A ganache, otherwise known as a truffle, is one of the essential building blocks that will be used again and again in this book. Once mastered, it is simple and will revolutionize the way you cook with chocolate.
The basic ganache is an emulsion of chocolate, cream and butter. Some recipes will omit the butter when the finished result might be over-rich. You can also use custard instead of cream, as in the Pear and Chocolate Tart, for a lighter and healthier mixture. Sometimes you will use the ‘raw’ ganache, which will set to a stiff truffle texture when chilled, and other times the ganache will be cooked, as in the tart.
Always use the best chocolate you can (see Looking for the Real Thing). Chop it into chunks or break it into squares. In a food processor, continue to chop the chocolate until it is a fine powder. It may actually just start to melt, but that’s fine. If you have any big lumps, it might spoil your ganache. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl.
Scald the cream in a pan – allow it to boil and rise up (be careful it doesn’t boil over). Pour about
When all the cream has been mixed in, add the butter. The mixture should still be warm enough to melt it, although it will take a few minutes to beat it in, so there are no lumps left. Do not be tempted to use pre-melted butter, as this will make a very heavy ganache.
© 2003 Chantal Coady. All rights reserved.