Ganache experiment

December 9, 2016   Cooking

I'm starting to break my news cleanse and so I'm catching up on world events. Venezuela's hyper inflation, the Italian election, the South Korean PM, I can now make small talk about each of these. But Im still skipping all the long reads on US politics, especially the predictable fox nominated to guard hen house.

So what's this about ganaches you say? Today I needed a layer of chocolate. You see, yesterday I made three shortbreads: poppy seed, date, and chocolate. Sounds like a lot but once I assembled the tools, and got into the rhythm, making a second, then a third, was easy. And they all turned out great.

But one of the three wasn't just shortbread. I topped the chocolate one with peppermint buttercream then left it in the fridge overnight. Today's task is to finish it with a third layer of just chocolate.

Here is where the experiment comes in. The recipe calls for pure chocolate as the frosting. Problem is, when I've made this in the past I found pure chocolate hard to spread. So today I decided to experiment by cutting the chocolate with cream - a ganache - to get a more spreadable texture.

So I made small amounts of two ganaches, in cream : chocolate ratios of 1:1 and 1:2. In each case I weighed ingredients, poured hot cream over chocolate, stirred a while, then tested each as a spread. Turns out both were fine, the 1:1 smoother, the 1:2 more flavorful. I used the 1:2 ratio for the final frosting. Best of all, unlike my days in the Chemistry lab, I get to taste the chemicals.

Of course, all this shortbread and ganache talk is just an excuse to post some photos. I'm using the Fuji and 16 mm f/1.4, as opposed to the Nikon with macro. Part of the reason is of course the comfort of holding the smaller Fuji, but it's also the Fuji's live view and the fun 16 mm. The 16 lets you experiment with out-of-focus areas - some would say it makes it too easy - and it has ridiculously close focus, you can almost touch your subject with the lens element.

Mint chocolate