Words by Amira Georgy
I love to bake, but there’s one thing I’ve never been able to master: ganache. Why does it always clump together and go grainy? And what’s best: add the chocolate to hot cream, or boil it together on the cooktop?
Ganache is a classic chocolate sauce made from pure or thickened cream and chocolate (dark, milk or white). It can also be used as an icing or filling for desserts and pastries, and there are a few need-to-know tips in order to master this decadent treat:
- Always chop the chocolate into even-size pieces. This helps it melt more evenly and reduces the chances of getting lumps. Always place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- I find I achieve the best result is when I first heat the cream in a saucepan on medium heat, until it just starts to bubble around the edges of the pan, then pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes, then stir until smooth.
- Make sure the saucepan and bowl are completely clean and dry.
- Use the best-quality chocolate you can afford, as this will help the texture and taste.
If you like thicker ganache, you can chill it for about 30 minutes and use it to spread over cakes as an icing. If you like icing with a lighter texture, then after chilling it you can whip it using an electric mixer until fluffy, and also use it to ice cakes.
I enjoy ganache as is, and use it to dip strawberries just like a fondue. You can add many different flavourings to ganache, such as dissolved coffee, peppermint essence and flavoured liqueurs. Also use it to coat truffles, as a tart filling, or to marble through cheesecake.