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Posted by Chocolatier Jason Vishnefske on March 23, 2017
Origin of Ganache
Ganache is a very popular, smooth and thick chocolate paste. The story about how it was created says that one day a French pastry master in Paris asked his assistant to melt chocolate and heat cream. The assistant did both and without direction combined the two ingredients. The master saw what had happened and he was infuriated yelling at his assistant that the mixture was a total “ganache” which was an insult back in the days. Ganache the insult is probably from the French word "Ganacher", which means to slog, as if walking through mud or a mess. So in general, somehow the term was a colloquial way of insulting someone. But it also makes sense since ganache is dark chocolate and thick... sorta like yummy edible mud in some ways.
After the master tried the “ganache” he decided to use it; the cakes filled with the chocolate ganache were always sold out. Every time they had to make more, the pastry master would say “hand me the ganache”. This is the legend about how this magnificent mixture was created and called “ganache”.
Chocolate ganache is perfect to use as filling, topping, glaze or sauce. ganache first showed up around 1850. It is hard to know the true story of where the recipe was born because both France and Switzerland claim they are the creators of the original recipe. The famous book “Larousse Gastronomique” states that the recipe was created in Paris and so this is true to the original story of the history of ganache.
There are many ways to use this silky chocolate paste, as well as several methods to make it depending on the application. The basic recipe is really easy to make, you just have to combine two parts of high quality chocolate and one part of cream. Some people like to add butter to get a firmer and shinier texture. Now, I’m sure you are wondering about the other recipes, I will share my favorites ones.
Basic Ganache: This one is going to be your favorite recipe to make easy truffles at home. I love making these to give as a gift. Also, this is the ganache that you will want to use to fill cakes and cupcakes. The firmness of your ganache depends on the chocolate quality because the higher cocoa butter content, the firmer the ganache.
That is the easiest way to make basic truffles. I really enjoy creating combinations like coffee and cookie crumb truffles or kahlua and almonds truffles. Don’t be scared about using alcohol or liqueurs in your truffles creations, just be careful with the kids if you decide to add a lot to the recipe... haha. Truffles can be a real luxury if you make the right combinations.
Because the ganache calls only for two main ingredients, it is key to use the best ones. I recommend using Santa Barbara Chocolate because it is one of the best options on the market and they offer a big variety of chocolates. Your ganache can be made with milk chocolate, dark chocolate or even white chocolate.
Soft Ganache: This is my favorite chocolate dipping sauce recipe. This is a perfect option to make for a party or family reunion. Place the dipping sauce in a bowl and make a little buffet with different fruits and cookies to dip.
If you don’t use all your ganache right away, store it in the refrigerator for up to three days, or in the freezer for three weeks with no problem. To use it again just heat over a bain marie, also known as double boiler, and bring it back to the original smooth texture.
Additional resources of chocolate ganache information and recipes:
Chocolate Chocolate and More - Extensive Recipe Database: http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/
Ganache Recipe Book: https://www.santabarbarachocolate.com/recipe-books/