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Volume III
July 19, 2013

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Ganache from Cocoa? You Bet!

By Alice Osborne

Our friends from the Prepared Pantry ( have done it again. They've come up with a really easy and incredibly tasty recipe for ganache that's made from cocoa!

Prepared Pantry's owner and chef supreme, Dennis Weaver, says "Anything made with chocolate and cream is addictive. But besides tasting amazing, ganache is also versatile. You can frost a cake with it or drizzle it over a dessert or ice cream--or just eat it straight out of the bowl." I know it's all true, especially the eating out of the bowl part!

If you're wondering what ganache is (I didn't know anything about it until my son, a chef in Jackson, WY, introduced me to it), here's the lowdown from Wikipedia:

Ganache, from the French word for "jowl," is a glaze, icing, sauce, or filling for pastries made from chocolate and cream.

Ganache is normally made by heating cream, then pouring it over chopped chocolate of any kind. The mixture is stirred or blended until smooth, with liqueurs or extracts added if desired.

Depending on the kind of chocolate used, for what purpose the ganache is intended, and the temperature at which it will be served, the ratio of chocolate to cream is varied to obtain the desired consistency. Typically, two parts chocolate to one part cream are used for filling cakes or as a base for making chocolate truffles, while one to one is commonly used as a glaze. Cooled ganache can be whipped to increase volume and spread to cover a cake. However, if left to cool too much it can become too thick and unspreadable.

But like Dennis says, chocolate is expensive and it takes quite a bit for most projects. And then maybe you don't have that much good chocolate hanging around in your kitchen. But you usually have cocoa. So the folks at Prepared Pantry set out to come up with a good ganache made with cocoa.

The most important thing they discovered was that quality cocoa is critical to the success of the recipe they created. They used a Dutch cocoa, Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark (it has three times the cocoa butter of most store brands).

A friend, who knew I was doing an article on ganache, sent me this photo. It says it all. This is a treat that's well worth your time and energy in learning to make! So let's start with Dennis' cocoa recipe--it's affordable and easy.

It will yield a thinner ganache, but it thickens as it cools. You can get it thick enough to frost a cake by putting it in the refrigerator or cutting back on the cream. If your ganache is too thick, you can thin it with more cream. If it is too thin, it's hard to fix (and that's when I'd heat it, add some marshmallows, and drink it!).

Prepared Pantry Cocoa Ganache

Affordable and easy, this delicious ganache has so many uses!

Yield: 2 cups

Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 620

3/4 cup Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the cocoa and sugar together in a small bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the cocoa and sugar mixture to a small saucepan. Add the melted butter and cream. Heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until the ganache starts to bubble. Remove from the heat. Let the ganache cool until it reaches the desired consistency. Thin with additional cream if necessary.

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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Alice Osborne
Weekly Newsletter Contributer since 2006

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