Dark Chocolate Ganache made from 100% dark chocolate
One of my readers asked last week for a recipe for chocolate ganache made from 100% dark chocolate; he had received several bars from a friend. So I worked out a recipe for him and put it on the blog (http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.ca/2016/01/recipe-for-ganache-made-from-100-dark.html). It is quite smooth and delicious. There is an option to make it with agave or coconut sugar, instead of cane sugar, and suggestions for coating it. It is also pasted below:
Dark Chocolate Ganache made from 100% Dark Chocolate
With options for No Cane Sugar Truffles
Makes: 20 truffles or ganache topping for one 8" cake
Time: takes about 15 minutes to chop chocolate and make truffles, 4 to 8 hours resting/setting time before rolling, dusting or dipping your truffles in chocolate.
- 100 grams (3.5 oz) 100% dark chocolate
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) sugar, or agave or coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup whipping cream (any heavy cream will do)
- Optional ingredients (see below), but not necessary.
- 200 grams semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, if dipping in chocolate. Or 1/4 cup cocoa powder for dusting
1. Chop the chocolate into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a medium bowl (use microwavable safe just in case you need help getting the chocolate to melt).
2. Pour your cream into a small saucepan and place on an element on the stovetop. Heat on medium high. Add the sugar and stir, heating and stirring until it dissolves. If using, add the vanilla, mint or coffee extract.
3. Do not let the cream boil, just bring it to nearly a simmer then immediately pour half of the cream over the chocolate. Stir until you get a smooth and dark chocolaty-looking mixture, but with large lumps of chocolate in it.
4. Then reheat your remaining cream and pour into the mixture. Stir until smooth. If lumps still remain, microwave for five seconds (not more!) and stir again until the mixture is smooth.
Immediately pour over the cake and spread to the edges. You can even let it drip over slightly, if you are not decorating the sides with icing.
Line a small box, container or half of a loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting it come up all the sides. Pour your ganache into it and let sit 6 to 8 hours (or overnight) if dipping them in chocolate (you don't want to put ganache for dipping in the fridge at all or it will cause cracking in your chocolate shell). If you simply want to roll them in cocoa powder, you can let your ganache set in the fridge for 4 hours.
Once set, remove the top plastic wrap from the ganache. Then flip the rectangle of ganache out onto a cutting board. Cut into 20 pieces. You can leave these in rectangular or square shapes, or you can roll them between the palms of your gloved hands to make truffle balls (without gloves you will melt the truffle, plus there's that sanitary thing).
Dip in 200 grams (6 oz) of melted, tempered, semi-sweet chocolate, or roll in cocoa powder.
Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days, or freeze for up to 6 months in a deep-freeze (only 2 months in the freezer attached to your fridge).
Stir in 2 tbsp. of softened salted butter (warmed but not melted) to the ganache just when it becomes smooth.
You can add a 1/2 tsp of real vanilla to the cream, but I did not like it when I did. If you are used to eating chocolate with a lot of vanilla flavour (i.e. Lindt, Godiva, Giradelli, etc.) then you might prefer a little vanilla. For a high vanilla flavour, add both extract and the scrapings from one vanilla bean.
Add 1/2 tsp peppermint extract or just 2-3 drops of peppermint oil to the cream.
Coffee Ganache or Espresso Truffles:
Steep the cream with 1/4 cup lightly ground coffee or espresso beans for 15 minutes. Simply heat the cream in your saucepan, then remove from the heat, add the ground beans to the cream, and place a lid on the pot. Let steep. Then reheat and run the cream through a sifter as you pour the cream over the chopped chocolate to remove bean pieces. You can use a 1/2 tsp of instant coffee in the cream instead, but there will be that funny 'instant' taste from the coffee.