Monday, April 21, 2008

Ganache step-by-step

Today I decided to talk about one of the most used creams in pastry: The Ganache. It has so much versatillity and can be used in so many ways, with diferent flavours that I think everyone should know how to do a good one. Ganache has it's origins around 1850 in France or in Switzerland. History (or legend) says it was invented by accident by an apprentice baker, who by mistaque poored cream into melted chocolate. The pastry chef was so mad that called him a ganache (a silly person in french), but then after tasting the mistaque he decided it was very good and started using it.

A basic ganache can be made with just 2 ingredients, chocolate and cream, and optionally butter. You can use any kind of chocolate and even mix different kinds to achive the bitterness/sweetness you're looking for. It can be used for truffles, fillings for molded chocolates, fillings or icing for cakes, sauces, rich tart fillings, to glaze or sandwich cookies, etc. It can even be whipped for a lighter texture almost like a mousse.

Here I'm using half dark chocolate, half milk chocolate. The consistency of the ganache will depend on the percentage of cream but also from the type of chocolate. Darker chocolates with a higher cocoa solids will make much more consistent ganaches than the ones made with milk or white chocolates.

Flavours will depend on your imagination: licors, coffee, caramel, extracts, teas, spices, fruit pur├ęs, herbs, etc. In the picture above I'm using black tea infused in the cream. You can infuse whatever you want, but if using alcohol be sure to add it at the end.

Regardless the types of chocolate or the amount of cream, the method of doing the perfect ganache is the same:

Slightly melt the chocolate (not totally) as seen in the picture on top. Use chips or finelly chopped chocolate and 1 minute in the microwave will do. Get the cream and heat it just until before boiling point, add here the flavorings you're going to use. Straine the cream unto the recipient where the chocolate is and let it rest for a couple of minutes without touching it (1). This will slowly melt the chocolate and create a better texture (2). After a couple of minutes you can start mixing it using a spatula (3).

Start from the middle and you'll start to see the texture changing. It will look strange at first, but it will all come together nicely and soon you'll have an uniform shiny cream (1-3).

At this point add little nobs of butter at room temperature, if using, and keep mixing until the butter is melted and fully integrated in the ganache (4). The butter will give a bit of elasticity and also more shine. Add licors now at the end, alcohol will create a reaction with the fat and will make it much thicker after cooling but you will notice it right away.

Ok, now you have your ganache ready! It will need some chilling time to gain consistence to spread or to make balls for truffles. If it becomes to thick, leave it at room temperature until it's softer.

Me? I poored mine into a tray to cut later and make bombons, I'll show you those some other day.

Here are 2 other examples of ganaches: 1 is a milk chocolate ganache with chestnut pure added at the end and 2 is a plain white chocolate ganache.


  • For truffles and bombons

  • 1 kg (35.7 oz) chocolate
  • 500 gr (17.9 oz) cream
  • 50 gr (1.8 oz) butter (optional)
  • Flavour of choice ( I used 30 gr (1oz) black tea)

  • For fillings

  • 1 kg (35.7 oz) chocolate
  • 1 kg (35.7 oz) cream
  • 50 gr (1.8 oz) butter (optional)
  • Flavour of choice


defientchef said...

Wonderful post..I tend to overlook of the basics sometimes.

Rhyleysgranny said...

That was really interesting. I enjoyed reading it.Well done getting on tastespotting

Kevin and Katrina said...

Thanks. I've always wanted to know how to make ganache and now want to try it soon!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Defientchef: Thanks felow pastry chef! I love the basics, they're such good bases.

Rhyleysgranny: I'm glad you liked it, one day I'll post about the bombons I made with that ganache.

Katrina: Hope you really do it and please let me know how it goes!

Aran said...

Great step by step report on the ganache! You are right, it is simple and it can be used in so many ways...

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Thanks Aran! Simple is the way to go sometimes!