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All you need to know about ganache, an absolute essential


Present in a multitude of desserts, ganache is a delicious recipe made of cream and chocolate. In its liquid form, it can be used to glaze a dessert, fill a pie or prepare a chocolate fondue. In its solid state, it can be used to fill confectionery (such as chocolate truffles), to decorate cakes (such as cupcakes) or to fill pastries (such as macarons, Swiss rolls, opera cakes, etc.). This week, Valrhona Ensemble will tell you how to make this essential recipe an unmissable treat! 

feves valrhona chocolate

How to make a chocolate ganache 

Alongside Frédéric Bau, Valrhona’s Experimental Pastry Chef, we will learn how to master emulsion. In his video, the pastry chef reveals the secret to a foolproof ganache: “you must pour the cream over the chocolate in at least 3 batches!”. This simple trick makes all the difference! Here's how to do it: Boil the 30% fat whole whipping cream. Pour the first third onto the chocolate drops previously melted in a double boiler or microwave (in defrost mode or at 500 W maximum) then stir vigorously with a spatula. In this first step, you will see, the preparation is rough. This is due to the fact that the chocolate is still oily. When the second batch is added, Frédéric Bau warns: “sometimes something strange happens: the mixture doesn’t come together. You feel like you made a mistake and it can be alarming. But don't panic! This is normal. It’s the phenomenon of separation: the moment when the ganache is almost formed but still lacks some moisture!” The third addition of cream will reach the emulsion point and the ganache will become smooth and creamy. 

Watch the recipe video: 

How to make a whipped ganache 

Now that you are an expert in ganache, it’s time to learn the how to make whipped ganache! The latter needs to be prepared 6 to 12 hours in advance and requires additional equipment: an immersion blender that will make it possible to obtain a smooth ganache. Here is Frédéric Bau’s recipe and advice for a ganache made from 40% Jivara milk chocolate. To make it, you will need: 

Pour the boiled milk with the glucose over the chocolate drops (not necessarily melted) in one go. “Don’t stir!” warns Frédéric Bau! Then pour out the excess milk and set aside. Keep only as little as possible to start the emulsion and then mix the chocolate using the immersion blender. Add more milk and mix again. Repeat with more milk. Milk chocolate is perfectly emulsified when it is liquid and elastic. Then add all the cream while continuing to blend. Place the ganache in the refrigerator so that it sets. Take it out 6 or 12 hours later: now creamy, the ganache is ready to be whipped. Use an electric mixer or whisk until you have a delicate, creamy, gelato-style texture to enjoy as is or use to garnish or decorate a cake! 

Watch the recipe video: 

Can I make a ganache with any chocolate? 

Yes! A ganache can be prepared with your choice of  Valrhona chocolate, whether it’s dark, milk or blond! All you need to do is adjust the quantities of chocolate accordingly. This means: 

ganache recipes

Additional info: 

Glucose: While it is not essential, it results in a thicker, more elastic ganache. If you don’t have it at hand, you can opt for acacia honey, for example. 

Butter : Butter adds texture and stability to ganaches. It is added when making chocolate bonbons (e.g.: truffles), and it is incorporated after the emulsion stage (i.e. when the temperature of the preparation is below 105°F (40°C) and it does not destroy the structure of the butter). Allow for between 10% and 15% butter for 500g of cream. However, never include butter when you are making a whipped ganache, as it makes the preparation crumble when whipped! Mascarpone: You can also use mascarpone for your whipped ganaches. They will be even creamier and firmer, but will be less chocolaty. Add the mascarpone after the ganache has hardened in the refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours and mix it with an electric whisk or food processor. Use your ganache immediately once it has been whipped. 

Fun facts: 

Ganache: the story of a happy accident. The invention of ganache dates back to the mid-19th century. It is said to be the work of an apprentice pastry chef who dropped a pot filled with hot cream over chocolate. The young man allegedly tried to hide his mistake by mixing it all together. This attempt was in vain, since his boss is said to have discovered his trickery and called the young man a “ganache” (French for “an old fool”) before tasting the mixture and finding out that it was delicious!