Building Blocks: Chocolate Ganache

Perhaps one of the most beloved frostings, if not the most beloved, is a chocolate ganache frosting. Dark, milk, white, flavored, glazed, whipped, piped, drizzled, covered – in any form and taste, this frosting is decadent, indulgent and convenient ! No wonder, it is so popular 🙂

12 Oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (you can also use milk or white chocolate for ganache variations, though dark works best (for me of course :D) )
8 Oz heavy whipping cream
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature, optional
2 tbsp flavored liquer/flavoring,  optional

1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, scald the cream ( ie heat it at medium till tiny bubbles start forming at the edges of the cream. then swirl it once or twice, heat for another 10 secs and remove from heat).
2. Add the chocolate (once you have removed the pan from heat) and whisk to form a smooth mixture. The residual heat of the cream should be able to melt the chocolate completely.  Whisk as much is needed to get a smooth mix.
3. Add in the butter and whisk to form a smooth ganache. Now add the liquer and mix well. The butter gives a shiny glaze to the ganache while the liquer provides added flavor.
4. The ganache is ready for use.

How to use
a) As glaze: This is the thinnest consistency of ganache. Just pour the warm ganache over the cake to cover the entire surface and then let it set.
b) As plain frosting: Allow the ganache to cool down and set a bit (around 15-20 m ins at room temperature) and then apply it using a spatula. Make sure the cake is completely cool before using the frosting.
c) As whipped frosting: This is my personal favorite. Let the ganache cool completely and then set it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Use a hand mixer/stand mixer/hand blender whisk attachment to whip it till hard peaks form. Once the ganache has been whipped, spread it like a frosting on the cake.
d) As piped frosting: For this cool the ganache like in step c above, first at room temp and then in the fridge, and then whisk to form hard peaks. Put in frosting bags to pipe designs. I don’t do this as often since something so rich as a ganache hardly needs an overload of piping decoration 🙂

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