Ganache is one of my all time best go-tos. I use it for frosting or glazing cakes; filling bonbons, truffles, and tarts; or, with a bit of whipped cream, an amazing chocolate mousse, candies, or hot chocolate.
So, what makes a ganache? It’s very simple: heavy cream emulsified with chocolate. Additives or liquor can be added for flavor. As with anything, the quality of your ingredients will determine the overall quality of your product.
To make your basic ganache use equal parts cream and chocolate, by weight. If the chocolate is in a bar, or even large chips, chop it until it is all uniformly about chocolate chip size. Heat the cream over medium heat until it is just under scalding. If you heat the cream too fast, you will scorch the fat and it won’t work nearly as well. Stir occaisionally to keep the cream from scorching at all, and when it reaches about 120 degrees, remove the cream from heat. Add the chocolate to the pot and let sit for about five minutes or until it fully melts. Stir gently until the mixture reaches a thin, shiny, dark chocolatey consistency. It is advisable to incorporate as little air as possible, as this will diminish the shine of your ganache. If you are using it for a mousse or filling of some sort, you can use an immersion blender to fully emulsify the two and have a better mix.
While the ganache is still warm and shiny, pour it wherever you will use it. If you have a prepared tart shell, pour it right into the shell and place somewhere to set. Don’t move it too much until it sets and you will have a thick, rich chocolate tart with a beautiful shine. If you want to use it for fillings, pour it into a bowl and let set overnight before scooping or filling.
In about ten minutes you can create a rich and delicious base for many desserts or candies.