What is Ganache:
Ganache is a chocolate and cream concoction that can be found in different avatars in baked products. It’s essentially a French word and is used to describe a pastry icing, liquid coating or a filling.
The Ganache History
A large percentage of cooks believe that the Ganache is of Swiss origin and that it was their chocolate-making skills that brought it into existence. The first recorded mention of this liquid filling or coating was made in 1850; however, Switzerland as well as France do not budge from their claim that the original recipe was theirs.
Regardless, the popularity of this chocolate-coating soon spread across Europe, largely because of the simplicity of the method that was used in its making. One variation of the Ganache legend says that this coating was 1st invented at the world-renowned Patisserie Siravdin, in Paris. It was famous for its sweets & chocolates and the Ganache was supposed to be one of its creations.
How it’s Used
This chocolaty wonder can be used in a variety of baked products and based on the item in which it is being used; it can either be thickened or thinned-down. A very thick coating will effectively harden into either a dough or paste once it cools down. It can also quickly be rolled into delicious chocolate balls which are called Truffles. The liquid coating can be used on pastries, cakes and a variety of breads.
If you so like, it can be flavoured with different liqueurs and you can play with the taste of the chocolate as you like. This is how you will see a number of Ganache-covered or filled baked products and they all can taste distinctly different. In a warm version, Ganache can be used as thick coating as well. It is this versatility that has made Ganache very popular in patisseries across the world.
Ganache can be used as:
- Chocolate Truffles made with a hardened filling. These chocolate balls are simply rolled by hand & dipped into nuts/cocoa powder.
- It’s possible to create a chocolate sauce from the liquid and addition of flavouring agents can thin it down further.
- Ganache-covered fruits are also an extremely popular desert and seasonal fruits are covered with a generous layer of chocolate. It sets in a couple of hours and is delicious to its fruity core.
- Chocolate mousse is an all-time-favourite and anyone can get lost in its melt-in-the-mouth frothiness.
Tips for making Ganache
Ganache has been around for a long time, and despite all the variations in flavouring and thickness, its basic recipe has not undergone much of a change over time. Here are some pointers to recreating Ganache for yourself:
- Very thick cream is first boiled & then poured lightly over chopped chocolate bits. The way to get the best consistency is to use cream that has 35-40% of fat content. It’s best to use thick organic cream that has a very high butter-fat content.
- The chocolate that is used to make a Ganache could range from bitter, milk, low fat and white too. The taste and texture of the final product will depend on its chocolate as well, and its best to opt for varieties that do not have any vegetable oil in them.
- Conventionally, a chocolate that has no traces of vegetable oil, is high in cacao butter and has a velvety texture, is excellent for a Ganache.
- Its best to use chocolate that has 58% cacao content as it would then have 58% cacao & 42% sugar and brands such as Lindt, Valrhona and Hersheys fit the recipe to the tee.
- Typically, butter will be added only to achieve a shinier coating. The mix is then set aside to set to soften and the final product is a thin/thick chocolaty liquid.
- Getting the consistency right is about using the right chocolate: cream ratio. Generally, these are used in a 2:1 ratio, in that order. Flavourings such as vanilla, orange and liqueurs can be added as required. This is the Swiss version of the recipe and to a large extent, this is the one used in Australia as well (the creative cooks will always tweak it as per their liking).
- Americans tend to make the Ganache a little differently. They use thick milk & dark chocolate and the Europeans use a thick cocoa powder syrup & butter to make this filling.
- The only downside to the Swiss recipe is that addition of cream reduces its shelf life in comparison to the other versions.
Here is some information that can come in handy:
- It is possible to store freshly-made Ganache for 2 weeks in a refrigerator. In cool regions, it can be stored at normal room temperature for 1-2 days.</li<
- The filling can also be frozen if it is required for a longer period of time and can last for up to 6 months.
- Since this is essentially a milk-based dish, it must be consumed quickly as the taste will deteriorate over time.
- If the frozen Ganache has to be used, it should be thawed in the microwave for 15 seconds.
Come in and try Ganache for yourself
And so, the Ganache in its various versions has taken the baking world by storm. Its simplicity and versatility have made it a ubiquitous filling, icing or coating for bakery products in Patisseries across Australia. If after reading this article, you would like to try this chocolaty treat for yourself, visit our store, the Ganache Patisserie at Castelcrag in Sydney.
We would love to share this experience with you!
Thanks for reading,
(02) 9967 2882