Ganaches

Mixed in with the preparation of tablets and chocolate candies, ganaches are a heterogeneous mixture that constantly evolve with time. Improvements and innovations in gastronomic techniques are a major factor in their development. In general, ganaches are mixtures of fatty ingredients (butter, chocolate, cream, or milk, etc.) and sweet aqueous solutions such as syrup, cocoa paste, alcohol, water, etc. This is why ganaches must be physically stable and more or less liquid when they come into in contact with the cold.

Plain ganaches: made by mixing cream and chocolate, either cream or heavy cream with an option to add butter, but especially using different chocolates or milk couverture chocolates, ivory, gianduja, or melted chocolate. They benefit from the nature and subtlety of the beans used for their composition, which can be reinforced with pure cocoa paste.

The ganaches are cast into a frame: some ganaches, especially those that are composed, can be cast directly inside a 10mm thick metal frame placed on a sheet of paper or plastic. After cooling, remove the frame, return them to the frame (cutting element), remove the paper and cut directly; hence the speed of execution.

Alcohol ganaches: made with a mixture of cream and chocolate with an addition of alcohol; pay attention to liquors which can give it a pharmaceutical taste; advantage: the ganache’s conservation is prolonged. The happiest marriages are milk couverture chocolates, orange zests and alcohols, and the rather bitter covers with armagnac or the old-marc.

Infused ganaches: made with a chocolate and cream mixture to which some ingredients are added, allowing them to infuse, in order to obtain a decoction bringing the perfume inside the chocolate candy; coffee beans, tea, flower petals, zests are most often used.

Mounted ganaches: some ganaches can be mounted in order to be used in a pastry bag, or to fill molded shells, the chocolate is lighter. Be careful with the preservation: the air collected during assembly may alter it.

Composed ganaches: made with a cream and chocolate mixture and many other ingredients:

fruit purée reduction, caramel, praline, macerated fruit with alcohol, chopped or mashed candied fruits, nougatine, etc.

Some recipes

Classic Black Ganache

Prep: 30 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500 g of cream
  • 25 g of sugar
  • 500 g of bitter dark chocolate
  • 100 g of butter
  1. – Put the cream and sugar in a saucepan.
  2. – Bring to a boil.
  3. – Add the chopped chocolate.
  4. Attention: use a spatula and not a whisk to mix the ingredients (air may enter the ganache which reduces its shelf life).
  5. – Let cool.
  6. – Add the kneaded butter (obtain the same texture as mayonnaise, that is to say soft and flexible but not liquid).
  7. – Pour into a frame that is about 5 mm thick, let stand.
  8. – Cut into squares and coat with dark chocolate.

Rum Ganache

Prep: 30 mn + 24 hours of maceration

Ingredients:

  • 75 g raisins
  • 38 g of rum
  • 175 g of cream
  • 30 g of sugar
  • 350 g dark chocolate
  • 25 g of butter
  1. – Soak the raisins in a little rum for 24 hours.
  2. – Put the cream and sugar into a saucepan.
  3. – Bring to a boil.
  4. – Add the chopped chocolate.
  5. Attention: use a spatula and not a whisk to mix the ingredients (air may enter the ganache which reduces its shelf life).
  6. – Mix everything well.
  7. – Stir small pieces of butter in.
  8. – Mix to obtain a homogeneous mixture.
  9. – Flame the raisins with the remaining rum.
  10. – Cool and add to the rest of the mixture.
  11. – Cast into a frame that is about 5 mm thick.
  12. Let it set, cut according to the desired shape.
  13. Coat in dark chocolate and decorate with white raisins.

The Origin of Ganache

Like so many others, the history of the ganache does not escape the legends around culinary discoveries. Indeed, the origin of this mixture is that an apprentice chocolate maker mistakenly poured boiling cream on his preparation was called “ganache” species by his boss. The latter, eager to recover this recipe tasted the mixture and has called it ganache ever since.

Ganache Preparations

In truth, ganache proves unavoidable when it comes to preparing a [chocolate recipe]. This mixture consists of chocolate, milk, cream, butter, honey, sugar, syrup, specific flavors and aromas, fruit, etc. The main method for obtaining a ganache is emulsion which consists of mixing two or more immiscible ingredients such as liquid and fat. To achieve an optimal texture, the amount of liquid to be emulsified varies according to the concentration of cocoa contained in the chocolate. In addition, ganache is also highlighted for garnishing, filling, or decorating many pastry and pastry recipes.

The Different Categories of Ganaches

Plain or simple ganaches are traditionally made out of a cream and chocolate mixture in which the subtlety of the beans used provides a desired taste. Alcohol ganaches are made out of a mixture of cream and chocolate with added drops of alcohol. The preservation of this preparation is prolonged thanks to the beneficial properties of the liquors used.

TheFamous Ganache Specialists

In the capital of France, great chocolatiers devote their time and energy to perfecting the preparation of ganaches. Among these, Jaques GENIN, a former supplier for large hotels, invested in a tea room where he sells his best recipes for ganache, praline, chocolate, and caramel. Philippe PASCOËT specializes in the exploration of new aromas and flavors for his preparations of ganaches and orangettes.