Another useful chocolate technique that is widely used and thankfully not as complicated as tempering chocolate is making a ganache. A ganache is a smooth mixture obtained from combining heavy cream and chocolate. It is the melt-in-your-mouth filling found in chocolate truffles that has the ability to transport you to chocolate heaven. Be it coffee and you’re back in the morning at you’re favorite cafe with a steaming aromatic espresso or be it hazelnut and you’re reminded of the ferrero rochers someone special gave you before, ganache gives the ability to relive a delightful moment of the past.
For a chocolatier, it’s where things become interesting. You can infuse any kind of flavor and only your imagination’s the limit. A Parisian chocolatier Jean-Paul Hevin, for example, has been known to make a selection of cheese chocolates. In a box of 16, you can find 4 chevre, 4 roquefort, 4 pont l’eveque and 4 epoisse. But going back to the more familiar yet less common combination, I decided to pair orange and grand marnier with white chocolate instead of dark. Orange reminds me of the crisp spring air and the mandarins we always have for the lunar new year. White chocolate would give it a lighter background.
The key to making a good ganache – a ganache that doesn’t split or curdle – is to boil the cream until it is bubbling furiously. After that pour it over the white chocolate, wait a minute or two and then start stirring – either with a whisk or spatula. Another important point is to stir continuously in the middle of the bowl so as to make an emulsion. Don’t stir, stop, stir.
The more difficult technique to master is to mold the chocolate shells you will fill the ganache into. This requires practice and the timing trial and error. The tools you will need for molding chocolates are these:
The desired plastic mold, a spatula, a ladle and a large metal scraper.
How to: Mold Chocolate for Bonbons (for 100 truffles)
- Prepare the ganache. From what I’ve discovered, make your ganache first and just leave it out in room temperature to cool.
- After that, temper around 700g of white chocolate .
- Once the chocolate is ready, use the ladle to fill the shapes to the rim. Change to the metal scraper and use the handle to tap the sides of the chocolate mold. Do this for about 10 seconds. Tapping bursts the air bubbles and lessens holes in the end product.
- Turn the mold over to pour out the chocolate back into the bowl, tapping all the while.
- Scrape to clean the surface of the mold and lay it upside down on a tray. Leave to harden a little.
- Repeat steps 3-5 again. It is recommended to mold twice so the shell is thicker and stronger.
- After the shells have hardened, pipe in the cooled ganache.
- Temper another batch of chocolate – around 300g. The second batch is to fill and cover the bottom of the truffles after the ganache has cooled. Once the molding is completed, leave the trays to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Orange & Grand Marnier Ganache
By February 9, 2012Published:
- Yield: 100 truffles
Another useful chocolate technique that is widely used and thankfully not as complicated as tempering chocolate is making a …
- Melt white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a bain-marie
- Meanwhile, heat the heavy cream in a saucepan.
- Once the cream is boiling and the chocolate has melted, pour the cream over the chocolate.
- Add the orange zest.
- Leave the cream and chocolate for one minute or two. After that, using a spatula, start stirring the mixture in the center continuously to create an emulsion. Stir this way until smooth.
- Pour in the Grand Marnier, and stir until well combined.
- Leave to cool and pipe into the chocolate shells at 30C. Ensure the shells have also hardened.