3 Jan 2014: The Forum is currently in read-only made while we update to a new version of the Seventy% website and forum.

The forum will be back with a faster, simplified and up to date website in the next two months.

Please consider registering
guest

Log In

Lost password?
Advanced Search:

— Forum Scope —



— Match —



— Forum Options —




Wildcard usage:
*  matches any number of characters    %  matches exactly one character

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

The forums are currently locked and only available for read only access
Topic RSS
Cosistency of ganache
February 1, 2008
6:55 am
strootle
Sunnyvale, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 18
Member Since:
June 11, 2007
Offline

I’ve been contemplating this in my head for a while, do peopple prefer soft ganache with hard truffle shells more than they like a harder ganache with hard shells? I’ve noticed that some of the ganaches out there have a marshmallowy texture or some are just too soft for my likings.

I know the general rule of 2:1 and other ratios, but I”m trying to do something different here.

What do you guys like?

Thanks for your input,
Charlotte

February 1, 2008
12:09 pm
Sebastian
Member
Forum Posts: 430
Member Since:
September 30, 2004
Offline

I think that’s sort of asking which is better, red cars or blue cars 8-) Preference is a tricky thing, you’ll likely find advocates for both! Personally, i like very soft ganaches, with a very very thin shell.

February 2, 2008
3:49 am
strootle
Sunnyvale, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 18
Member Since:
June 11, 2007
Offline

I completely agree with you; it’s really all about preference. I’ve noticed that the market out there tends to generate truffles with the softer ganache, while I like mine to have a little bit more body to it.

Thanks for your input sebastian.
charlotte

February 3, 2008
5:32 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 283
Member Since:
October 13, 2009
Offline

quote:


Originally posted by strootle

I’ve been contemplating this in my head for a while, do peopple prefer soft ganache with hard truffle shells more than they like a harder ganache with hard shells? I’ve noticed that some of the ganaches out there have a marshmallowy texture or some are just too soft for my likings.
What do you guys like?


Personally, I like the firmer ganache (2:1). That’s not just the texture, though: a firm ganache has a much stronger chocolate flavour and thus I take the texture as a good *indicator* as opposed to something taken strictly in its own right. If you go for 2:1 it’s trickier to get it perfectly smooth, and the ganache easily breaks, so that from a production POV it’s not particularly common because it’s hard to work with, and also more expensive given that generally you can’t get by with charging more for a chocolate with a 2:1 centre, yet the higher chocolate percentage means it’ll cost more to make since chocolate is more expensive than cream (at least for good chocolate)

I’ve had chocolates with that strange marshmallowy texture. I described it as “gelatinous”. To me it seems wierd and I don’t think this is what most people are looking for either.

My impression is that the majority prefer the softer texture of a 1:1. Market studies for food after food show, btw, that consumers value texture over flavour, so interestingly a ganache could in theory have no flavour but incredible texture and many people would be inclined to rate it subjectively above one with poorer texture but outstanding flavour.

The texture that people actually want is that of soft butter. I would go so far as to say that this is a broad preference across a huge range of foods. At the end of the day a lot of people, without actually saying as much, have a powerful craving for butter (although this does beg the question, if that’s what you want, why not have that instead?) Back to chocolate: 1:1 is in fact a bit soft relative to soft butter. 3:2 comes closer. Probably 4:3 is spot-on but I’ve never tried that particular ratio.

The other texture people want is crisp. It’s more difficult to describe precisely the type of crisp they’re looking for in terms of a reference food (about the closest I can come up with, and this isn’t exactly right, is a fried won ton), but they want something that snaps decisively but instantly and without resistance, then dissolves effortlessly. This argues in favour of chocolate with extreme cocoa butter percentages – 50% +. The problem with high cocoa butter percentages is that this again dilutes flavour, unless you go for extreme-percentage chocolate. But this actually works, because for the shells (the crisp part), to get that clean effortless snap you want the thinnest shell possible – this also helping to ensure effortless dissolution. In that shell thinness, high-percentage (even 100%) chocolate isn’t necessarily overwhelming for most people, and it provides an admirable way to boost the flavour if the centre, being relatively fluid, is weaker in potency. So use ultrathin, 90%+ shells, and high-fluidity centres with perhaps a good powerful 70%, and you may have a real success.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
February 3, 2008
11:59 pm
strootle
Sunnyvale, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 18
Member Since:
June 11, 2007
Offline

Alex,

I agree with you on the texture of the ganache. As for me, when I eat truffles with the softer ganache, I immediately focus my attention on the texture rather than the flavor itself. It would take me at least two bites for me to focus back on the flavor, and typically I find that the flavor is lacking. Unfortunately, this type of truffle is just too common.

Recently, I had some vosges truffles and I’ve heard nothing but good raves about these truffles. So I was surprise to learn that the ganache is too soft and the flavor is also lacking.

But I do agree with you on the firmer texture, the chocolate taste is far more intense than the softer ganache. I would think that most of the chocoholics out there would want more of this instead. Needless to say, I like the firmer ganahce.

But like Sebastian said, it’s like picking between a red and blue cars.

Charlotte

February 5, 2008
1:32 am
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 283
Member Since:
October 13, 2009
Offline

quote:


Originally posted by strootle

Alex,

I agree with you on the texture of the ganache. As for me, when I eat truffles with the softer ganache, I immediately focus my attention on the texture rather than the flavor itself.


Precisely, and this is what the texture-prioritising customer base is looking for – something which puts the focus immediately in the mind on the texture so that their experience is immediately in that direction rather than on the flavour per se. Thus soft ganache is a big success in that group.

quote:


It would take me at least two bites for me to focus back on the flavor, and typically I find that the flavor is lacking. Unfortunately, this type of truffle is just too common.
… I would think that most of the chocoholics out there would want more of this instead. Needless to say, I like the firmer ganahce.


Remember though, that in a commercial setting the considerations are much different than what you might do in an ideal world where everyone shared your individual preferences. Unless you have an already established clientele of hardcore, well-informed chocoholics (who might, indeed, prefer the denser, firmer ganache), chances are you will be working with the more normal market where a very significant proportion if not the majority of your potential customers are of the type I mentioned, namely, valuing texture over flavour. In that case it depends on how much exposure to other chocolatiers your customers have had. If they’re well-travelled and have tried various high-quality chocolates in many cities, then assuming they’re of the texture preference, that soft texture will probably form their reference for quality and thus if you produce an excellent-tasting but firm ganache their subjective feeling would be that it’s not particularly good and thus you might well lose business.

This is even more true if you have a number of established chocolatiers in the area who produce very soft ganache, especially if they have a reputation for very high quality. If on the other hand your potential customers really haven’t had much exposure to quality chocolate at all, then the firmer ganache will probably work perfectly fine because the improvement in overall quality will be so dramatic relative to what they’ve had in the past.

It gets pretty involved. If you live in a city with a very large number of established, quality chocolatiers, however, firm ganache may be a better choice because it gives you a clear market position – you will establish a niche among the chocoholics in the city who up until that point had not been able to get that kind of chocolate, at least assuming that none of the other chocolatiers is doing that style. If you copied the others it’d be difficult to succeed against established competition.

The bottom line is, when producing ganache chocolates in a commercial setting, you have to compromise between your own personal stylistic desires and that which the market wants. You do have to infuse your own style into the process or otherwise it will become generic, boring, and unoriginal. But you have to be realistic about what style choices are going to be well-received in the marketplace, and make adjustments appropriately.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
February 6, 2008
6:03 am
strootle
Sunnyvale, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 18
Member Since:
June 11, 2007
Offline

Alex,

I agree with some of what you said. But, I feel that regardless what the consumers have been exposed to or what nearby established chocolatiers are doing, you can still expose yourself as the chocolatiers who create the firmer ganache. It’s all about setting yourself apart. I’m not saying producing a firmer ganache will make it easy for me to market. But I feel that changing the expectations of the consumers is a challenge that I’ willing to take.

I do agree with you that I will have to tone down my wants and needs, but at the same time strong enough that i can differentiate myself.

Charlotte

February 6, 2008
8:43 pm
Marcellus
Member
Forum Posts: 70
Member Since:
January 16, 2006
Offline

To digress a little, a week or so ago I asked for advice (on the recipes forum) on a small selection of after-dinner truffles I was making for a small local restaurant and Alex very kindly gave me his views. Amongst his suggestions was a plain truffle which was also first on my own list as this is my favourite and I dusted them in cocoa powder. I suppose it is a little presumptuous to suppose that my own preferences would also be those of others but I was a little shocked at the feedback I got from the restaurant. Apparently, the majority of diners left the cocoa dusted truffle uneaten or half-eaten but there was no problem with the other chocolate-dipped ones. What they disliked was the cocoa powder which they found too strong. My own opinion is that it was probably the best truffle I’d ever made. What a comedown! The ganache was 2 to 1 and the cocoa powder was an alkalized product of Cocoa Barry. I’d be interested in other people’s experience and opinion of cocoa-dusted v dipped truffles.

February 6, 2008
9:56 pm
Sebastian
Member
Forum Posts: 430
Member Since:
September 30, 2004
Offline

The problem many have with a cocoa dusted truffle is that either there’s too much cocoa left on it, and when you eat you often inhale, which causes a blast of cocoa down the throat – or the up front, bitterness of the cocoa is too strong for the common palate. obviously shaking off the excess ccp is the answer to #1, the answer to #2 i’ve found can be as simply as either mixing the ccp with powdered sugar, or dusting the top of the ccp coated truffle with powdered sugar – i prefer the later as it can give a beautiful appearance, and the sweetness really takes the bite off of the ccp bitterness

February 7, 2008
1:40 am
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 283
Member Since:
October 13, 2009
Offline
10

quote:


Originally posted by Marcellus

…I suppose it is a little presumptuous to suppose that my own preferences would also be those of others but I was a little shocked at the feedback I got from the restaurant. Apparently, the majority of diners left the cocoa dusted truffle uneaten or half-eaten but there was no problem with the other chocolate-dipped ones. What they disliked was the cocoa powder which they found too strong.


Well, the most important thing is – yes, the reaction wasn’t what you expected, or what you personally prefer, but that’s OK, and it’s not that important that they didn’t appreciate that particular truffle because A) you did, and B) you got valuable input and feedback that you can use to experiment with in future. That said:

At first glance this looks like a clientele profile issue. I suspect the customers at that particular restaurant are of a type used to sweeter stuff. This would be especially magnified if they’re not familiar with high-quality chocolate and most of their exposure has been to high street chocolatiers.

However, there are a few additional possibilities. What kind of chocolate did you use? Cocoa on the outside requires a strong chocolate for the ganache, so at minimum one of the more powerful 70%’s. Also, your cocoa was Dutched, which tends to deaden flavour. Not only does dry Dutch cocoa powder taste a little flat itself, it has the effect of “flattening” the flavour of most chocolates. In that case substitute a natural-process cocoa. In addition, and Sebastian hints at this, Dutch cocoa powder is very astringent (mouth-drying). With a largish amount this will make the mouth so dry that one has to try to choke down the truffle, like eating a very dry piece of bread.

My normal results with cocoa-dusted truffles have been that people are spectacularly happy with them. However, one must bear in mind that I use Amedei Chuao and Cluizel cocoa – about the best possible truffle one can concoct. Nonetheless, my feedback has been that the cocoa adds a pleasant strong counterpoint to the ganache.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
February 7, 2008
11:39 pm
gap
Melbourne, Australia
Member
Forum Posts: 199
Member Since:
October 20, 2005
Offline
11

I agree with all the posts above and its always important to remember different people have different preferences – there is no right and wrong. That said, if I had to stereotype, the majority of people I make chocolates for are not huge fans of cocoa powder on their truffles. Personally I like it, but a lot of people who eat my chocolates prefer a sweeter taste.

If I am specifically catering to these friends, I often dust a dark chocolate truffle with JUST icing sugar – no cocoa powder. Like I said, its not what I would want but many do like it and it can create a nice contrast as Sebastian mentioned above.

March 4, 2008
3:29 pm
Foodpump
Vancouver, Canada
Member
Forum Posts: 28
Member Since:
March 4, 2008
Offline
12

You’ll find that many diners who are “dressed to the nines” will avoid anything messy, and this is usually the women. The cooca powder invariably falls off, and lightly dusts the eater with cocoa powder.

I’ve had great success with ratios of almost 1:1 cream/dark couveture for truffles, which gives them a fairly creamy consistancy. Butter and booze are also in the recipie. The method to make this ganache is not very traditional, but it works quite well./ Shelf life is still around 3 weeks.