed in the lid enough that half of my pieces were damaged. I attempted to do the same with one of those small white plastic containers usually used to store freezer jam in and, wow! The lid and the sides were sucked in so tight, got my heart racing! I cut open the bag to look at the contents and let me tell you they were sad, sad, chocolates. I have been searching around the internet trying to find suitable containers for freezer storage and wanted to ask for help from all of you. My vacuum bags are only 11" wide so I cant have anything too big and bulky. Has anyone found a box or such that would work for me? Thanks!

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After more research, I have decided to pack the chocolates in an air-tight container, place in a vacuum seal-able bag, then just seal it closed without using the vacuum function. It seems like the vacuum is too strong for any of my containers and I am unable to control the strength. My plan is to then refrigerate them for 24 hours, then freeze. When time to take them out, I will refrigerate for 24 hours, bring to room temp for 24 hours before opening them. Does this sound right? Thanks again!

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I didn't realize you intended to slab the ganache, cut it, then dip it.  Greweling's recipe is meant for piping into molds.  You could add more chocolate to make the mixture firmer.  Greweling recommends tempering chocolate when you are going to dip the ganache (you can melt it very slowly, keeping it in temper).  For slabbing, I use Ewald Notter's technique of spreading the foot on the parchment or acetate first, then pour the ganache on top, let it set, then cut it.  That way the ganache does not stick.  The ganache may need a little chilling to firm up enough.

I follow Greweling's recipe "passion vanillas" the two layer, passion on the top and if passion puree too soft so hard to per-coating and cut

do you pre-coating also use overtempered chocolate or tempered chocolate? the mouth feel would be different?

usually, per-coating suface and bottom have to spread thin chocolate or just one side(like Ewald Notter's technique)? Thank

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I follow Greweling's recipe "passion vanillas" the two layer, passion on the top and if passion puree too soft so hard to per-coating and cut

do you pre-coating also use overtempered chocolate or tempered chocolate? the mouth feel would be different?

usually, per-coating suface and bottom have to spread thin chocolate or just one side(like Ewald Notter's technique)? Thank

I use Notter's technique (precoating on just one side).  There is disagreement about whether the precoat should be tempered or not.  I make sure it is not still in temper and find that it cuts more cleanly that way.  I don't think you notice this precoating layer at all once the ganache is dipped--it sort of disappears once the piece has been dipped.  I also have combined a passion fruit layer and a vanilla layer, and people seem to like the combination.

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After more research, I have decided to pack the chocolates in an air-tight container, place in a vacuum seal-able bag, then just seal it closed without using the vacuum function. It seems like the vacuum is too strong for any of my containers and I am unable to control the strength. My plan is to then refrigerate them for 24 hours, then freeze. When time to take them out, I will refrigerate for 24 hours, bring to room temp for 24 hours before opening them. Does this sound right? Thanks again!

I too have tried many methods of vacuum-freezing finished chocolates without a lot of success.  I use fairly sturdy boxes for my chocolates, and I thought I had succeeded once, but when I was preparing to give them away, I did a check, and the walls of one piece had collapsed.  There must be very rigid plastic containers out there somewhere, but I would assume the vacuum would be around the box, not inside it, so I'm not sure how protected the chocolates would be.  Right now I am placing the gift boxes filled with chocolates in a large plastic bag, sealing it (without using the vacuum feature), then refrigerating (no freezing).  Then I bring them to room temp with the bag still sealed (so that condensation will happen on the outside of the bag), then cut open the bag.  That way I can use the bag again.  Without freezing, I don't think this would work for long-term storage, but I think it helps extend shelf life for fillings that might be a little questionable otherwise.  My Weston vacuum sealer offers partial vacuuming, but it's an iffy proposition and depends on pushing the right button at just the right moment, so I've given up on that.  I think the method you describe above should be helpful, a good compromise.

 

Somewhere on this forum (I've just spent a long time searching, without success) there is a photo of a bag of individual chocolates (not in any container other than the freezer bag) that were vacuum-sealed, then frozen.  The person reported success with this method.  I think the vacuum would have to be fairly weak.

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I use Notter's technique (precoating on just one side).  There is disagreement about whether the precoat should be tempered or not.  I make sure it is not still in temper and find that it cuts more cleanly that way.  I don't think you notice this precoating layer at all once the ganache is dipped--it sort of disappears once the piece has been dipped.  I also have combined a passion fruit layer and a vanilla layer, and people seem to like the combination.

If I make 40 bonbon, how to calculate how much chocolate for each bonbon? in approximately how many (g) chocolate to enrobing for each bonbon? 

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If I make 40 bonbon, how to calculate how much chocolate for each bonbon? in approximately how many (g) chocolate to enrobing for each bonbon? 

I think that is a very difficult calculation to make with any accuracy--depends on the size of the pieces, viscosity of the chocolate, etc.  I usually fill a frame that is 7.5" x 7.5".  That allows me to cut off 1/4" on each edge (because the edges are not usually completely flat).  So, with 1" pieces, I have 49 pieces total.  For that amount I put 1.5 lb. (680g) in my small tempering machine.  After dipping, there is approximately 25% remaining in the bowl (you need extra to be able to dip the final pieces).

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Ever since Tikidoc mentioned (on this forum) making a piña colada flavored ganache, I have been trying to come up with a recipe. I found one online and have been working with it (the author credits Peter Greweling for the recipe, but it is not in the Greweling book that I have--and I am suspicious as it calls for "white chocolate chips"). I am using white chocolate as a base and am aiming for a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to liquefiers (Greweling and Notter call for 2.5:1 for white chocolate, though many of their recipes do not adhere to this ratio). So here are the ingredients:

Chocolate:

340g white chocolate, melted

34g cocoa butter, melted

Liquefiers:

76g cream

90g pineapple purée

20g coconut rum

Other Ingredient:

84g coconut oil

Excluding the coconut oil from the calculations (as one does with butter in a regular cream ganache), the ratio is 2:1 (the cocoa butter is not in the original recipe, but I added it to bring the chocolate up to the amount needed without adding additional flavor). But when I finished the ganache and gave it time to firm up (this was a test), it started in a very liquid state but got very firm in a short time. So firm, in fact, that I was able to add more pineapple to get a better flavor, and it still was quite firm, probably more than one wants in a piped ganache.

Can anyone explain what might have occurred to make this ganache so firm? Did the coconut oil do something to the mixture? (it was liquid when I added it). The flavor, by the way, was great, and if I can add more pineapple and rum, that would be a bonus. But I'm wondering if this was a fluke. Any insights would be welcome.


Edited by Jim D. (log)

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I've been reading up on theory behind all different ganache types (Greweling and Notter books), but I still am unsure as to the best way to take a ganache recipe that's meant to be piped and convert it to a recipe that can be slabbed. Is it as simple as adding more chocolate (in which case, does flavor suffer)?

 

Thanks for any thoughts (I'm working with both cream and butter ganache recipes)!!! ~Susie

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As far as I can tell, the recipes are the same but the technique differs.  From what I've read in Greweling's book, for piped you pour the cream over unmelted chocolate, mix, leave to cool then agitate, and for slabbed you use melted, tempered chocolate and pour it directly into the frame.

 

However, there are people around here who know a lot more about this than I do...

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As far as I can tell, the recipes are the same but the technique differs.  From what I've read in Greweling's book, for piped you pour the cream over unmelted chocolate, mix, leave to cool then agitate, and for slabbed you use melted, tempered chocolate and pour it directly into the frame.

 

However, there are people around here who know a lot more about this than I do...

 

Wow, I'll have to explore that! Thanks!

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Can I make ganache with milk instead of heavy cream ?

 

I wonder to know what is that different result?

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Yes.  You can make ganache with water.  The texture will be more chewy and less melty without the extra fat.  Also, use a little less milk than you would cream.  Or if you are simply out of cream and need to substitute, you could use milk and butter.

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