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Chocolate Ganache

January 21, 2008

This recipe is really more of a technique — you can vary the amount of cream to make the ganache stiffer or looser, and you can also infuse the cream with flavor before adding it to the chocolate (see below for ideas.) Once cooled, it will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. You can stir the ganache into hot milk to make a great hot chocolate, heat up some ganache to use as a chocolate sauce, or roll the cold ganache into little balls to make truffles. So versatile!

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

equal parts chopped good-quality chocolate and heavy cream (I most often use a 4-oz bar of Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate and 4 oz of organic heavy cream.)

Directions

Chop the chocolate into fairly small pieces (so they’ll melt easily) and put it into a bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, then pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth; this usually takes about 1 minute for me, but it depends on how small you’ve chopped your chocolate. Cool and refrigerate in a sealed container.

If you want to flavor the cream, there are any number of different options, really only limited by your imagination. You could stir in a tablespoon or two of flavored liqueur to the hot cream before pouring it over the chopped chocolate. You could also infuse the cream with flavors while it’s hot, before pouring over the chocolate: to the cream in the saucepan, add your flavoring agent (ideas I’ve had are a cinnamon stick or two, a whole vanilla bean with seeds scraped into the cream, some whole cardamom pods, some fresh mint that you’ve muddled up with a wooden spoon, etc.) and bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat and let the cream infuse with the flavoring for a little while. Strain it out, reheat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chopped chocolate.

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