Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ganuts About Ganache

Sometimes a title of a post doesn't always have to make sense. I am nuts about ganache, but sometimes I even feel ganuts. Ganache is a wonderfully fancy-sounding French word that when i looked it up on an French to English translator, said the first definition was "idiot." The second definition was "ganache." So I suppose both French and English people know ganache as that lovely, smooth, shiny and rich dark chocolate creation that is used as both a filling and to ice cakes and cupcakes, and to make lovely truffles. Is ganache idiot-proof? Quite possibly! Despite the fancy name, ganache is rather simple to make, so long as you can tend a a pot over the stove. The trick is to use it quickly upon making it while it's in a pour-able state, as it will thicken and get less and less shiny as it sits... but even in the thick state, it is just as delicious!

The general gist:

2 cups heavy cream
1 pound best quality semisweet or dark sweetened chocolate, finely chopped (chocolate chips work too!)

Directions: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cream to a full boil. (Watch your pot-- the cream will bubble and boil over!) When it hits boil, turn off the heat. Add the chocolate, and swirl pan to completely cover it with cream. Let stand about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk until beautifully smooth. Let cool somewhat then go ahead and use it!

A few ganache-covered items I've made recently include the coconut vanilla cupcakes with chocolate ganache icing pictured above that I made for my brother-in-law's birthday, and this guy:

my friend Justin's grandma's and mom's special family recipe "Sock It To Me Cake" (a delightful coffee-style cake made with sour cream and a hidden crunchy yummy layer of walnuts and brown sugar inside). I baked it in a bundt pan and once it was iced with ganache and I added rainbow sprinkles, it looked like a giant Homer Simpson donut! I think it would be neat to have a chain-letter type of cake where you send a recipe to a friend or a penpal and add a little something or a little something different to it, and they do the same, and they pass it along, and along, like Fleetwood Mac's "the Chain." Actually Fleetwood Mac's song has nothing to do with chain letters or amazing cakes. For the Sock It To Me Cake, I would chain-letter name it "Sock It To Me Chocolate Ganache Homer Simpson D'oh-nut Cake." Heh heh.

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