Ganache

Dark Chocolate Ganache

What comes in your mind the moment you hear the word Ganache…

It is creamy, melt in mouth, sinfully delicious chocolicious frosting for cakes which is very popular for its versatile usage.

To prepare ganache there is not a big list of ingredients. It is prepared with just two ingredients!! Yes, to prepare the basic ganache, only cooking chocolate and heavy cream is required. Extra ingredients are required only if we are adding some flavor to it.

Ganache is prepared as per requirement in thick, medium or thin consistency by adjusting the ratio of milk cream and chocolate. Usually there are three different ratios for ganache which are very popular.

1) 1:1 ratio means to take equal quantity of chocolate and cream. This ganache has thin consistency. It doesn’t have very dark color as equal quantity of cream is mixed with chocolate. Though, while preparing it looks very thin, it settles down slowly. It can be used for soft fillings, creating dripping effects for the cake and glaze for cake and cheesecake. If preparing this ganache for glaze, then add little bit of butter while heating the cream. This addition of butter add a nice sheen.

2) 2:1 ratio has one portion of cream and double the quantity of chocolate. This ganache settles down nicely and becomes thick. That’s why it is used mostly for filling, frosting and decorating the cakes. It can be whipped also, but after whipping it becomes light in colour.

3) 2.5:1 ratio works for very stiff consistency of ganache as chocolate is 2.5 times more than the quantity of cream. This makes ganache very stiff ganache after setting down. It is ideal for Truffles.

Remember, each type of ganache sets down on room temperature, but consistency will be different for each because chocolate and cream are in different ratios.

In India usually we don’t get milk based heavy cream. And our whipping cream is also mostly non dairy cream. The most popular milk cream used here widely is Amul milk cream and the fat content in this cream is only 25%. That’s why for truffles we need to increase the ratio 2.5:1, to make it stiff.

Let’s see how do we prepare ganache….

Chop chocolate block and keep the shredded pieces in a bowl which is slightly bigger in size. Bigger size bowl will be helpful to mix ganache evenly.

Pour cream in a separate bowl and heat it on medium heat. The moment it starts bubbling from the sides of the pan and about to reach at the boiling stage, immediately pour it into chocolate bowl evenly everywhere so that it can cover the chocolate shreddings completely.

Don’t disturb this bowl for 5 minutes. Later, mix this with spatula nicely. With the heat of the cream, chocolate will melt but still if you feel that some chocolate chunks are remaining, you can keep the bowl in microwave or use double boiler method to reheat the mix for a short time. Again mix the mixture and all the remaining chocolate chunks would be melted.

Cover the bowl with cling wrap and keep it on room temperature till ganache completely cools down. Once ganache cools down, use it as per your requirement, or if you need it to be more firm then keep it in the fridge.

Tips to remember while preparing ganache :

  1. Check the expiry date for cream and chocolate.
  2. Chocolate should be on room temperature.
  3. Try to chop chocolate in equal size. It will help chocolate to melt evenly otherwise bigger chunks will take more time in melting and you have to pop in the bowl multiple times in microwave.
  4. Don’t heat the cream on high temperature. Keep the heat on sim or medium. Don’t let the cream boil too much. When you see it bubbling through the edges of the pan, pour immediately on chopped chocolate.
  5. After pouring cream on chocolate, don’t stir it for at least 5 minutes. Let the chocolate melt nicely with the heat of cream and after 5 minutes, start mixing it. If chocolate is not melted completely, keep the bowl in microwave for 10 or 15 seconds initially, mix it and again if it is required, heat it on short interval. The same process can be done on double boiler also.
  6. Ganache sets down on room temperature, but it takes long time. So after preparing, once ganache cools down, keep it in the fridge cling wrapped. Cooling time on room temperature or the time of ganache becoming firm in the fridge is not fixed. It might vary depending on the size and depth of your bowl and the quantity of ganache .
  7. After keeping in the fridge ganache becomes very stiff. Take it out from the fridge, let it come on room temperature and through double boiler method or through microwave you can loosen up stiff ganache.
  8. Remember, if using microwave to loosen up ganache, do it in short intervals.
  9. If preparing ganache for dripping or glazing, use it when it is thin.
  10. Wrap ganache in a cling film and keep it in an air tight container in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for three months.

I hope this post is helpful to you if you are preparing this luscious ganache for the first time!!

Ganache

 

Sweet tamarind chutney

Indian chats (snack) are incomplete without chutney – either sweet or savoury. Buy samosa or kachori and you will get sweet and savoury chutneys along with them.

Bhel puri, sev puri, dahi puri, papdi chaat or dahi vada; all are incomplete without chutney. At my parents’ house we never bought any chats. My mother used to prepare everything from the scratch. So, after my marriage I also continued the same tradition. Preparing savoury chutney with coriander or mint leaves is regular in my kitchen. But I always felt a little lazy to prepare sweet tamarind chutney at frequent intervals and so instead in enough quantity that it will last for 6 months.

While cooking sweet tamarind chutney you might not be able to figure out exactly how it tastes because flavours really taste better the next day. Therefore, you wait till next day for the developed taste and if you feel something is less or missing, add accordingly.

Ingredients :

120 gm tamarind
3 +1/2 cups water
300 gm sugar/jaggery powder
5 dates

For the rest of the ingredients I am not giving specific measurements as you can add them according to your taste. You can prepare it as sweet tamarind chutney or it could be tangy tamarind chutney by reducing sugar little bit – choice is completely yours!

White salt
Black salt
Ginger powder
Garam masala powder
Red chilli powder

Process :

Soak tamarind in 2 cups of water for 2 hours.

In a separate pan soak dates in water.

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After 2 hours, mash tamarind and sieve it. Add rest of the water in tamarind, mash it and sieve it again so that the whole pulp comes out.

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Boil this sieved tamarind water and pulp on sim heat by adding de-seeded dates and sugar for at least 1+1/2 to 2 hours. If you are interested in thick consistency, boil for at least 2 hours but if you like thin consistency, boil for 1 to 1+1/2 hours. Just 10 minutes before chutney is done, add rest of the ingredients as per your taste.

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Let chutney cool down completely before filling in  an air tight container and storing that in the fridge.

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Strawberry sauce

Strawberry is a beautiful fruit!!! But I never thought of using it in any other way than enjoying it raw. And no one else in the house shares strawberry with me, strange… but true!!! And I am not even complaining ….!

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This winter season I decided to go one step further with strawberries and prepared strawberry sauce. I am planning to freeze it to relish during summer with ice-cream. My husband Manish and daughter Apoorva, both don’t even try to taste this fruit. So after preparing sauce I forced both of them to taste it and to my utmost surprise they both liked it a lot!!

That was an achievement!!!!!

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I guess the reason why they both liked the sause was because it was not completely sweet in taste and lemon juice was also not added because strawberries were little tangy in taste. I didn’t add too much sugar to cover up the whole tart taste. It was a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavor.

In my opinion if you are preparing strawberry sauce, decide the amount of sugar depending on the taste of strawberries. If fruit is sweet, reduce the amount of sugar and add little quantity of lemon juice in the end of preparation.

In case if you are more interested to prepare strawberry compote, follow the same process. The only difference would be that for compote we don’t cook strawberries for a longer time. Compote is ready within 10 minutes of cooking and sauce is cooked on sim heat for 25-30 minutes because we need to thicken it. Later while in the fridge it thickens more.

Ingredients :

Strawberries 1/2 kg

Granulated sugar 1/3 cup

Lemon juice 1/2 tbsp (optional)

Process :

Wash strawberries nicely in running water and keep them on a sieve to drain our all water.

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Cut out green leaves from them and slice each strawberry in 4 pieces.

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In a thick bottomed saucepan combine strawberries and sugar and start cooking on medium to sim heat.

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Keep stirring it until strawberries start leaving their juice and sugar melts completely.

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Now keep the heat on sim and let it cook for 25 – 30 minutes. Occasionally keep stirring them.

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Sauce will thicken up and it will be in deep dark red colour in half an hour.

Switch off heat and taste it. If it tastes very sweet add 1/2 tbsp lemon juice to add slight tangy flavor and let it cool down completely. If you want to use this sauce in between the layers of cake or cheesecake in slightly more refined way, you can puree it.

Store in a neat bottle in the fridge for 10-12 days but I really doubt it will last that long. Your kids will be finding an excuse to stay near the refrigerator to lick it again and again!!!

Are you planning to prepare this delicious kid’s favorite fruit sauce? I think you should.. . because once your first bottle is over, you can again prepare fresh one. After all nothing is better than fresh home made sauce!!!

 

Would love to hear from you all through the comments section ❤️❤️.

 

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Salted Caramel Sauce

Preparing salted caramel sauce was my long time wish. Finally I got a reason to prepare it. I was planning to bake cinnamon rolls Eggless Cinnamon Rolls and was not sure whether I would like such sweet rolls. So to balance the sweet filling of cinnamon rolls I decided to drizzle buns with salted caramel sauce. I started searching for the recipe of caramel sauce and finally decided to try from Sallysbakingaddiction.com as her recipe didn’t require any candy thermometer. Till now I have not purchased any cooking thermometer so this recipe suited me very well.

After preparing and tasting the sauce I found it to be very salty. I guess my taste buds are different from the rest of the world. So I made another batch and instead of using salted butter I used unsalted butter. It tasted great!! Now I was completely satisfied with the result. It went so well with cinnamon rolls!!

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If you have never made salted caramel sauce before, you should definitely try this. It’s just a four ingredients magic and Sally has made it so easy to prepare. You will just keep on licking from the bottle whole day!!

You can follow the recipe given by Sally or can follow my version, depending on your choice of taste..

Ingredients :

Sugar (granulated)      1 cup

Unsalted butter          6 tbsp (room temperature, cut up into cubes)

Milk cream (full fat)      1/2 cup (room temperature)

Salt      1 tsp
Process :

Take heavy bottomed deep pan and heat sugar on medium to sim flame. Keep stirring sugar constantly with long handled spatula to avoid sugar sticking to the bottom and burning.

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Slowly there will be small clumps of sugar… keep stirring….Soon these clumps will starting melting and white sugar syrup will start changing into amber colour.

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Don’t stop stirring – by now whole sugar would be melted. Immediately add butter. The moment butter is added, caramel will bubble rapidly, so be careful.

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Keep on stirring till butter is completely melted and slowly add milk cream. Again caramel will bubble up – so again be careful!

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Let the whole mixture boil for a minute and switch off the gas. Add 1 tsp salt, mix it properly and let it cool down completely before filling in a clean and dry bottle.

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After cooling down completely, caramel will thicken up. You have to keep this caramel in the fridge and can store for 15 days. Warm it slightly before using it for drizzle or filling in your dishes!!!

 

 

Pizza sauce

Preparing homemade pizza sauce was in my long time wish list. If pizza sauce is ready then preparing pizza is very easy as it is less time consuming and less work.You can prepare pizza sauce one day in advance, next day in the morning bake pizza base and assemble everything together along with toppings and bake pizza for dinner. Doesn’t this planning sounds great!!! Though I prepared this sause to use for Pizza rolls

Ingredients

4 boiled tomatoes puree
2 finely chopped onion
1tsp black pepper
4 finely chopped green chillies
3 tbsp butter/olive oil
2 tbsp tomatoe sauce (optional, I didn’t add)
Salt 3/4 tsp reduce or add as per your taste)
1/2 cups water (I didn’t add as I wanted thick sauce for pizza rolls)
2 tbsp mixed pizza spices (instead can use seprate your choice of pizza spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes etc…)
1+1/2 tsp sugar
Few crushed fresh basil leaves

Process :

Heat a thick bottomed pan and add butter/olive oil. Add finely chopped onion and green chillies. Saute them till till onions are light brown.

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In this add boiled, grinded tomatoes puree.  Keep the heat on sim and add pizza spices, black pepper and tomato sauce. Add water and let it cook until you get the desired thickness.  Add salt and sugar, mix well and switch off gas. Add crushed green basil leaves and let it cool down completely

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Fill pizza sauce in a clean bottle and keep it in the fridge. Just make sure that you are able to save it from your family members for next day’s pizza….!!

 

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