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.

55 comments:

James said...

Well that's helpful. I was in a rush on Saturday and heated the chocolate and cream together rather than adding them seperately. Came out a little aerated, so maybe that's why.....

What's my flavour (Do I spot a missing entry)? The star anise was really nice. Cardamon & lemon would be nice.

suz said...

thank you SO MUCH! i haven't visited here before but you just helped me avert near disaster and instead of chucking the oily brown mess i beat it, and it it came back together beautifully.
thank you - i'll be back to visit again.

Georgia said...

Amazing advice, thank you. I was making my birthday cake with no money for more ingredients or time to spare. Luckily I had some cream left and had to revert to step three. Came together beautifully in the end and completely saved the cake, thanks so much!

Dandy said...

I was baking today, when it all went very, very wrong as I added my cream to my melted chocolate.

This happens to me all too often, I have given into the fact that ganache doesn't like me! But today after it predictably split, I frantically searched online for a solution and came across this blog...I tried the adding glucose to the mixture suggestion, by adding corn syrup...after about 2 seconds of mixing, I screamed "OH MY GOD", as my brown disaster reformed to it's former silky goodness!!!!!

Next time I will try whisking it first, I think I was too late today as it just wouldn't come together. I had initially left it for about 5 minutes, before deciding not to give up.

THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU!

Anonymous said...

I've made ganache for years and it never split. In the last few months I've binned a batch and started again so many times I've been ready to hang up my apron and give it up as a bad job. Thank you for this advice. The whisking worked and we will be tucking in to delicious cake later.

Still not sure why I seem to split it in the first place though :(

Caoimhe said...

Oh my god! that has just made my day! and mother's day, I just went to the shops to buy chocolate to make my mum truffles and thought I was going to miss them so was really happy that I'd made it in time, so bought some really nice chocolate and then ruined the ganache, which has never happened before so I had no idea what to do, and whisking it didn't help and there was no open shops to buy liquid glucose so I heated the cream, there a bit of split mixture left but I've got a good consistency so I'm not going to risk it.
So happy!
I was absolutely gutted when I thought I'd ruined it, there's other websites that say there's nothing you can do as well, amazing!

Lucretia9 said...

i tried to make some yesterday. i melted the chocolate in a baine marie first, added butterthen then crea. it all split. it's sitting ther cooled and solid with the fat on top. can this be saved?

Wendy W said...

I left my oily mess while I looked up this web site. I had heated the cream first (but it had been frozen and split) and then melted in the chocolate. No amount of beating helped but then I added amaretto in half the mixture and Grand Marnier in the other half and almost immediately when I started beating I got a lovely smooth mixture. And the next day great truffles!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Maja just messed up the chocolate in a rush. looked like total disaster
we followed step one and two with no success but thern ruben jumped in with step three and saved our xmas.
came back together beautifully

Merry Xmas,

Thanks again

Ali Nightingale said...

Thanks so much, I have never had a ganache split before and I had the presence of mind to quickly google "help rescue a split ganache" and I found your blog. The whisking did the trick for me.
I don't normally add butter and I am guessing that I added it at the wrong time? Not sure. In future I will stick to chocolate & cream, but at least I know of three good rescue remedies.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic, I thought I would have to throw it away but did a quick google search and found this. Liquid glucose worked a treat and next time I will add the chocolate to the cream rather than the other way round which is what I had done.

Anonymous said...

As others have said - thank you so much, you just saved my cake!! I followed Lorraine Pascale's recipe for sachertorte. She tells you to heat the cream to near boiling, then add it to the broken up chocolate, leave for 2 minutes and stir... the chocolate hadn't all melted so I had to reheat the mix over water... and it split. I added the butter and rum according to the recipe.. still a disaster. So I searched on line, found your advice and used my electric hand whisk - perfect chocolate ganache!! So the sachertorte I've baked to celebrate my son's 1/2 year (more for his Dad and I than him!) is now perfectly iced thanks to your blog!

Angela said...

You saved my ganache! Thank you so much, the liquid glucose worked great

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Step 3 saved the day!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Step 3 worked for me too! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much, found this advice once we had let the ganache set and had been in the fridge for a few hours. We tipped half the oil away so lost a lot of fat and sweetness. We melted it back down and added a large amount of butter and sugar, once whisking together it came out beautiful. Hopefully it will set well and we will have truffles. Again thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, you save my day (and my white chocolate ganache)!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness huni you have just literally saved my bacon!! I'm making my 1st celebration cake for tomorrow and because we're experiencing a mini heat wave here in the uk I decided today to do a white ganache covering- I've been planning the cake for weeks and made lots of fondant figures etc so because already invested alot of time and money for ingredients my heart sank when the ganache split - almost cried! But then hanging on by a thread I found you!! And you are my knightess in shiniy bakeware!! I whacked it all in my mixer and blended for dear life! It work and is now chilling - thank you soooo much!! From a very very grateful Donna, uk xxx

Anonymous said...

You've just saved a ganache made with very expensive criollo chocoltae and my husband's favourite whisky - thank you so much. Next time I will NOT let the chocolate and cream sit without being stirred while I have a day dream - schoolgirl error!

Anonymous said...

I notice from the latest few comments that this post is still rescuing chocolate concoctions nearly 3 years after it was written =) Anyway, THANK YOU for helping to save my chocolate mousse! Cream is now my best friend in the kitchen, and the mousse is setting quite happily in the fridge (to be spread on a cake later). Yum!

anonymous said...

Thank you! I live in the tropics and in this heat, making ganache is rather unpredictable. I used a lil bit of light corn syrup and the mixture came together beautifully. U just saved my son's birthday cake!

LizzyB said...

It's 11.15pm. I was icing a chocolate birthday cake for a friend's party tomorrow and the ganache split. Looked on this website 10 minutes ago and added a little whole milk (no cream left) and whisked like crazy. It worked in seconds! Disaster avoided - the cake looks fantastic and I can sleep tonight. Thank you soooo much!

Thalia said...

As others have said, you are a genius. 1am and I was about to give up! I have to say I not only had to do the heating cream and re-stirring thing but I got a bit greedy about adding back more and more of the split mixture and although the mixture stayed smooth it also clearly had a thin coating of fat on the outside as it was sliding around in the bowl (never seen this before). I read another blog and put it in the fridge for a bit, then beat again, and it all came together brilliantly.

Thank you!

Off to read about the science of why this happens.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I was actually making my first ever truffle mixture and it started to split. I quickly googled what to do and your advice worked a treat. I was so concerned that I would have to throw away some very expensive chocolate mixture so thank all of you for saving me!!! I will definately make more truffles in the future and you've saved my cooking confidence from taking a bashing as I'm not good at the best of times and apparently truffles are easy.

Thanks again x

Rach said...

You have saved my proverbial bacon. Thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Christmas Eve - mother-in-law's present - had to go to stage 3 but IT WORKED!!!

Thanks so much

Phil muses said...

You've just rescued the disaster that befalls you when you get distracted and add the cream to the chocolate by mistake!

Thanks for the tips.

Anonymous said...

Works a treat! Thought it was all over, so thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! This saved my ganache and my cake is in a bake off tomorrow!! Step one worked a treat :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, step one worked a little miracle and saved my daughters ganache just in time for Valentines day, she's very happy

Anonymous said...

You just saved my ganache. I get very cranky when my baking adventures don't succeed. You probably saved my marriage. XO

Anonymous said...

It's 11pm and my birthday tomorrow and ganache has split. Tried adding a knob of butter (thought I had seen it on TV???), that didn't work, added a splash of milk, looked better but now a bit sloppy, added icing sugar, all came together but the cake was still a little too warm to use ganache so I left it a bit, came back, stirred and it split again. Just wish I'd seen your advice beforehand. I will know for next time though - and will add chocolate to cream next time. Kids will probably eat my chocolate goo tomorrow with spoons. :(

Anonymous said...

You just saved my ganache! It was all going so well and then bang - it split. After adding the cream it came bacck to its former glory! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Disaster! Added a bit of agave syrup and whisked - redemption!! Thank you

Steph said...

I am so glad I stumbled across this site. You are the best person ever. EVER.

Anonymous said...

Step 3 saved the day- thanks so much!

Sandy said...

Thank you! You just saved my mother's day cake. Lesson learnt - do NOT reheat ganache in the microwave! Fortunately step 1 was enough to save me from a frantic dash to the shops for more ingredients.

Anonymous said...

Life saver! Thank you, step 3 will forever be in my memory! No more throwing out split ganache! It worked a treat

Niniel said...

thank you! You just rescued a large batch of ganache for me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

A vigorous whisk was all I needed, who knew?! Thank god for the internet : )

Charlietheangel said...

Thank you Thanks You. Making my first batch of macarons and the grenache split... i just left it, for far too long - whisking helped but not enough and then having no cream I spotted someone else's comment to add a bit of full milk instead and hey presto, my grenache looks beautiful again. Thank you so much!

Anne Smith said...

Anne says............

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Fantastic advice! Your advice was able to save my bowl of white chocolate greasy goo. I had to resort to step 2 though and added 2tbsp of liquid glucose and a quick whisk but it worked a treat. I knew that tube of liquid glucose that has been sat in the cupboard for the past 6 months would come in useful one day.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! This was my first proper attempt to make a chocolate cake, did it all properly and the cakes looked beautiful. The filling/topping is ganache. Nearly cried from exasperation when the mixture split while I had my back turned, washing up! Tried the whisking, then as another poster had used corn syrup I had the idea to use maple syrup (nothing else in the house!) A couple of spoons of syrup later and I have a beautiful smooth ganache again - what a great trick!

Darren said...

Whenever my ganache has split I just add a tablespoon of boiling water and whisk it on slow with the electric hand whisk - works every time. No need to find glucose in your kitchen or boil more cream and use precious ingredients. This method also works if you've over worked your mashed potato and it's become waxy and greasy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I have just used the method of heating more cream and disaster was averted! Christmas truffles are back on!

Anonymous said...

Ditto comment above. Crimbo truffles were rescued at 1am thanks to you.

Merry Christmas one and all!

Angela Cheung said...

Thank you so much! I was just about to think that it's bad karma! Never had this happen before, will never use this recipe am following again!

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you! I was about to give up on my split ganache (first time this has happened to me) and tried the liquid glucose trick (well I used Karo syrup which I happened to have handy) and it came back together. Now we will have dessert tonight after all!

LRS said...

Hurrah - Finally succeeded after using Maple Syrup (as no Glycerin or full milk or more cream left). Had tried whisking initially when my granache curdled and also by adding a splash of hot water - no luck at all. Followed this post and then added quite a lot of maple syrup 40ml to 600ml of choc mixture. Then I electric whisked it at full speed for a good 5 mins and apart from my kitchen and me getting covered in the separated buttery liquid floating on top of my mixture, it all mixed back together beautifully and now looks really shiny/glossy ( as does my floor). I transferred mixture out of hot saucepan into cold glass bowl and then put kitchen towel pressed onto mixture to soak up residual oily liquid butter floating on top - not the prettiest thing to do but its worked. Now I have to figure out how to make the Macaroons! Thanks a lot to this post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I saved half a batch of ganache with method 1 last night. I didn't even do it as soon as it split and it still worked.

Anonymous said...

My ganache seemed fine and decorated well but now it's cooled there are marks of solidified fat all over it. Any ideas why?

Sarah's Food Confessions said...

These tips are amazing. I had a meltdown as I was making pigs in mud cake for friend and my ganache split. I had no more chocolate or time to make a another batch. Thought my failed ganache was a write off until I read this. Tried both tip 1 and 3 but unfortunately these didn't work. Then I tried tip 2 and wow it saved my ganace. Life saving tips :) Meltdown over! Thanks.

Bear Shapes said...

My 1st time making ganache and i couldnt believe when it separated into oil and grainy chocolate. I followed the recipe...i just dont understand what went wrong. Any way whisking didnt help, but i had a little cream left over. I heated it and added the messed up ganache and it was working perfectly! but then i added to much and it went back to the separated mess. I was about to bin it but am loath to throw away chocolate, so i got a cheese cloth and drained the oil off. I kept whisking the remaining mixture and as it cooled it turned into something usable so i popped it on the cake. It ended up more like a truffle filling but was actually very nice. Im glad i didnt give up!

So as a very last resort people can try staining the oil off in a cheese cloth and whisk it as it cools and you will get a truffle filling =)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant advice for a novice! I had no idea what even happened and I fixed it in 30 seconds with my hand blender thanks to this post!!! Thanks a million!