I have to be perfectly honest, my first attempt at ganache didn't really have much panache. It was mouse-waddling, if you're not fussy about blobs. But it's not particularly pretty or artsy. In fact, heh, this is more of a "what went wrong" story. What I had planned as a large heart-shaped tart, covered with a lovely, swirling sheen of ganache ... turned out to be a bigfat cookie with blobby chocolate icing.
Ok, ok, it wasn't that bad, but... well, you'll see.
Ganache, as I now know, is a French term (pronunced gah NAHSH) referring to a combination of heavy cream and chocolate. From joyofbaking.com:
The origins of ganache are debatable but it is believed to have been invented around 1850. Some say it originated in Switzerland where it was used as a base for truffles. Others say it was invented in Paris at the Patisserie Siravdin.
Recipes vary, depending on what you're going to do with it. It can be used as a glaze or icing, or it can be used as a filling for cakes and pastries. Some recipes call for a little bit of butter or oil to be added, which will give the chocolate a shiny quality. Flavorings can be added, such as liqueurs, extracts, etc. But for my first attempt, I opted for this basic recipe from FoodNetwork:
Ganache With a Sheen
3 tablespoons corn syrup
6 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan combine the corn syrup and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
I used a combination of milk and dark chocolate, so maybe I can blame my blobs on that. I tried to drizzle it in some artistic way. Then I tried just spreading it all over and swirling it with a spatula. I finally just gave up and left the streaks and blobs.
Ok, now for the "what happened to the tart?" part of my story. I had originally planned to make a big heart tart with a cookie crust. I decided to make some chocolate chip cookie dough, thinking it would cook up as a nice tart crust, with some kind of pudding filling, topped with ganache. Silly wabbit. I forgot how much this recipe expands. It kept growing and growing, and pretty soon it bubbled up over the edges of the pan. So much for crust, and so much for my heart tart! What I ended up with was this bigfat heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie, with really delicious blobby ganache icing.
Here's the slightly modified Toll House cookie recipe, in case you ever want to follow my errant path and make a non-tart/bigfat cookie:
Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookie
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 shot espresso, or very strong coffee (or 2 tbsp instant coffee)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, cream butter, sugars, vanilla extract and eggs. Beat until creamy. Slowly add flour mixture and continue beating. Add chocolate chips and stir with a spoon.
For regular cookies, drop by spoonful onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes at 375°
For a non-tart/bigfat cookie, or for bars, spread dough into pan and bake for 20-30 minutes at 375°.
The good news is, this is a very tasty bigfat cookie! Enjoy!!