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schneich

Ganache: Tips, Techniques & Troubleshooting

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Thanks for the tips, David. My ganache isn't breaking - it comes together into what appears to be a beautiful glossy emulsion. But the finished centers have a decidedly grainy texture.


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Thanks for the tips, David.  My ganache isn't breaking - it comes together into what appears to be a beautiful glossy emulsion.  But the finished centers have a decidedly grainy texture.

I was experimenting with Guittard and I experienced a grainy texture as well. But I did solve it by using a immersion blender and also melting the chocolate to 110-115 and adding it to 110-115 degree cream. This way insures the chocolate doesn't get scorched/burned and I end up with a great ganache. Since then I haven't experienced a grainy ganache, but I have also decided that I will probably not use Guittard for other reasons.

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Hi all,

I've only recently started using an immersion blender to emulsify my ganache and became thrilled with how smooth and glossy the result was. For a batch of Grand Marnier truffles I got really over zealous with it and used it for about 5 - 10 min! Well, the ganache piped well and rolled well. After dipping, when I tasted the truffle, the ganache was horribly gummy and the shell ( dipped, not moulded ) actually separated from the ganache. How awful! Any explanations?

Thanks!

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Hi all,

I've only recently started using an immersion blender to emulsify my ganache and became thrilled with how smooth and glossy the result was. For a batch of Grand Marnier truffles I got really over zealous with it and used it for about 5 - 10 min! Well, the ganache piped well and rolled well. After dipping, when I tasted the truffle, the ganache was horribly gummy and the shell ( dipped, not moulded ) actually separated from the ganache. How awful! Any explanations?

Thanks!

Can you list the ingredients?

Perhaps the butter separated and came to the surface from the overmixing.

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My guess would be too much air. Overzealous mixing can add a lot of air.

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i would think that it has something to do with corn syrup or invert sugar added to the recipe.

but, we'd have to see the recipe.

10 minutes seems like an awfully long time. unless the ganache was broken and you were trying to bring it back together, you should just mix it (even with an immersion blender) until the entire batch is glossy and smooth...then stop.

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i would think that it has something to do with corn syrup or invert sugar added to the recipe.

but, we'd have to see the recipe.

There's no invert sugar or corn syrup added, just dark choc. , milk choc, butter and cream...after over zealous mixing, GM was added.

I'm wondering if what Kerry said happened and the butter came to the top, anyway, I won't do that again!

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Could it perhaps of gotten too hot? I remember Heston Blumenthal explaining that, when the blades of the blender hit the food, it creates quite bit of heat. So over 10 minutes, it's going to get pretty warm in there.


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Does anybody have an in-depth understanding of the effects of using tempered chocolate in ganache? Does it create more "structure"? I have seen several recipes that call for this, but I have never found a satisfactory explanation.


Formerly known as "Melange"

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Does anybody have an in-depth understanding of the effects of using tempered chocolate in ganache? Does it create more "structure"? I have seen several recipes that call for this, but I have never found a satisfactory explanation.

Funny, I asked Kerry in person this morning that same question! I won't attempt to repeat her explanation for fear of flubbing it as I am sure she will answer you herself very soon!


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Some give the reason of giving the chocolate a longer shelf life. This comes because the beta crystals in the tempered chocolate are going to lock tighter than the other crystals that can be present in untempered chocolate. This leads to less water migration and less ways for bacteria to grow....I have heard this one from a chocolatier but haven't seen exact research yet...but it makes sense....

Robert

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Some give the reason of giving the chocolate a longer shelf life. This comes because the beta crystals in the tempered chocolate are going to lock tighter than the other crystals that can be present in untempered chocolate. This leads to less water migration and less ways for bacteria to grow....I have heard this one from a chocolatier but haven't seen exact research yet...but it makes sense....

Robert

Chocolate Forum

YUP - That's pretty much what Kerry said!


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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mmm... that doesn't sound quite right to me. If I run an Aw on ganache made with tempered as well as non tempered chocolate, i'll get the same number (and have). If you're making a ganache with cream, many of the lipids in the cocoa butter are actually soluable in those of the cream, which does all sorts of crazy things to your temper (and is one of the reasons you can't temper a chocolate that has had too much milk fat added to it, by the way).

I do buy that using tempered vs untempered can have an effect on structure of the ganache, and subsequently mouthfeel and perhaps appearance (cracking of shells might be inhibited), but not on microbial shelf life...

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Wybauw claims that the shelf life is better if tempered chocolate is used. He states it is structural, as Robert says, the beta crystals packing tighter means everything is more compact. If, as you say, the Aw doesn't change whether or not you use tempered chocolate, is there any other reason that the shelf life would be extended?

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Now does the AW level represent water in general or free water? Basically does that amount show the bound water or not? Because the would make a difference in microbial growth. If the aw only messures water as a whole and doesn't distinguish between free or bound then the tempered chocolate might have an effect that can not be seen by the aw meter...

I throw this out there with no answer and minimal knowledge. Just an idea...It all depends on how the aw meter works...I'm guessing Sebastian could answer that question...

Robert

Chocolate Forum

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Aw is a measure of how much water is available for microbes to grow, basically. It's not a measure of total water - only that water that is free to enable bacteria, mould, yeast, etc to use for metabolism. If you have a cup of water w/ nothing in it, that cup of water has an Aw of 1.0 - meaning all of it's available for things to use to grow. If you now add 50% of a 42 DE corn syrup to that cup of water, there's actually more water present (you're getting water from the corn syrup in addition to what's in the cup), but the Aw is much, much, much lower now, as the dissolved sugars are ensuring that some of that water is too busy dissolving sugars, and not available for things to use to grow.

I've not seen any science to support the use of tempered chocolate as a vehicle for shelf life improvements one way or the other. As Kerry notes, it makes sense that it might, due to what's physically happening during tempering (the cocoa butter forms a certain shape that enables it to pack together very nicely, resulting in a smaller form - ie it shrinks). However, keep in mind that once you're adding a lot of butter fat, you're interfering with both the structure of the cocoa butter crystals (CCB doesn't form one type of crystal, it forms many...) as well as it's ability to pack nicely in a HUGE way - essentially if you've got over about 6% butter fat present, you've just lost the ability to maintain a tempered product. Most cream ganaches will have way more than that. If you throw in nut oils (ie, hazelnut), that compounds the issue..

That's not to say that the use of tempered chocolate to begin with doesn't retain some of that ability to maintain tempered ccb crystal formation in the final product - i know that it does - the amount of which is retained depends largely on how much cream you've added and what you're temperatures have been when doing so, as well as what you do with the ganache after you've made it (room temperature vs cool room vs refridgerate, etc - all make a difference in how the fat crystallizes). Again, not haveing seen any scientific evidence one way or the other, my guess is that this is what would be providing any shelf life differences, and that shelf life here would refer not to microbial stability, but physical product stability (reduced tendancy to separate, reduced tendancy to crack and leak, etc).

If someone has seen a scientific study on it, I'd love to read it...the topic might actually make for an interesting masters level investigation..

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Actually , Sebastian , your explanations are very very usefull.This thread will be very interesting indeed.


Vanessa

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I think that would be great to have a team study this...I just searched the internet for research on the subject and nothing, I mean nothing, came up. Hopefully we will see something soon, in the form of research, come out on the subject...

Robert

Chocolate Forum

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I appreciate the info so far. If I can add anything to the discussion, it is that I have seen tempered chocolate called for in a minority of recipes by chocolatiers who usually do not call for it. This leads me to believe that a textural change is the most likely candidate.


Formerly known as "Melange"

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Page 55 of Wybauw's Fine Chocolate in the chapter covering shelf live states "Crystallizing helps to protect the product against drying" and earlier in the chapter discusses moisture migration as a cause of decreased shelf life though either drying of centers or softening of things like fueilletine in the centres thereby contributing to decrease in shelf life.

I had the impression that Wybauw was saying that Aw was decreased by tempered chocolate, but reading back in my notes, it just says that tempered chocolate will make it smoother and because it is a more stable crystalline structure will last longer.

Scott, do you have grad students working with you? Perhaps you could design a little experiment?

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I'd have to give it some thought. I'm not sure I have the proper equipment to non-destructively test for structural differences (ie, my equipment will test structure, but the act of testing it changes it, and so wouldn't likely be measuring what's really going on in the unchanged, intact ganache..). Am open to suggestions tho!

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I'd have to give it some thought.  I'm not sure I have the proper equipment to non-destructively test for structural differences (ie, my equipment will test structure, but the act of testing it changes it, and so wouldn't likely be measuring what's really going on in the unchanged, intact ganache..).  Am open to suggestions tho!

Certainly we could test the hypothesis that ganache made with tempered chocolate has a longer shelf life than ganache make with untempered chocolate if we used subjective measures such as taste testing, looking for mold growth etc. I suppose we could look for weight changes indicating water migration in and out of the ganache (although I'm not sure if microbial growth adds or subtracts weight).

Microscopy to see if there are structural differences between both ganaches would be interesting.

So what sort of tests do you currently use to test structural differences?

Any chance I can get a tour of your lab when I'm at the PMCA this year? (Just thought I'd slip that in)

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I'm completely fascinated by this topic. I received "The Art of the Cake" by Bruce Healy and Paul Bugat for Christmas, and was astonished to find that they instruct readers to temper the chocolate that will be used for glazes and ganaches. I had never seen this process before (and I have a LOT of baking books!).

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We could test the theory without the machinery in a more primative way...If we make two batches of truffles and make each one EXACTLY the same way except for the tempering of the chocolate then we could make those two sets and cut open a truffle every two days and check for differences, mold, dryness, taste(untill mold kicks in).

It would be a basic way of doing it but it would be able to test the two side by side...If I have the time this week I will try to head into the kitchen and try this one.

Very interesting subject so far...

Robert

Chocolate Forum

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