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Home Cooking

Technical advice needed: Los Ancones ganache

AlexRast | Dec 21, 201504:52 PM    

Does anyone out there have extensive experience with making firm ganache using Michel Cluizel Los Ancones? I ask because I've made innumerable ganaches, using innumerable chocolates, but getting a Los Ancones ganache not to break still eludes me.

Based on my experience; I think the problem is the size of chocolate bits. The problem is, Los Ancones in bulk form comes in chocolate-chip size pieces. You can't cut them any smaller; any attempt to do so results in frustration while the knife just pushes the chips around helplessly. I think the largish piece size is interfering with emulsification. One of these days I suppose I should experiment with using Los Ancones bars, chopped up, but the history of failure plus the high price of the competing approach generally means I'll only attempt to make the ganache when I'm buying a bag for some other purpose and expect to have left-over chocolate.

My standard technique is the 'pour-over' approach: heat cream, pour over finely grated chocolate, allow to sit momentarily, then stir gently to incorporate. It's usually foolproof. With Los Ancones it breaks, badly.

I'm making a 2:1 chocolate:cream ganache, i.e. one that is supposed to be very firm. I think that the problem with the chip size is that when the cream is poured over, even when the chips have melted completely, there isn't enough chocolate surface area exposed to mix with the cream before what's already mixed starts to fall out of emulsion. Which of course accelerates the whole process of de-emulsification. But that's just a hypothesis.

Another issue that I know complicates things is that I'm using British double cream with a high 46% fat content, which in truth is a bit too high; I'd like 40% but in order to get that percentage I have to make a special trip to London from Manchester to get different cream, which is a bit much. Given that I've successfully made ganache with other chocolates using double cream I think that while fat content may be a complicating factor it's not necessarily fatal.

In my latest attempt today I let the mixture sit a slightly longer time in an attempt to get more thorough melting so that at least the bits would be as fluid as they were going to get. The cream was at my standard 90C before pouring over. Maybe I need a radical method change. The only things I'm not really open to are addition of other ingredients as emulsification aids, or changing the ratio greatly (I could cope with small ratio changes but if it went down as low as 3:2 I'd say that was becoming a little soft).

Has anyone had success with Los Ancones ganache who is in a position to comment? If you have ideas about what might fix this please let me know.

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