Ganache is a must-have in any chocolate-lover’s arsenal of delectable recipes. One of the most versatile ingredients in desserts, ganache is found on truffles, éclairs, cakes, cookies and almost anything you can think of putting chocolate in. The things you can do with ganache are endless; it truly is a platform for creativity. Surprisingly, the components of ganache remain the same regardless of its use: cream and premium quality chocolate. But how can one recipe become a smooth, liquid coating for cakes and a soft, spreadable core for a chocolate truffle?
The secret lies in the ratio of chocolate and cream in the recipe. According to Robert Linxe, owner of La Maison du Chocolat in Paris, a basic ganache recipe consists of two parts chocolate and one part cream in weight. This ratio makes the ganache perfect for piping into pastries such as éclairs or rolling into truffles when the mixture cools to room temperature.
For a more liquid ganache that’s perfect for coating cakes, we at Sulpice Chocolat would love to share this recipe for a more fluid but equally rich chocolate ganache (inspired by Stephanie Jaworski from JoyofBaking.com and Mr. Robert Linxe):
Ingredients for Ganache
8 ounces (227 grams) high quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of any flavor of your choice (liqueurs, brandy, cognac, or extracts), optional
1. Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces using a serrated knife so the chocolate bits don’t catapult off the chopping board.
2. In a saucepan, bring the cream and butter to a boil then remove from heat. Bring the cream to boil and remove from heat for two more times. This will get rid of the cream’s acidity. You can also heat the cream and butter in the microwave.
3. After removing from heat for the last time, wait 20 seconds before pouring the cream onto the chopped chocolate. Very gently stir the mixture with a spoon or whisk to avoid incorporating air into the ganache. Start stirring from the middle and work your way out.
4. Add the flavor of your choice at the end and stir until combined.
5. To coat cakes, brush off any crumbs from the cake to ensure a smooth finish. Refrigerate the cake beforehand to also keep the coating’s shine later. When cooled, coat the cake with a thin layer of ganache then refrigerate for a few minutes. Place the coated cake on a wire rack (make sure there’s something underneath it to catch the excess ganache!) and pour a generous amount of ganache to the center of the cake. Using a metal spatula or knife, quickly spread the ganache evenly on top and on the sides of the cake. Let the ganache set.
6. This recipe can also be used to make truffles. Just cover the ganache and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight for best results. Roll the firm ganache into balls and coat with cocoa powder or whatever coating best suits your taste. Enjoy!