Friday, February 5, 2010

My love of Ganache

Having  polished off the last dark chocolate brownie after lunch, a few hours later I was wandering through the kitchen wondering if I could get away with making a batch of ganache and eating it straight out of the pan with a spoon.  Hmm, that would be a little embarassing to admit to, I thought.  Then I remembered that I have a package of store bought mini graham cracker tart shells in my cupboard.  Perfect.

Ganache is one of my favorite things in the world.  Chocolate, heavy cream, and butter.  How can you not love that? It doesn't hurt that it's ridiculously easy to make.  It's also one of those recipes you come across that is included in so many things.  Refrigerate it, roll it into balls, and you've got Truffles.  Let it come to room temp and beat it with an electric mixer briefly, you've got decadent frosting for a cake.  Let it cool slightly and pour it over a cake for a perfect glaze.  Use it for a cake filling.  Pour it into store bought small tart shells for an elegant and easy individual dessert.  Or Pour it into a large prebaked tart crust for dessert to share.  Top with berries and cream.  Perfect.  You can also change it up a little by adding a little flavoring (mint is my favorite).

One rule for Ganache to stick by- use your favorite chocolate.  You want something that you enjoy eating out of hand because the chocolate is exactly what the Ganache will taste like, only richer.  So Toll House chocolate chips aren't going to cut it for this one.  Lately I've been using Lindt Swiss Bittersweet chocolate.  I've found it in the candy isle of the grocery store.  With three kids in tow I just try to make due with what's in the normal grocery store, and I think this turns out nicely.  Not all recipes for ganache include butter, but I think it's a perfect addition.  Doesn't butter make everything better?


8 ounces dark chocolate
1 C heavy whipping cream

1/4 stick butter, cut into pieces

Place chopped chocolate in a bowl.  Bring the milk to a simmer in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate.   After 5 minutes, put the butter in and stir with whisk until smooth and well shiny.