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Flavoring in Ganache


beacheschef
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Mary:

Here's a link to La Maison du Chocolat's recipe for making mint ganache -- for their "Zagora" truffle:

La Maison Zagora mint ganache

The basic technique plus quantities is given. There are a couple of aspects of this recipe you might want to pay attention to:

1) The mint is snipped with scissors crushing the leaves to some extent and extracting some of the volatile oils

2) After infusing and straining, the mint is rubbed against the seive wth a wooden spoon, extracting still more of the volatile oils.

This may provide the additional intensity you are looking for. Of course, LMDC uses cream from Gruyere and a custom blend of couverture from Valrhona for their recipes, so you'll never be able to duplicate the taste. What I can tell you is that the technique and quantities above made an intensely flavored ganache that tasted very fresh with the bitterness from the oils providing a complexity to the taste that cannot be matched by essences.

Hope this helps,

Clay

Clay Gordon

president, pureorigin

editor/publisher www.chocophile.com

founder, New World Chocolate Society

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Recently I have been using yogurt instead of cream in my ganaches. I find that the light acidic notes that yogurt provide enhance the flavor of the chocolate, much like salt is used to enhance sweet flavor. I also like this method because of the high ratio of yogurt that I can add to chocolate (1.5 to 1) with out sacrificing the texture of the ganache, since yogurt all ready has a creamy texture.

I have infused yogurt and added it to ganaches, and have had great success (herbal flavor really stand on their own). If the chocolate is to strong still, I simply add a little extra infused-yogurt to the mixture. And if I find that the ganache has great herbal flavor but to "yogurty" I add a pinch of salt and a touch of melted whole butter.

Give it a try.

Good Luck!

Cory Barrett

Pastry Chef

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  • 1 year later...
Recently I have been using yogurt instead of cream in my ganaches. I find that the light acidic notes that yogurt provide enhance the flavor of the chocolate, much like salt is used to enhance sweet flavor.

I tried this once, but the yogurt broke and gave the truffles a grainy texture, but a great taste. How did you heat the yogurt for the ganache? Both the acidity and the non-fattiness of yogurt lend it to breaking. I'd love to be able to include truffles made with my homemade yogurt in my christmas packages.

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My target audience is people staying at hotels in the southeast. Not a cosmopolitan area, people aren't too adventurous with food down here. I have to make sure my truffles please the "masses"

Why not try southern flavors? Bourbon (how about mint julep - a bourbon/mint combo), pecan praline, sweet potato, sweet tea, and the like. These are sure to please the locals as well as more cosmopolitan palates.

:Clay

Edited by chocophile (log)

Clay Gordon

president, pureorigin

editor/publisher www.chocophile.com

founder, New World Chocolate Society

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  • 1 year later...

I'm eager to use my newly-earned truffle making skillz, so I'm making a bunch of truffles for Mother's Day and selling them to my friends and neighbors. I have some flavor ideas in mind and wanted to get some input on technique.

The last time I made truffles we used Bonny Doon Framboise to flavor some raspbery truffles - probably about 2 tbsp for 1 lb of chocolate. I found the flavor too subtle, but I think the ganache would become hard to work with if I added much more. So I was thinking that I'd start with 1/2 cup and reduce it down to a couple of tbsp, hopefully keep the flavor without adding liquid. Does this sound about right?

I really want to make ginger truffles. Seems like there are a couple of schools of thought out there - steep sliced ginger in the cream, or use ginger juice. What are the pros and cons of the two approaches?

Lastly, espresso truffles. Most recipes I've seen call for espresso powder, but since my hubby has a good espresso machine, I could use the real thing. I assume I'd need to replace an equal volume of cream with the espresso - how is that going to impact the consistency of the ganache?

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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The last time I made truffles we used Bonny Doon Framboise to flavor some raspbery truffles - probably about 2 tbsp for 1 lb of chocolate. I found the flavor too subtle, but I think the ganache would become hard to work with if I added much more. So I was thinking that I'd start with 1/2 cup and reduce it down to a couple of tbsp, hopefully keep the flavor without adding liquid. Does this sound about right?

Use the framboise as a component to your main flavor profile. I suggest using real raspberries for a raspberry flavor. Replace up to 50% of your cream with raspberry puree and use the framboise to really bring out the flavor. A touch of balsamic vinegar will also enhance the fruity flavors.

[qoute]I really want to make ginger truffles. Seems like there are a couple of schools of thought out there - steep sliced ginger in the cream, or use ginger juice. What are the pros and cons of the two approaches?

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I really want to make ginger truffles.  Seems like there are a couple of schools of thought out there - steep sliced ginger in the cream, or use ginger juice.  What are the pros and cons of the two approaches??

There is a formula for steeped ginger truffles in "Bittersweet" by Alice Medrich which I found very disappointing the one time I tried it -- I barely tasted the ginger. Go for the ginger juice if you want a pronounced ginger flavor.

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Wanted to say thanks to everyone for the tips! My various flavored ganaches turned out great. I had a few problems with the coating - my temper was not quite perfect, I had quite a bit of cracking, and the bottoms of the raspberry truffles stuck and get leaky. I think my centers were probably too cold, so I'll let them sit at room temperature for longer next time, but does anyone have any ideas what's going on with the raspberry truffles and the bottoms sticky? They were the softest ganache. I let them "dry" for a few hours after rolling, then dipped in the tempered chocolate. I'm using a regular fork to pull them out - would a special candy dipping fork help me avoid the problem? My coating is quite thin - do I just need to plan to double dip the raspberry?

Comments on the flavors, in case anyone was curious. For the ginger I tried infusing the cream, but as others have said, it wasn't strong enough. Tasting the cream alone it had good flavor, but it got quickly overwhelmed by the chocolate. Luckily I was prepared for this and had a few tbsp of juice standing by to add.

For the coffee, I just put a couple of heaping tbsp of finely ground dark roast into the cream and let it stand for five minutes. It was so finely ground that it couldn't be strained out, so I left it in to add some extra kick.

For the raspberry, I reduced 3/4 c of Framboise down by half. I should have gone further, as the resulting ganache was a little harder to work with than I would have preferred. Excellent flavor, however, without having to figure out how to work with an actual fruit puree. I'll do that when I'm not pressed for time!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Sounds like you had great results. I thought of this thread a few nights ago, when I went directly from zesting a lemon to watering my basil plant, and couldn't resist pinching off a leaf to snif. The combo of lemon and basil was really heady. The flavors are probably too delicate for a bittersweet chocolate truffle, but maybe in a white chocolate confection of some type?.... I have no time to experiment myself, so I'm throwing the idea out there to see if it grabs anyone's interest.

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I have a mint at my back door that I've been thinking of playing with. Anybody have a clue as to how much to start with? And I've been wondering, how small of a batch of ganache can you do successfully while you're trying to get your flavors right?

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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how small of a batch of ganache can you do successfully while you're trying to get your flavors right?

I've been wondering that too.

Re. mint - I found that I had a strong tendency to underestimate how much I needed to get the flavor I was looking for. I started with 6 large mint leaves, chopped roughly, since that's a number I had heard from someone. That was barely noticeable in the cream, so I re-infused with about double the amount again, and got something that was at a good level for me. Maybe I should have chopped the mint finer to get more flavor?

I also think it will depend on the mint you're using - some is going to be more intense than others. And of course, it will depend on whether you're looking for a subtle or more dramatic flavor. Which, of course, bring us back to your question, doesn't it?

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Sounds like you had great results.  I thought of this thread a few nights ago, when I went directly from zesting a lemon to watering my basil plant, and couldn't resist pinching off a leaf to snif.  The combo of lemon and basil was really heady.  The flavors are probably too delicate for a bittersweet chocolate truffle, but maybe in a white chocolate confection of some type?....  I have no time to experiment myself, so I'm throwing the idea out there to see if it grabs anyone's interest.

I have done a lemon-basil in white chocolate truffle before.

When I use the juice of a lemon, I use a peeler first to take the strips of rind off, then dry them and keep them to grind in my sumeet grinder. I add a bit of sugar and lemon oil and keep in a bottle to use in cookies etc (my imitation of the Durkees lemon rind that you can't get anymore).

So for my truffles I took 3 of these big strips of dried rind, 1/4 cup shredded basil and steeped in 150 grams hot cream. I strained them out, added the reheated cream to 380 grams melted white chocolate, added 6 drops lemon oil and when cool 25 grams room temperature butter.

I dipped them in tempered bittersweet chocolate, then rolled in cocoa mixed with sugar and lemon rind.

As I recall they were very tasty, an almost minty flavour.

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I have done a lemon-basil in white chocolate truffle before.

When I use the juice of a lemon, I use a peeler first to take the strips of rind off, then dry them and keep them to grind in my sumeet grinder.  I add a bit of sugar and lemon oil and keep in a bottle to use in cookies etc (my imitation of the Durkees lemon rind that you can't get anymore). 

So for my truffles I took 3 of these big strips of dried rind, 1/4 cup shredded basil and steeped in 150 grams hot cream.  I strained them out, added the reheated cream to 380 grams melted white chocolate, added 6 drops lemon oil and when cool 25 grams room temperature butter. 

I dipped them in tempered bittersweet chocolate, then rolled in cocoa mixed with sugar and lemon rind.

As I recall they were very tasty, an almost minty flavour.

Yum -- I can taste them in my mind's eye.......

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  • 9 years later...

Hello

I just wondered if anyone had any suggestions that could help. I don't use anything artificial when 'flavouring' ganache so try to stick to infusions of fresh ingredients but I'm struggling to get pronounced flavours with certain fruits. I want to make a rhubarb truffle but my first few attempts have been a let down. I cooked the rhubarb with a smudge of water ( just to stop it burning)(no sugar) then pureed and passed- I made two batches with white chocolate using the liquid and the pulp. The flavour was there but so subtle it was hardly distinguishable 

Any suggestions?

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I too have struggled with getting rhubarb flavor in a ganache.  The last time I cooked fresh rhubarb as you did and reduced it as much as I could without burning it.  I mixed it with a very small amount of strawberry purée.  Many people told me they liked it, but, to be frank, I think they were tasting mostly strawberry.  I am going to try once more with some rhubarb from the local farmers' market this spring.  Someone on this forum suggested roasting it, but I have not tried that yet.  Reluctantly I have come to the conclusion that some fruits just are too subtle to taste in a ganache.  Pear is another one that is not sufficiently strong, at least for my taste.  One other idea:  You can substitute cocoa butter for some of the white chocolate and reduce the chocolate taste a bit.  I use that technique in many fruit ganaches.

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thank you Jim

Rhubarb, pear, apple! what wrong with these fruits that they don't like chocolate!

What percentage of chocolate do you replace with cocoa butter? sounds interesting, does it have any effect on the set? 

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Roasting rhubarb certain does concentrate the flavour and sweeten it up. I add some freeze dried fruit to boost the flavour as well (of course not everyone has freeze dried rhubarb floating around). Also I tend to add a bit of of booze when I do fruit flavours - if I'm using red fruit I add some lemon vodka or a citrus liqueur of some sort.

 

Rhubarb alone though I'm not really a fan - I prefer my rhubarb with strawberry!

 

Never made a pear alone ganache that I've been happy with - they simply do not have a distinct enough flavour - but pear almond - that's a great combination with a bit of Poire William in there to bump it up.

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I checked some of my recipes (some from Ewald Notter), and the usual amount of cocoa butter (used as a substitution for white chocolate) is about 7-8% (of the total amount of white choc. and cocoa butter used in the recipe).  Too much, and the ganache becomes too "short"--it will not have that unctuous texture we look for in a ganache.

 

I agree with the problem fruits you listed except for apple.  An apple-flavored caramel is delicious and can taste amazingly of apple.  The idea of using apple cider jelly (which is simply apple cider boiled down, with no additives) comes from Tikidoc on this forum.  I can send you my recipe if you want (assuming you can find cider jelly).

 

I agree with Kerry about pear.  It is a great disappointment.  I would be interested in knowing how she combines it with almond flavor.  The last time I made an all-out push to achieve a pear ganache, I made my own pear purée and boiled it down as much as possible.  I must confess I added pear "essence," a product from France is that is supposedly made from distilling pears in some sort of steam process (cake goddess Rose Levy Beranbaum recommends the apricot version of the same product).  It was better, but still the pear taste was weak.  I paired it, however, with a pear pate de fruit, which had a very strong pear taste.  I had planned to try again with a filling of half this pear jelly and half vanilla ganache.  But I like Kerry's almond idea even more--if she will reveal how she gets the almond taste!

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It's just a recipe I put together - it's a butter cream so contains fondant which I rarely use any more in fillings - 

 

Pear Almond Center
  • 125 grams butter
  • 375 grams fondant
  • 375 grams almond paste
  • 50 grams pear william liqueur
  • 50 grams pear puree
  • 1 teaspoon pear compound
Mix room temperature butter and fondant in food processor. Add almond paste, and remaining ingredients.

 

 

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