It’s hard to look at all this chocolate without hugging the screen. That’s the chocoholic in me coming to the fore.
There are two things that I really love about chocolate ganache – it calls for three basic ingredients – chocolate, cream and oil – and it can be spooned, dolloped, drizzled, poured and piped over and into so many beautiful desserts. You can pretty much let your imagination run wild when it comes to ganache – ahem body paint – but here are my top 7 favourite ways to put ganache to work:
- Slice a fresh croissant down the middle, spoon the ganache inside and heat until the croissant is golden brown and the chocolate is oozy and warm.
- While the ganache is still warm, pour it over your favourite chocolate or butter cake for a gorgeous and simple glaze.
- Whip it goooood! Allow ganache to cool down to room temp (this will take about an hour, stir often) and smear it over cupcakes. Take these babies into school or work and knock the socks off your mates.
- Spread it down the middle of a thin crepe, roll it up and grate any remaining chocolate pieces over to serve. A microplane grater will give you the prettiest and most delicate result.
- Fill a family-size sweet tart or little tartlets with ganache – you’ll need a piping bag for tartlets however, a spatula will work perfectly for a larger tart. I’m almost equal parts crazy about caramel as I am about chocolate so I fill the bottom of the tart with caramel, let that set in the fridge then pour the ganache over the top. Pop the tart back in the fridge to set again and top with fresh raspberries.
- Fondue baby fondue…. Dip your favourite fruits, slices of cake, brownies, marshmellows or (ok, this is going to sound super American of me but..) dip your salty pretzels in there too! Decadence personified.
- Pucker up. For an episode of Take Home Chef, I convinced a lovely couple to paint one another’s lips in delicious, silky chocolate and smooch until they were chocolate-free. Chocolate is the quintessential sexy ingredient, right? So you’ve gotta have a bit of fun with it.
Surely I’ve suitably romanced you into whipping up chocolate ganache by now?? Let’s do this:
In a small heavy saucepan, heat 1/2 cup heavy cream over medium-high heat just until hot. Remove the pan from the heat, add 100g (3.5oz) high-quality chopped dark chocolate (70% cacao) and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and set aside for 1 minute. After 1 minute, whisk the mixture to blend.
- Chop the chocolate into the thin little strips then cut across the strips to break it down into smaller specks. This will allow the chocolate to melt and blend into the warm cream with ease.
- As tempting as it is, resist from stirring the cream and chocolate together until that 1 minute is up. Stirring too early will result in a grainy mixture.