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Dark Chocolate Ganache

Serves: Makes 3 cups (1½ pounds), enough for a 2-layer, 9-inch cake or 16 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (up to 60 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) heavy whipping cream


Procedures:

    Place the chocolate in the medium bowl. Heat the cream in the small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute, then gently whisk until the ganache is completely smooth and blended. If you are using a high-percentage chocolate and the mixture looks broken or curdled at this point, stir in an extra tablespoon or two of cream, just until the mixture smooths out again. Use as directed.

To use as frosting:

Let the ganache cool for 1 hour, then cover with plastic wrap and set aside to finish cooling at room temperature until it has the consistency of frosting, 8 to 10 hours. If you make it the night before, it will be the perfect texture for frosting cakes and cupcakes in the morning.

To use as a glaze:

Set the ganache aside until it has cooled to the consistency of pourable honey, 15 to 20 minutes. Pour the ganache over the cake. You can also dip the tops of cupcakes, cream puffs, or éclairs into the ganache for a quick-and-easy icing.

To use as a sauce:

Spoon the ganache onto the dessert plates or over ice cream while still warm. If it has cooled and is too thick, heat gently over a double boiler until warm and fluid, or simply add additional cream (or water) until the desired sauce consistency is reached.

To use as a tart or thumbprint cookie filling:

As soon as the ganache is smooth and blended, pour it into a baked tart shell or spoon into the depressions of thumbprint cookies. Allow about 3 hours for the ganache to cool and set in the tart or cookies (to hurry the setting, place in the refrigerator-1 hour for the tart and 20 minutes for the cookies).

Storing: The ganache may be prepared up to 2 days ahead and kept at room temperature, covered. For longer storage, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Cindy Mushet and Sur La Table, The Art & Soul of Baking (Andrews McMeel)

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