Having been gifted with a two-day old mudcake, I decided to turn it into chocolate truffles for a project wind-up. To make my truffles (see my post of 17 April 2009 for the recipe), you need a half quantity of dark chocolate ganache, leaving the other half to be utilised for other purposes, or it can be frozen for later use.
Chocolate ganache is such a versatile commodity, and the presence of leftovers started me thinking about its multiple uses. A quick google for the terms ‘chocolate’, ‘ganache’ and ‘uses’ raises around 311,000 search results, so it is clearly a topic that has inspired others too.
So, following a lot of thought and a little googling, here are my top 10 uses for leftover ganache:
- Chocolate canapes — warm the ganache and spoon or pipe it into pre-made canape cases. You could try this over some Turkish delight pieces, mandarin segments (& Cointreau…) or your favourite conserve.
► If you have stored the ganache in a zip-lock back, simply place the sealed bag in a bowl of hot water to soften, then carefully cut off one of the bag’s corners — and voila! You have an instant piping bag, ready for action.
- Chocolate truffles — as per my link above. Scrumplicious.
- Chocolate sauce — heat the ganache in a microwave or over the stove (I prefer to use a double-boiler). You can add extra cream, liqueur, or water to make it runnier. Perfect over cake, icecream, raspberries & double cream, or anything else that’s usually known for being sweet and yummy with chocolate.
- Icing, decoration, filling — for a cake, or you could smoosh cookies together with it. When I make a mudcake, I mix together a chocolate-butter ganache and pour it over the cake once the ganache has cooled slightly.
► Even better suggestion: spread a layer of good raspberry conserve over the cake before the dark chocolate ganache. Raspberries + dark chocolate = oh my goodness. It is genuinely amazing.
- Chocolate mousse — PBSF, via a Chowhound forum, details a simple chocolate mousse recipe that involves warmed ganache and whipped cream. So decadent!
- Hot chocolate — thanks go to the Fun & Food Blog for this idea, and this link also includes a ganache recipe.
- Coating fruit. Choose your favourite fruit > dip it into warm ganache (made with extra chocolate, less butter/cream) > leave it to cool on a piece of baking paper > eat! Delicious and (kind of) nutritious.
- Chocolate croissants. Spoon some ganache into croissants then warm in the oven until the ganache starts to bubble. Mmm-mmm-mmmmmmm.
- Body art — do you remember that 90s fad of chocolate body paint? Well, it is still around if you look for it. Apparently. So I have heard. Anyway, it’s basically ganache with added preservatives. So, if you make & use your own ganache, you would be ingesting the healthy option. Seriously.
- Eat it all by itself on a spoon. This is one of three ways that I eat Nutella, and it’s awesome. Plus, by not spreading the ganache on a thick slice of very fresh white bread [the second of the three ways I eat Nutella], I figure it means I am neatly avoiding empty carbs. I did include a recipe in my original chocolate post, and I thought I would give you a new and improved version for ease of reference and use.
So how do you make your very own ganache?
Recipe #50 [Can you believe there are now 50 recipes stockpiled in this little crevice of the international network? I remember the day I introduced my very first recipe. Aah, that takes me back… Good times, good times]: Simple dark chocolate ganache.
You will need:
► a 300mL punnet of thickened cream
► a 375g packet of dark chocolate buttons/squares
Place the chocolate into a clean, dry mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan, swishing it around once or twice as it warms, and let it boil up the sides. It is really important to let the cream rise: for some reason it has problems setting if you don’t follow this step.
Once the cream has boiled almost to the top of the saucepan, take it off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Wait about three minutes, then stir/whisk the mixture together until it is super smooth and velvety. And that’s it. Lovely.
For those who are research-inclined, here is a link to Joy of Baking, and a blog post that gives a history of ganache as well as an alternative recipe.
Enjoy your chocolate.