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Pastry Ganache - Fillings and Glazes


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I'm a pretty accomplished home baker; I've made ganache dozens of times with no problem. This morning I needed to ice a cake with ganache, and it had to be done by 11:00, when my husband was to take it with him for a party in the evening in a nearby city. Disaster. I made a batch, using good heavy cream and Lindt 70 percent chocolate. It broke. I tried a couple of techniques for rescuing it, including heating half the mixture and cooling half the mixture and then combining in the food processor. No luck. Chocolate gobs floating in butterfat. I started again, and the same thing happened. As soon as I stirred the broken chocolate into the hot cream, I got this broken, ugly looking mess. Finally, I gave up and, not having any cream left in the house, made a Rose Levy Beranbaum chocolate butter glaze, which worked fine. For that I used some Guittard chocolate disks. (My husband had left by then, so now I have a very nice chocolate almond cherry torte looking for eaters.)

Two questions: Could it have been something wrong with the chocolate itself? I got a big mess of Lindt 70 percent bars at our local Lindt outlet; they were well before their pull-by dates, but could they have been old, and would that have made a difference? Is using 70 % chocolate a problem in ganache?

Second, any ideas about what to do now with the quart or so of broken ganache? I didn't throw the mixture away; after all, it's just chocolate, cream, and instant espresso. Mix in some eggs and flour and bake it as a cake? I need to rescue my pride, if nothing else.

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ganache can only break for two reasons :

1. too much stirring at a to low temperature

2. not enough liquid to maintain the emulsion

ganache is an "oil in water" type emulsion, which means that you need enough water to build a continous watery phase in which the tiny fat globules are dispersed. if you dont have enough water to do that you ganache breaks. so the solution to your problem is easy, just add a little bit more "watery phase". heavy cream already has a high fat content, which also has contributed to your problem. to repair your ganache, just reheat it gently in the microwave, when it feels slightly warm to your hand begin to stir in warm water spoon by spoon, and your ganche will come together again. :laugh:


torsten s.

Edited by schneich (log)

toertchen toertchen

patissier chocolatier cafe

cologne, germany

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I'm with Torsten - too much fat. I have this exact problem when i try to make ganache with my 72% Cluizel and the high butterfat cream I use - it breaks or gets greasy every time. If you're going to try making ganache from that chocolate again, look for a lower butterfat cream - there can be quite a variation between brands. Look to the overall calories per serving as a ballpark - the brands I have access to fall between 45 and 60 calories per serving, and that's a pretty significant difference in fat content.

I think you should be able to make brownies or something from the broken ganache, but I have no idea how to adapt it to a recipe.

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