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Ganache: Tips, Techniques & Troubleshooting

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2 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

I have been asked by a customer to make a maple ganache using local maple syrup. A friend went to a maple festival in the Allegheny Mountains and brought me a bottle of the darkest one they had (these supposedly have the most flavor). I used Notter's recipe for maple pecan ganache, but used walnuts instead. The first attempt was far too sweet and had a weak maple flavor. So I eliminated the invert sugar completely, substituted cocoa butter for some of the milk chocolate called for, and tried again. At first taste, it's very good and quite maple-y, but after a few seconds, the excessive sweetness hits the palate. I bought some Amoretti natural maple flavor to bump up the flavor (haven't added it yet), but the sweetness is a barrier. Any ideas on what to do? If it were a fruit flavor, adding some citric acid would probably do the trick, but it seems questionable in this case.

Maybe some bitter caramelized sugar to cut the sweet?

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Maybe some bitter caramelized sugar to cut the sweet?

 

 

Sounds like it's worth a try. I thought of using dark chocolate instead of milk, and that would eliminate some sweetness, but I think it would make the other problem (maple taste) worse. I even thought of using completely unsweetened chocolate, but don't have any to try.

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6 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

How about a little salt? 

There is already a little in it (Notter's recipe calls for it), but I can try adding more. I have only a day or so to experiment since I have to inform the restaurant and the wine shop whether or not I can provide maple bonbons, so I'll be trying the suggestions offered so far. I forgot to mention initially that I also need to taste the ganache molded in dark chocolate (Felchlin Arriba 72%, the darkest I have) to see how much that helps. I've also got to test the Aw to see what omitting the invert sugar has done to the water activity.

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Years ago I made a maple syrup ganache in the most basic way: 200 g milk chocolate + 120 g maple syrup. It was cloying if tasted alone, but it was fine when enrobed with a 70% dark. So I would suggest to try to taste it with some of the 72% dark, your sensation may change quite a bit. After all it's what happens with all white chocolate ganaches: taken alone they are always cloying, but we keep using them.

I used that ganache for a dual layer praline, the other layer was a jalapeno dark chocolte ganache. Jalapeno hotness helped to cut the maple sweetness. I was pleased with the result.

If you can add other flavours besides maple, then you can play with bitter / hot flavours. If you have bitter almond oil at hand then you can try it, the bitterness should cut some of the sweetness and the bitter almond taste should be shadowed by the maple. I would suggest using tonka beans, but they are illegal in the USA. Cocoa nibs would work better than pecans/walnuts in my opinion. A bit of chestnut honey can help too, or bitter roots like gentiane and rhubarb.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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@teonzo, thanks for all those great ideas. I hadn't thought of something peppery/hot. I don't really care for jalapeño--it seems to taste too much of green peppers to me and the degree of heat in fresh ones is impossible to predict--but I do have some habañero oil on hand that I can try in a dark chocolate ganache. I also have some bitter almond oil from Germany that is really strong and some cocoa nibs, so I should have a fun day experimenting.

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For the record (about maple ganache):  I just tasted three variations, all involving a milk chocolate ganache with maple syrup (all were molded in 72% Arriba dark): (1) the maple ganache alone, (2) the maple ganache paired with a fairly thin layer of a ganache made with Arriba and cream (in a ratio of 1.5:1--chocolate to cream), and (3) the maple ganache paired with a thin layer of the same Arriba ganache plus habañero oil. Result:  As far as (1) goes, the dark chocolate definitely tempers the sweetness of the maple. In (2) there is an added punch of dark chocolate that counteracts the maple sweetness somewhat better. I really like (3), but the habañero distracts a bit from the maple--it doesn't conflict with it, just makes it less obvious.  And since the goal was to make a maple bonbon that had obvious maple flavor, I will use (2). The Aw reading of the maple ganache was 0.55--which both surprised and pleased me.

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

For the record (about maple ganache):  I just tasted three variations, all involving a milk chocolate ganache with maple syrup (all were molded in 72% Arriba dark): (1) the maple ganache alone, (2) the maple ganache paired with a fairly thin layer of a ganache made with Arriba and cream (in a ratio of 1.5:1--chocolate to cream), and (3) the maple ganache paired with a thin layer of the same Arriba ganache plus habañero oil. Result:  As far as (1) goes, the dark chocolate definitely tempers the sweetness of the maple. In (2) there is an added punch of dark chocolate that counteracts the maple sweetness somewhat better. I really like (3), but the habañero distracts a bit from the maple--it doesn't conflict with it, just makes it less obvious.  And since the goal was to make a maple bonbon that had obvious maple flavor, I will use (2). The Aw reading of the maple ganache was 0.55--which both surprised and pleased me.

The low Aw must be the shear volume of sugar in there!

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27 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

The low Aw must be the shear volume of sugar in there!

 

And that is with no added sugar beyond the maple syrup and what is in the milk chocolate.

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47 minutes ago, Merry Berry said:

Is whiskey or bourbon an option?

Good idea. I would have to see whether it masks the maple flavor, which is surprisingly (to me) "fragile."

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off topic, I had a panned smoked almond which was coated in milk chocolate and crispy bacon pieces, it was wonderful.

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Thinking about giving a lime ganache (key lime, I suppose but I'll be working with the regular ol' limes that are available where I live) a try. For some reason, I've never got around to that one. For those already doing it, are you using a cream ganache, a butter ganache or some other variation (water ganache, etc.)? I was just going to cobble something together and see what happens but I figured I could at least get in the ballpark of what works best by asking. Of course, existing recipes are welcome as well. I'm not determined to create my own recipe, just don't already have one. I'd prefer to base it on white chocolate. I want minimal chocolate flavor influence for this one.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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On 2/23/2020 at 2:39 PM, Tri2Cook said:

Thinking about giving a lime ganache (key lime, I suppose but I'll be working with the regular ol' limes that are available where I live) a try. For some reason, I've never got around to that one. For those already doing it, are you using a cream ganache, a butter ganache or some other variation (water ganache, etc.)? I was just going to cobble something together and see what happens but I figured I could at least get in the ballpark of what works best by asking. Of course, existing recipes are welcome as well. I'm not determined to create my own recipe, just don't already have one. I'd prefer to base it on white chocolate. I want minimal chocolate flavor influence for this one.

 

I don't think this is just what you're looking for, but it's a start.

 

It's from Greweling's Chocolate and Confections at home.

 

Coconut Lime Truffles

2 oz. heavy cream

2 oz cream of coconut (not coconut cream or coconut milk, this is a sweetened product)

1/2 oz (1T) light corn syrup

1 Limes, grated and juice

12 oz. white chocolate

 

I've made this a couple times enrobing in white chocolate and I really like it.

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On 2/23/2020 at 5:39 PM, Tri2Cook said:

Thinking about giving a lime ganache (key lime, I suppose but I'll be working with the regular ol' limes that are available where I live) a try. For some reason, I've never got around to that one. For those already doing it, are you using a cream ganache, a butter ganache or some other variation (water ganache, etc.)? I was just going to cobble something together and see what happens but I figured I could at least get in the ballpark of what works best by asking. Of course, existing recipes are welcome as well. I'm not determined to create my own recipe, just don't already have one. I'd prefer to base it on white chocolate. I want minimal chocolate flavor influence for this one.

 

Ewald Notter has a very good lime ganache that I use frequently. It's a typical cream ganache except that he calls for some pectin to be added to the cream. I've never been completely sure why the pectin is there, but perhaps it is to thicken the ganache without adding so much white chocolate. I add lots of lime zest. It is very popular and pairs well with other layers such as coconut cream. It works with either a white or dark chocolate shell.

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4 hours ago, Jim D. said:

he calls for some pectin to be added to the cream. I've never been completely sure why the pectin is there, but perhaps it is to thicken the ganache without adding so much white chocolate. 


What kind of pectin do you use in this recipe? 

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59 minutes ago, GRiker said:


What kind of pectin do you use in this recipe? 

 

Notter doesn't specify. I use what Chef Rubber sells as "pâte de fruit pectin."  I think it's what is commonly referred to as "apple pectin."

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6 hours ago, Jim D. said:

Ewald Notter has a very good lime ganache that I use frequently.


Thanks! I have one of his books, I'll see if it's in there.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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14 hours ago, GRiker said:

It's from Greweling's Chocolate and Confections at home.


I have that book, it never occurred to me before, but I could just replace the cream of coconut with more heavy cream and see how that tastes. 


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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7 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:


I have that book, it never occurred to me before, but I could just replace the cream of coconut with more heavy cream and see how that tastes. 

Good idea.  Also might consider more lime zest.  When paired with the coconut, it could handle more lime flavor. 

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12 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:


I have that book, it never occurred to me before, but I could just replace the cream of coconut with more heavy cream and see how that tastes. 

 

Depending how much of each we're talking, coconut cream and heavy cream have quite different fat levels (24ish vs 35ish%) which could have an impact on your ganache texture.

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8 hours ago, keychris said:

 

Depending how much of each we're talking, coconut cream and heavy cream have quite different fat levels (24ish vs 35ish%) which could have an impact on your ganache texture.


There is that. I'm usually going in the opposite direction so I hadn't considered that. With the stuff available locally where I live, adding a packet of coconut cream powder to a can of coconut milk puts it almost exactly at the fat level of heavy cream so I do that sometimes if I want to introduce coconut flavor to an existing ganache recipe.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Do you strain the zests from the cream before adding it to the chocolate?


Vanessa

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