Thursday, October 25, 2012

chocolate ganache



In spirit of Fancy Nancy (whom my girls adore); ganache is a fancy word for a mixture of chocolate and cream.  You can use it as icing or filling or even as a sauce.  I like to use it as a decorative garnish.  It's rich, smooth and delicious.  Super easy to work with too!

My simple ganache recipe worked perfectly for the lattice style piping I did on an ice cream cake this week.

Sara's ganache
2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

I don't own a double boiler and I don't really see the need when two sauce pans, one at tiny bit larger than the other, works just fine. Fill the larger sauce pan with about 3 inches of water and place it on a medium-high burner.  In the slightly smaller sauce pan place the chocolate chips and cream.  Fit the smaller pan on top of the larger pan with water.  Using a whisk combine the chocolate and the cream.  As the water below boils, the chocolate and cream will start to combine.  Turn the temperature down to med-low and continue to whisk until smooth and melted.  Add the vanilla and salt. Whisk to combine.  Remove the ganache from the pan below and let it slowly cool, whisking periodically.  It will thicken quite a bit as it cools.  When it's cool enough to touch and work with, spoon it in your piping bag or drizzle with a knife over your treats.

I used a small piping tip and plastic bag for my lattice on top of the ice cream cake.  It worked really well and even when frozen, maintains that smooth melted texture in your mouth.  I was really thrilled to have a bit of vanilla ice cream left over and some ganache.  Spooning the ganache over the ice cream is like homemade hot fudge that cools and hardens.  Yum!

If you are searching for something to drizzle ganache over, try pretzels to start with.  Or you can dip the pretzel in the ganache and let it cool on parchment paper to harden.  Homemade chocolate covered pretzels!

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