Slabbed Ganache

When making slabbed ganache, the recommended schedule for production should be spread out over 3 days, as follows:

  1. Day 1: Make all the ganache, cast or spread it in frames, and let the ganache fully crystallize overnight.
  2. Day 2: Cut the ganache and separate the pieces to allow the sides of each piece to dry, making it easier to handle the ganache while maintaining its shape.
  3. Day 3: Enrobe the ganache pieces and package.

In the slabbed technique, the ganache will be poured into a metal or acrylic frame. If two or more ganache layers will be used, an acrylic frame is preferred. Acrylic frames can be custom ordered in designs based on desired measurements and heights. When special ordering a frame, it is better to order two ¼-in /6-mm thick frames instead of one ½-inch/13 mm frame. This allows flexibility to have either two layered fillings or one thick layer. For the thicker filling, the two ¼-in/6-mm frames can be stacked on top of one another to create a ½-in/13-mm frame. Make sure that the frame measurements are small enough to allow the finished slab to be cut with a guitar. If the desired batch size is smaller than the entire frame, an extra divider, such as a vertical bar, can be cut to fit inside the frame and adjusted to partition the frame and make it smaller or narrower, as necessary.

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Method

Slabbed Ganache Method

  1. Moisten the surface of an acrylic base; a metal tray or the back of a sheet pan can also be used. Press an acetate transfer sheet onto the moist surface. Rub a dry towel or squeegee over the acetate sheet to secure it in place and remove any possible air bubbles.
  2. Pour overtempered couverture (very warm, at 95° to 100°F/35.0° to 37.8°C) onto the acetate sheet. Overtempered couverture has a wild crystallization and does not set as fast as properly tempered couverture, allowing more time to spread it. Since the crystallization of the couverture is different, it will also be easier to cut with a guitar and will not crack.
  3. Using an offset spatula, spread the couverture into a thin layer on the acetate sheet. This chocolate layer on the bottom of the slabbed ganache will allow ease of movement when working with the ganache. If the ganache were on the bottom, it would stick.
  4. Place a frame on top of the spread couverture, and pour the ganache into the frame. Milk chocolate should not be warmer than 86°F/30.0°C; white chocolate should not be warmer than 84°F/28.9°C; and dark chocolate ganache should not be warmer than 88°F/31.1°C.
  5. Use a ruler or a straight bar to evenly spread the ganache so that it is the same height as the frame. Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes, until it is tacky to the touch but not completely set.
  6. Once the first layer of ganache has crystallized, place the second frame on top of the first frame and pour in the next layer of ganache.
  7. Use a ruler or a straight bar to evenly spread the second layer of ganache so that it is the same height as the frame. Let sit until it has fully crystallized (normally for about 1 day).
  8. Once the ganache has crystallized, use a nonserrated paring knife to cut around the inside of the frame, then release the frame from the ganache. If the ganache is still soft, place it in the freezer for 5 minutes, then release the frame.
  9. Once the frame has been removed, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the ganache and place another acrylic board on top of that. Then flip the two acrylic boards over.
  10. Remove the first acrylic board and carefully peel back the acetate sheet. Place a metal tray on top of the couverture and flip it over again. Remove the second acrylic board and the parchment paper.
  11. Slide the ganache slab off the metal tray onto the guitar base. If the slab is smaller than the guitar frame, it is better to place the slab closer to rear of the guitar wires than to the front, to avoid the possibility of compressing the slab against the front of the frame.
  12. Press the guitar wires all the way down, cutting through the slab.
  13. Slide the metal tray under the slab from the back and remove the slab from the guitar base. Lift the guitar wires up and clean or change them, depending on the desired shape.
  14. Slide the cut slab back onto the guitar base from the tray, rotating the slab as necessary to cut the desired shape. Press the guitar wires down to cut through the slab again. Use the metal tray to remove the cut slab from the guitar base.
  15. If the ganache is too soft to handle once it has been fully cut, place it in the freezer for a few minutes. Be careful not to leave the ganache in the freezer for too long, as condensation will form and the ganache will absorb moisture.
  16. Separate the pieces of ganache and place on a parchment-lined tray, leaving room between each one so that a crust can form on all sides. Group the separated pieces in batches according to how they will be enrobed and decorated. Let them sit at room temperature for several hours to allow the crust to form. Once a crust has formed on the ganache, the pieces are ready to be enrobed, or they can be hand-dipped.

First Row:

  • – Moisten the surface of the acrylic base and press the acetate sheet on the moist surface, then rub dry.

  • – Pour overtempered couverture onto the acetate.

  • – Place a frame on the spread couverture.

  • – Use a ruler or straight bar to evenly spread the ganache into the frame.

  • – Once the first layer has set, place a second frame on top and pour the next layer of ganache.

  • – Release the frames around the ganache.

  • – Remove the acrylic and carefully peel back the acetate sheet.

  • – Use a metal tray to slide the ganache onto the guitar.

  • – Separate the pieces, leaving room between each one so that a crust can form.

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