Never having ganached before, found this article informative & wanted to pass it along. Read some recipes calling for vanilla in place of the cognac. Do you have a favorite ganache recipe & do you use it as a glaze or frosting? Any favorite dishes you ganache?
This recipe has a little butter added to ensure the ganache has a shiny finish, even when refrigerated.
8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)
Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur.
Makes enough ganache to cover a 9 inch (23 cm) cake or torte.
To Cover a Torte or Cake:
Note: If covering a cake that is to be refrigerated, make sure the cake is cold before covering with the ganache. This will ensure that the ganache does not dull when stored in the refrigerator.
Brush any loose crumbs from the cake and place cake on a wire rack. Put the wire rack on a baking sheet. In this way if the ganache drips it will end up on the baking sheet, which makes clean up easier. Using a cake spatula, cover the sides and top of the cake with about 2 tablespoons ganache. This is called a crumb coat and seals in any cake crumbs so that your cake will have a smooth finish. Refrigerate cake for 5 minutes to set the crumb coat. If you have any air bubbles or crumbs in your ganache, pour through a strainer. To cover cake, pour the remaining ganache into the center of the cake. Working quickly, spread with a spatula, using big strokes to push the ganache over the sides of the cake, to create an even coating of ganache. If there are any bare spots on sides of cake, cover with leftover ganache. Leftover ganache can be strained to remove any crumbs and used to make truffles.
Note: Truffles can also be made with Ganache. Truffles are just small balls of chocolate that can be rolled into cocoa powder, powdered sugar or toasted chopped nuts. You can use your hands to form the truffles, or else a melon baller or small spoon. Make sure the chocolate ganache is very firm before forming into balls. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. They are delicious and a great way to use "leftovers".