Chocolate lovers rejoice come Valentine’s Day. Come February, it seems everywhere you look there are rich, chocolately treats just waiting to be devoured.
Individuals who fancy themselves adventurous in the kitchen may want to consider homemade chocolate recipes to entice their romantic partners. Ganache, an indulgent chocolate creation, may seem like it requires a master class in chocolate making to create. However, ganache is simpler to create than chocolate lovers may think.
According to the chocolate experts at Coeur de Xocolat, there are various origin stories for ganache. In one such story, French chef Georges Auguste Escoffier, who would become the creator of chocolate truffles, had his apprentice making pastry cream. That apprentice accidentally spilled hot cream into a bowl of expensive chopped chocolate. Escoffier yelled “ganache,” a derogatory term meaning “fool,” at the apprentice. But when Escoffier grabbed the bowl and began to stir it, he noticed an emulsion started to form and the cream and chocolate created a silky sauce that could be used for coating or glazing. When the mixture cooled and hardened, it had a paste-like texture that could form balls. Escoffier coated the balls in cocoa powder and noticed they resembled mushroom truffles. Hence, chocolate truffles were born, as was delicious ganache.
Ganache is relatively easy to make. Enjoy this version, courtesy of Martha Stewart kitchens.
Makes 1 1⁄2 cups
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄8 teaspoon coarse salt
Coarsely chop the chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl.
Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over the chocolate, and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don’t stir — doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, making it grainy).
Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify the cream and chocolate.
Chocolate will often settle on the bottom or sides of the bowl. Scrape the dish with a rubber spatula to incorporate all of it.
To make a whipped filling or frosting with the ganache, let it cool to room temperature, stirring often, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat the ganache with a mixer on medium-high speed until paler and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. This will yield about 2 cups. Use it as a filling or spread it over cakes.