Thursday, May 20, 2010

Second Helping: Rose Ganache

rose ganache

Ganache is my Swiss army knife of desserts. It's incredibly versatile, as well as easy and elegant: A single batch can be rolled into truffles, poured to glaze a cake, warmed for chocolate fondue, stirred into milk, and much, much more. And then there's just plain eating it off a spoon. The stuff is magic, on the level of unicorns and a cup of coffee that never goes cold.

I turned to ganache a few weeks back when I realized just how much baking I had planned -- for birthday celebrations, thank-you gifts, a school function, and a craving for something indulgent. Spring fever inspired me to try floral notes, including rosewater, lavender, and chamomile. Today I'll share the recipe for Rose Ganache; tune in tomorrow for the other two.

My ganache recipe is very simple: three parts high-quality chocolate to two parts heavy cream, plus any flavoring. This yields a somewhat thick but adaptable ganache. It can be spread on cupcakes or piped onto treats, or refrigerated and rolled into truffles. It also can be thinned with additional cream for glazing a cake. If I plan to make only truffles, I use a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream. It isn't an exact science; some recipes call for a 1:1 ratio, others incorporate a bit of butter.

The cream is warmed, then poured over the chocolate. The two are gently stirred together to create a rich, to-die-for emulsion. The finished ganache lasts a few weeks in the refrigerator -- if you can resist the temptation to eat it all -- and freezes well for a few months.

The simplest way to flavor ganache is to stir in flavorings such as spices, extract, citrus zest. The technique is detailed in the basic recipe for Rose Ganache below; tomorrow I'll share a wonderful way to infuse ganache with flavor.

I rolled some of the rose ganache into truffles, but most of it was whipped and piped over rosewater marshmallows, an easy variation on Orange, Chocolate & Pistachio Marshmallows.

A few ways to enjoy ganache:
  • Refrigerate until firm, form into small balls and roll in cocoa powder or cover with tempered chocolate to make truffles.
  • Warm ganache, thin with cream, and use to glaze cake.
  • Use as filling with layered cake, cookie sandwiches, crepes, brioche, lava cake, and more.
  • Stir into milk, warm or cold.
  • Pour over ice cream.
  • Whip for a few minutes and use as frosting.
  • Serve warm with fruit or cubes of cake for chocolate fondue.
Rose Ganache

You can find rosewater in Indian and Mideastern markets, as well as some specialty food shops.

8 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces high-quality chocolate in small pieces -- chopped, chips, chunks
1 tablespoon rosewater, or more to taste

Put chocolate pieces in a bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat cream until just shy of boiling. Stir in rosewater to taste. Slowly and carefully, pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir. Don't whisk it -- you're just blending the two together, stirring until smooth. Alternatively, you could put the chocolate pieces in the work bowl of a food processor and pour in the cream while running the food processor. Store ganache in a covered container for up to two weeks.

Variations: Instead of rosewater, substitute a teaspoon or two of extract or liqueur, or spices or citrus zest.


CrystalsCozyKitchen said...

Looks delicious. I had rose milk at an Indian restaurant and it was delicious!

Darienne said...

Rose milk? I haven't tried that -- but now I most definitely will.

Hanim said...

Hi Darienne,
Thanks for the rose ganache recipe, I'm thinking to use it for my macarons.

Darienne said...

Hanim, that sounds dreamy. I haven't tried macarons yet. I hope yours turnout beautifully!


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