I've never made ganache before but I want to try it on my cake this weekend. Two questions:
1. Can you use half and half cream or does it have to be heavy whipping cream? I want to spread / pipe it.
2. I have candy coat chocolate - can I use that for the chocolate? I also have unsweetened chocolate. If not what type of chocolate do you use and where is the best / cheapest place to buy it?
Your expertise would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to waste money on trial and error!!
I'm no expert, but I'll tell you my experience while we wait for the trained chefs to wake up You should use heavy cream. I have read that you can make ganache from candy melts using the exact same ratios, but I have never tried that. I have used unsweetened chocolate for ganache. I used 1 tablespoon of sugar per one ounce of unsweetened chocolate for dark chocolate ganache. The joy of baking website recommends one tablespoon per half-ounce of unsweetened, but that was too much for me (I like really daaaaaark chocolate). You can check out a terrific substitution list on that site. I add the sugar to the heated cream and stir well before pouring over the chopped chocolate.
I suppose you could use all those less expensive chocolates, altho the result will probably be a bit hard and waxy feeling in the mouth. I always think of ganache as a luxury food and treat it accordingly. You can really feel and taste the difference when you allow it to slowly melt on your tongue.
Thanks for the advise. Can anyone tell me where's the best place to buy chocolate in bulk form??
You can use 1/2 and 1/2 - I have done it in a pinch. Heavy cream is best....I have used all kinds of real chocolate, but I have never used the melts, so I am no help there.
Here are my suggestions.
1. I don't know if you know this, so forgive me if this is obvious to you... half and half is actually equal parts heavy cream and milk. (restaurants can make their own half and half in a pinch). Therefore, in ganache, the heavy cream is adding fat content, richness, and smoothness. HWC or HC has a higher fat content.
2. As far as the chocolate, you can use semi-sweet morsels if you don't want to buy the expensive chocolate. It will make it a touch sweeter, but will work just as well.
hope this helps!
I order choc from www.worldwidechocolate.com
I use 1 bag of semi-sweet morsels and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and it is delicious!! I use it very frequently as a filling. I have requests for it all of the time.
If you're on a fairly small scale and just testing, then fresh and easy and trader joes both have callebut chocolate which most people find pretty good for a ganache.
Thank you all for your assistance. I will try to make it tonight and see what happens.
BTW- I took the half n half back to the store yesterday and got HWC. I'm a risk taker but not that big of one.
DH was asking what on earth was I read the other night while sipping a vodka martinti - 28 pgs post on ganache - he rolled his eyes and asked me if I needed a refill