Ganache is a French term for a glaze usually made from chocolate and cream. My husband kept hearing it when I watch the Food Network that it started to grate on his nerves. I first encountered this term while reading a cookbook on Austrian baking. The Sacher Torte called for a robing of ganache. Ganache is the French word for jowl so I don’t really know how that became a coating for cakes. It can also be an icing (or frosting for us Americans), sauce, or filling depending on its consistency. The “frenchiness” made me leery of making it. But my fears were allayed by watching many episodes of Cupcake Wars where contestants whip up ganache like frenzied Tasmanian devils.
To make ganache, cream is heated up and stirred continuously while adding chopped chocolate and blended to a smooth consistency. Ganache has that signature sheen when poured on top of a cake. I was surprised to find out that ganache can also be used to make truffles. I saw Ina Garten on Barefoot Contessa just roll some cooled ganache into balls, then into cocoa powder. How cool is that! And Ina has a secret ingredient – coffee. She said that it intensifies the chocolate flavor. Her recipe only has 3 ingredients and takes 10 minutes to make.
Of course we can be creative and add liquers and other flavors but sparingly because the ganache might be not achieve the consistency needed. Alice Currah of SavorySweetLife has a recipe for Chocolate Ganache Recipe 3 Ways. Aside from being a glaze, it can be whipped in a cold bowl with cold beaters. It will also lighten the color as air is introduced into the ganache. Cooled ganache can also be used as a thick frosting and forced through a piping bag. Alice shows the process for all three in a series of photos. However you make it, ganache is a great chocolate treat.