Tuesday, 3 March 2009

rescuing a split ganache

Many of you will make ganaches...either because you make truffles, or because you make chocolate fillings or toppings for cakes or deserts.

Reminder: a ganache is a blend of chocolate and cream.

If you're following a recipe closely, they should be foolproof, but if you're estimating yourself or scaling up, you can get problems with ganaches splitting, especially milk and white ganaches, where the fat content is high.

A lot of people panic then and bin the lot. But there's no need.

Tip one is to make sure you always add the chocolate to the cream, not the other way round. That way it's less likely to split. And stir all the time. Once you've started with a ganache, keep at it...don't leave it half-blended while you go to answer the phone, because chocolate likes you to know who's boss.

If your ganache has split, then you need to act as follows, and as quickly as possible.

Step one - first attempt to emulsify the mixture by using an electric hand-whisk. Many times, this will succeed in saving the ganache. Just mix for a minute or two and you will see it take on the smooth, glossy texture that good ganache has If you're making truffles beware of whisking any longer than necessary as you don't want to mix air bubbles in, which will affect your shelf life).

Step two - if that doesn't work, add some liquid glucose in roughly the ratio of 30ml for each litre of ganache you have. You could add a little more but remember it will affect the texture of the finished product so don't go overboard. If ytou're working with chocolate or confectionery you should always, always have a litre jar of liquid glucose in the cupboard. Then whisk again and 90% of the time this will save it.

Step three - if you're still not having any luck then boil up some more cream....about half as much in volume as the bowl of split ganache in front of you. Pour the split ganache into the cream as you stir. Work slowly. Rushing is probably what got you into this mess. Stop before the mixture splits again (you will have some split ganache left, which you can bin....at least you saved most of it).

If none of the above work then you really must have some very bad karma. Try again tomorrow.