Monday, November 8, 2010

Chocolate Ganache from Julia Child

Good Monday morning! I hope everyone had a good weekend. With the holidays coming, I thought you might enjoy having a simple, easy recipe for something delicious for any holiday. Ganache makes a wonderful candy that can be displayed in a lovely dish and popped into the mouth without muss or fuss. And everyone who likes chocolate will love them. Ganache can also be used as icing on cakes as it makes a beautiful icing, but it must not be made stiff as for the truffles. 

Chocolate cream filling or frosting

Julia says: This extremely easy and versatile chocolate filling was not around when I  was doing my classic French training in the early 1950's. Now I often wonder why not, who introduced it, etc., etc.

For about 2 cups

8 ounces sweet chocolate (or 6 ounces sweet and 2 ounces unsweetened)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 to 2 tablespoons rum, optional
Confectioner's sugar

Special Equipment Suggested
A moderately heavy stainless saucepan; a large stainless mixing bowl set
in a larger bowl of ice cubes and water; a large balloon whip or hand-held
electric mixer.

Melting the chocolate. Break up the chocolate, turn it into the saucepan,
add the cream, and stir over moderate heat until the chocolate has melted
and the cream is almost at the simmer. Stir quite vigorously until the chocolate
and cream have melded into a smooth brown mass; stir in the vanilla and
Julia says: Chocolate can be a complicated subject when you are making
candies or chocolate coverings that must be utterly professional, clear, and
shining. Fortunately we are not going into such mysteries here--the main
concern is that the chocolate be smoothly melted, and that means not
overheating it. Overheating will cause it to seize, to turn hard and grainy;
it will melt smoothly at around 100 degrees F. I know that some cooks
swear by the microwave, but I prefer the following simple and straight-
forward system. (I'm giving her system with the recipe but Julia is
speaking here of a longer version of melting chocolate which I decided
not to give.)

Chilling: Turn the chocolate into the mixing bowl, set it in the bowl of ice,
and whisk several minutes until it has firmed to speading consistency.
Sieve in confectioners sugar to taste.

Ahead-of-time note: May be made ahead, but do not bother to beat it
over ice; reheat to decongeal before using and then beat over ice if

Chocolate Ganache Truffles

Make the ganache mixture quite stiff, adding a little less cream or a little
more chocolate. When well-chilled, roll into rough balls, roll in cocoa
powder, and drop into frilled paper cups. Keep under refrigeration until
serving time.

As you can imagine, there are many variations to the truffles. You can
roll in confectioner's sugar, add nuts, etc. These are not what Julia calls
"sturdy" truffles and will not last long outside the refrigerator without
softening. Perhaps I'll give you a recipe for another studier truffle
before Christmas.

I hope you try this truffle recipe and enjoy eating the delicious results.


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