Easy Dark Chocolate Truffle Ganache



Making outstanding, gourmet quality chocolate ganache couldn’t be simpler: just add chocolate chips to warm cream and stir for a few seconds. If you’re making a small batch just for yourself, you can just eat that ganache right out of the bowl after chilling it for 30 minutes, delicious and no additional steps required! Or you can try rolling truffles once the ganache is cooled. This recipe illustrates an intermediate option, ganache squares: the quickest gourmet dessert imaginable. These make cool gifts too. And the flavor combinations are endless: spices, food-grade essential oils, liqueurs, dry fruit, nuts (although I would not recommend salted nuts with strong savory spices), etc. For example, we’ve experimented and loved chipotle chili powder, essential oils of sage or lemon, a dash of ground cardamom or clove, dusting with cinnamon, etc, etc.

Dark chocolate chips with a respectably high (60-70%) cocoa solids content are a real bargain, and much easier to snack and cook with!, compared to baker’s chocolate or chocolate bars. The most affordable dark chocolate in bar form I’ve found in the US is $5/lb in Trader Joe’s, and then you still have a big task of breaking it up into little bits. But nice chocolate chips (e.g. Ghirardelli) can be had at any reasonably priced supermarket for $3-5/lb (or even less if on sale).

1 cup whipping cream (coconut or soy cream can be used for a vegan version)
1 lb dark chocolate chips, about 2.5 cups
1 tsp vanilla or orange essence extract or flavored liqueur or ½ tsp freshly ground cardamom (optional but recommended)
Optional: ¼ tsp salt
Optional: 1 cup of toasted nut pieces and/or chopped dry fruit with a bit of tartness like prunes, mango, cherries, etc.
Optional: unsweetened cocoa powder or finely shredded coconut or cinnamon for dusting (makes handling easier and helps to absorb excess moisture)

Warm the cream on the stovetop or microwave to a hot but not scalding temperature and quickly stir in the chocolate, allowing the heat of the cream to melt it. Keep stirring until you have a perfectly smooth consistency. Add any flavoring essences or spices you like as you stir. If you are making ganache squares, put a layer of parchment or wax paper in a large baking dish (one with a lid might be best for storing your ganache in the fridge). Dust the paper with cocoa or cinnamon or coconut, if using. By the way, if you have a silicone baking dish you don’t need to line or dust it, but dusting helps with handling. Pour the ganache while still warm in an even layer onto the wax or parchment paper. Let cool in the fridge for several hours (or freezer for 1 hour) until relatively solid (knife comes out clean) before cutting into squares or shapes of your choice! Dust the top surface if you like. Best stored tightly covered in a very cool room or refrigerator. Enjoy!

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The goal of this blog is to celebrate delicious food that's also practical. Contrary to certain foodie trends, we believe there is no reason for amazing food to be expensive or complicated or time consuming.

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