what is ganache?
Ganache-(ga-nosh) a rich blend of chocolate and heavy cream and optionally, flavorings, used as a pastry or candy filling or a frosting. This defination is from the ‘On Baking’ book we use in the culinary classes at ICUE, Institute for Culinary Education at College of the Canyons. This definition is very accurate except the definition fails to inform that there are 827 different ways to use a ganache. I would like to share just a few.
Ganache is one of the top ten items to make in a pastry shop. When made correctly, it can be used to frost a cake, glaze a cake, make truffles, use as a filling for a cake, poured over ice cream, or add to a simple dessert as a sauce. I could go on and on but those are the basics.
The key to a good ganache is to use quality ingredients. Use good chocolate, not chocolate chips as they have waxy coating added. chop the chocolate into very small pieces. Use good heavy whipping cream, Traders Joes has a very nice one. Heat the whipping cream up in a small saucepan, just until boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate pieces. make sure the bowl that the chocolate pieces are in is large enough to hold the cream and allow enough room for the chocolate to melt. The trick is to let the mixture sit for about two minutes before gently stirring together to make a creamy, rich chocolaty miracle. At this point, you can dip cupcakes in to make a nice topping. Pour over a cake to glaze. Spoon over your favortie ice cream. Grab some fresh fruit and use as a dip. If you let the ganache cool, you can put it in your mixer and whip up to make a creamy chocolate frosting. If you put this mixture in the refrigerator, you can let it set and make truffles out of it. The possiblities are amazing!
Ganache is one of my favorite things to make and I hope you have a chance to experience the glory of making a good ganache.
Here is the basic recipe.
This is a 2:1 ratio, Meaning it is made with 2 parts dark chocolate to 1 part heavy cream.
2 cups heavy cream
2 ounces corn syrup
2 ounces butter
2 pounds chopped chocolate
Place the cream, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepan, bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate. Wait two minutes. Gently stir until mixture is shiny and homogenous.
Cindy Schwanke is the full time culinary instructor at College of the Canyons. She has helped grow the culinary program into a well respected, competitive culinary establishment. She has done various cooking workshops, community service projects and fundraisers to promote the college and the culinary program.
Cindy’s first love is pastry. She has worked in bake shops for over 20 years. She started in retail bakeries, then moved on to working in hotel, restaurant and catering kitchens.
Cindy has worked at Hyatt Hotels, Four Seasons Hotel, Smash box Studios, Spago restaurant and retail outlets. Cindy has her degree in Culinary Food Management. Her specialty is pastry and has won numerous medals in pastry competitions.
Cindy is a member of the American Culinary Federation and travels around the state promoting the pastry arts. “Everyone asks me why I became a pastry chef. I think it is because my fondest memories are when I was a little girl, my great grandfather and great grandmother would chop huge sugar blocks into small cubes for their daily coffee. This ritual would take place every Sunday morning at the breakfast table. This memory inspired me to work with sugar”.
Contact Information for Cindy:
Culinary Arts Instructor
College of the Canyons