Thursday, 24 November 2011

Glaze, pipe or whip

If there is an icing I am always ready to make, its the chocolate ganache:) Super easy, convenient and all packed with chocolate flavour, it is one of those sins I can always find an excuse to indulge in. And why shouldnt I, there is so much you can do with it...

Use it as a glaze, whipped cream, filling medium, sticking agent, decorative piping, or just lick it with your fingers - Its versatility answers almost all the needs of any chocolate lover seeking their life´s purpose.

Contrary to its fancy french name, Ganache is actually super easy to make. All you need is good quality cooking chocolate and heavy cream. I have already shared many recipes of ganache on the blog. Depending on its use (as icing, glaze or filling agent) and consistency requirements (thick, whipped or runny), there can be variations but the basic procedure remains the same in which you simply pour hot heavy cream over chopped chocolate and stir until a beautiful mixture is obtained. Please note that ganache can be prepared from any type of cooking chocolate. And the amount of heavy cream is dependent on the desired consistency and the type of chocolate you wish to use. Just follow the amounts as stated in the recipe.


Ganache 


Ingredients:
Semi sweet / bitter / white chocolate
Heavy cream


Break the chocolate into pieces or chop with a knife.You want the pieces to be thin as the bigger chunks are hard to melt. Tranfer the chopped chocolate into a bowl.






Heat heavy cream in a sauce pan on medium high until it comes to a boil.




Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over the chopped chocolate.



Wait for two three minutes.




Start stirring with a spoon or a whisk until completely mixed and glossy.








Allow to cool a bit. The ganache is ready to be used as glaze, i.e. if you want to coat your cake with a shiny smooth chocolate coating, this is the stage where you pour it over the prepared, well-chilled cake. Tip: Adding a tablespoon of corn syrup or glucose will add more gloss to your ganache.






Always place the cake on top of a cooling rack set over a deep dish or bowl. The excess glaze will drop off of the cake through the rack and can be saved and stored for later use.




Ganache used as glaze

Incase you want to use the ganache for anything other than a glaze, allow the mixture to thicken. For that, cover it with cling film so that a skin does not form on top.

Let the ganache either sit on the counter until it becomes thick (not firm) but that could take a couple of hours or you could put it in the refrigerator for about an hour and stir every 15 minutes or so until it sets. The icing is ready to be used as decorative piping when you are able to spoon it and it holds its texture. Tip: If you feel that the ganache has become too firm when taken out of the refrigerator, let it stand at room temperature and allow to warm up until it is easily spreadable or can be piped easily out of a piping bag.


Unwhipped but thick Ganache used as base for fondant/marzipan/other decorative stuff


Another use of ganache is to use it as whipped icing. For that, whip the custard-like ganache with an electric beater until fluffy in texture and light in colour. Tip: Never put your ganache in the freezer to achieve the thick consistency. It will not whip this way and will only end in a curdly like texture.You can, however, freeze the left-over ganache for upto three months ONCE IT HAS ALREADY ACHIEVED THE REQUIRED THICKNESS.




Light and fluffy whipped ganache

Incase you wish to freeze your prepared ganache icing for later use, be sure to take it out well ahead of time and allow to soften again before beating. Incase you find it too thick, add a tablespoon of heavy cream and mix again. If you want to use it to glaze the cake, reheat in a double boiler over hot water stirring gently with a spoon.

Enjoy!!!

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