Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Bit of Ganache

First, thank you all so very much for your honesty. My sister was happy to get so much input.

Now... a word on ganache. Being the etymology nerd that I am, I would like you all to know that the word "ganache" is a french term originally used (loosely) to call somebody a fool. One day, a chocolatier (greatest job in the world!) accidentally spilled some cream into some chocolate that he was melting. The result was ganache (an accident, "foolish").
Anyway... I have only recently discovered my love of ganache. It was always one of those things that I thought was amazing, but I was too scared to even attempt it because I just knew that it would be insanely difficult.
So, for a while now, I've been on a search for the perfect brownie recipe. Many that I've found come with a frosting recipe (every one has been a powdered sugar/cocoa powder base). None of them have really spoken to me. I couldn't figure out why they never seemed chocolatey enough (has anyone else had this problem, or is it just me?). Moving on... a while back, my IRL friend, KD posted her mom's brownie recipe. I decided to give it a shot. I know her mom, I like her mom, and I can imagine her mom making awesome brownies.
As they were baking, I got to thinking about ganache... I wondered how difficult it really was... I mean, I love to bake, and I've gotten pretty adventurous as of late. Also, I'm totally into frosting on brownies, and I knew that ganache could be used as frosting, and I had become totally disenchanted with all the frosting recipes that called themselves frosting, and I thought that maybe if I called it ganache, it would taste better, and I'm sorry for this run-on attrocity.
So to google I went. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Ganache has got to be one of the simplest things to make (and with insanely amazing results, I might add). I feel like it's kinda like pasta; pasta is really easy to make good, but it takes quite a bit of skill to totally kill it, or to make it totally killer, you know?
Moving on... Ganache... To make ganache, you first boil cream (I just brought the cream to a boil cause boiling dairy makes me nervous), and then you pour it over chopped chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you're not supposed to use chips... you're supposed to use baking chocolate that you've chopped). Then you stir them together. That's it. There are tons of variations... The most important thing (as far as I can tell) is that you should never have more cream than chocolate. So if you use a cup of chocolate, don't use more than a cup of cream. Other than that, you're golden. Now I (being me), didn't have quite as much cream as I wanted, so I put a splash of milk in. This was wrong :/ Don't get me wrong, it still made something delectable, but it never really coagulated, you know? It remained a little too liquid to be a good frosting. So I stuck the brownies with the liquid ganache frosting in the fridge (which was fine by me since I don't like warm baked goods and prefer them to be cold anyway). Once cooled, my ganache solidified just the right amount.
Basically, ganache is one of those things that is used as a filling for truffles, an icing for cake, a frosting for anything... it's just wonderful, and it totally brought out the chocolateness of the brownies, if you know what I'm saying. So... the next time you need a little fancyness in the kitchen... make some ganache... it's wonderful. Also, play around with it. Make up your own rules. Have fun :)
Next time, I think I'll try whipping it once it has cooled a little to make a fluffier frosting...


8 comments:

Diana said...

I'm the first to leave a comment! I, too, am (was) scared of your fancy choc. frosting called ga- whatever. Anyway, you're tricking me into thinking even I stand a chance at attempting such fanciness in that seldomly used room you call "kitchen". Ok, so I'll let you know how it turns out, but , lucky for me, you're too far away to taste!Love, Sister

Lula! said...

Just the word "ganache" makes me super happy. Of course I'll be trying my hand at making it...I expect delicious results, Lauren!

Debbie said...

Now I'm hungry...it's 11:30...too late to eat...especially something involving chocolate!

Meg said...

I've never heard of ganache. Neat. I will have to give it a try. I'm with debbie. You made me hungry and its too late to eat!

Julie said...

I am going to make some soon, I always knew it was easy to make, but never had made it and now I am inspired!!! Thanks for the post... how were the brownies? A good enough recipe to share? Just curious, I have to make everything from scratch, so I thought I would ask... yum
Thanks for stopping buy my site today and touring Hungary with me!

Julie said...

thanks, I am going to check out the brownie recipe...

Rene said...

Lauren -- thanks so much for all your support over the last couple weeks!! I really appreciate it!! I've been reading your posts through my reader but just haven't felt up to posting comments anywhere. I decided today that would end -- I need to get back to the stuff I like to do! So...here I am!! Now...where's those chocolate thingies?

Leslie said...

OK, I totally need to go and make some now. I had no idea it was that simple! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I made a comment before on Josh the 2LT. Don't know if you saw it or not. I'd say not to worry too much. COT is a lot easier than BOT, it's a month vs. 3 mos. and when he gets out and transitions, it will be smooth sailing. I'm sure he will love it. I would. Feel free to shoot me an email if you want. The AF is awesome, and being an AF nurse is even better. I think that's so cool!