Finished_ganache

                                                   
                                                                      
                                                            
   Photos by Donna Turner Ruhlman

Ganache:  Ganache
is a fancy word for chocolate sauce.  It’s usually made by adding hot
cream to chopped chocolate and, after the chocolate has begun to melt,
gently stirring it into a smooth emulsion.  It can be made with other
fats (such as butter) and with additional flavorings or forms of sugar
(often corn syrup is included).  A common ratio of equal parts by
weight of chocolate and cream results in a thick chocolate sauce that
is pliable when chilled.  The less liquid used the harder the ganache
will be when it sets up.  Ganache is used for fillings, chocolate
truffles and icings.  It’s also perhaps the easiest dessert sauce to
make and, if you use delicious chocolate, one of the best.

This holiday season is made for chocolate, for eating it without
remorse and for giving it.  Freshly made chocolate sauce is superior to
any mass produced sauce if you use good chocolate.  Warm chocolate
sauce is delicious on ice cream or used to finish profiteroles (see the
pate a choux post below) in the classic French bistro dessert.  It
makes an excellent icing.  Thin it out and flavor with rum and cardamom
and serve it in a mug for delicious hot chocolate.  I made the above
chocolate sauce with the standard ratio of equal parts cream and
chocolate but first infused the cream with freshly grated ginger and
orange zest and strained it over the chocolate.  It sets up stiff
enough to roll into truffles and coat with cocoa powder, or it can be
reheated as you wish.  Amy Scattergood wrote about chocolate sauce in last Wednesday’s LATimes;
she uses half cream and half water (this runs contrary to my belief in
always adding more fat whenever possible), but she does add butter, and
she also notes some interesting variations, such as using crème
fraiche.   There’s no end to what you can do with ganache or the
variations.

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