If I decide to make ganache in a double boiler do I add the cold cream to the chocolate in the very beginning and then monitor the temps while it's melting OR do I melt the chocolate and then add COLD cream to it and mix it up OR do I melt the chocolate and then add the cream to it warmed or taken right to below boiling?
I don't want to do the microwave method, I keep burning the choc.
It's the cream that you need to heat, not the chocolate. Heat the cream to almost boiling, take it off the heat, pour the cream over the chocolate, let it set for just a minute or so, then stir to finish melting the chocolate. I heat the cream on the stove, no double boiler needed.
Yep, what cheatize said. Heat the cream. I let my cream come to a simmer (bubbles around the edge of the cream). Then pour over the chocolate. You have to watch it when you heat cream/milk products. Do it over low to low/medium heat. Cream can boil over very quickly and make a huge mess with high heat.
I've tried that but it takes forever to melt the chocolate that way so can't I melt the chocolate by itself first? I'm going to end up having to put it in the microwave if I do it the way suggested above or make small batches at a time and I don't want to do that.
You can do it anyway you want just so long as its all melted and incorporated at the end.
I've used the following methods:
1) Heat cream to just under boiling add to unmelted chocolate (don't really like this method as you can over heat the cream and burn the chocolate)
2) Add slightly warmed cream to unmelted chocolate and melt both together in the microwave (my preferred method)
3) Add cold cream to melted chocolated (Works great so long as you don't burn the chocolate)
I prefer to melt them together using a microwave in 30 second blasts but a double boiler is fine too.
I am not sure why it takes your chocolate so long to melt. How much are you trying to make at one time? Are you using chips or chopped chocolate? You also have to make sure your cream is hot enough to melt the chocolate. Also, are you using the right proportions? Some people use 1:3 cream to chocolate ratio. Sometimes I use a 1:2 cream to chocolate ratio. After I pour the cream over the chocolate I let it sit for a few minutes, then using a whisk, lightly stir the cream and chocolate together.
As for melting the chocolate first, I am pretty sure science is at work there. Someone else may come in a correct me though. I would be worried about uneven heating in the microwave.
It takes longer for me to melt chocolate in a double boiler than it does to heat cream, pour over the chocolate, and let it melt.