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Butter in Ganache
October 8, 2003
11:10 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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For all of you chocolatiers out there, what role does butter play in a ganache? I know it isn’t a necessity, but does it give it a buttery taste, make it creamy, bring out other flavors? Also, about what is the consistancy of a pound of chocolate and a cup of cream? Will it be pretty firm once it sets?

October 9, 2003
2:56 pm
Seventy%
London, United Kingdom
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I don’t know much about this, but I’ll try and ask one of the chocolatiers in London Chocolate Week next week.

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October 9, 2003
6:43 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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Alright. Thanks a lot.

April 7, 2005
11:36 am
leggie
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April 4, 2005
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Hi,

I know this thread had been quite a while but I wonder if anyone has any comment.
Today i tried to make kahlua truffle but without success. I add butter and kahlua into melted white chocolate and wait for it to cool. The process is just the same as I did for other receipes. But a layer of oil emerge to the top. Anyone knows the reason? Thanks.

April 7, 2005
12:54 pm
Sebastian
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All fat is made up of things called fatty acids. Butter is made up primarily of fatty acids that are very short, which practically speaking, means that they’re soft. Adding butter to chocolate will do a couple of things – first and perhaps most obvious, it softens it and provides a very nice melt (these short chain fatty acids interefere with normal cocoa butter crystallization). You don’t need it for a ganache, but adding it in addition to heavy cream does provide a different eating experience – is it better? Depends on what you like. Secondly, it also makes the product a bit more stable from an oil migration standpoint. It does nothing for shelf life, so we’re not talking stability in those terms. Obviously there’s a flavor component to it as well, which can differ wildly based on your milk source (Cows in Britain eat different things than do cows in Pennsylvania – the resulting butter produced from them can have drastically different flavors). Personally, I prefer to add a little bit of salted butter when I’m making ganaches.

April 7, 2005
3:57 pm
leggie
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Thanks for the technical explanation.
However, do you know what I have done wrong in my situation?
The receipe was 250g butter, 500g white chocolate and 50g Kahlua. Pipe into small balls and dip into tempered dark chocolate after the balls are crust. I reduced all 3 proportional in case it is too much.
I melted the chocolate and then add in the butter and Kahlua and stir. But a layer of oil emerge after I left it to cool. I don’t think the oil is supposed to appear though.

April 7, 2005
4:03 pm
Sebastian
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Hard to say – trouble shooting w/o seeing the product or environment is always difficult. It seems like an awful lot of butter to me, but I’d not expect it to separate. What’s the consistency of the fluid layer? If you rub it between your fingers, is it greasy or waterlike? Are you mixing it in pretty vigorously, or taking it slow and easy? My experience has been that a vigorous mixing incorporates the two phases better, although I’ve heard others argue the other point as well. Are you letting it cool at room temperature (if so, what’s your room temp?) or helping it along by placing in a refridgerator? When is the layer forming? after they’re piped out? prior to piping? after enrobing?

April 7, 2005
5:56 pm
chocolatero
london
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just seems like a very very odd recipe!
Lots of butter but no cream, i guess kahlua is alcohol?
was the butter melted or softened when you added it?
it is possible that you are spliting the mix as it is all fat except the alcohol which is water based.
I would try to mix the soft butter and the alcohol, almost whipping them and after that pour the melted white chocolate on it and mix.
good luck, I can;t think this recipe will be nice as 1)there is no chocolate in it (white choc is not choc) and the rest is butter and alcohol… but it’s a free world and I am always happy to help!

April 7, 2005
7:48 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Also, how long are you stirring and allowing the ingredients to fully merge? Since fats are hydrophobic, and you’re using alcohol, the two separate, so even and consistent incorporation is needed. You may not be mixing the two long enough for the particles to coat each other evenly and consistently. Try adding the butter and alcohol in smaller portions. Add a little bit, stir a long time, add more, and so on. It’s similar to making a mayonnaise or a vinegraitte.

The ratio of 500g chocolate to 250g butter doesn’t seem odd; it’s a 2:1 ratio, which imo, is the ideal consistency for a ganache. However, I’ve always seen cream used, not butter.

April 9, 2005
3:09 pm
leggie
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Thanks for all the replies.
First of all, the receipe is from a book by Barry Callebaut so don’t think it’s a wrong one or bad one. Just that the process explained is not too clear.

It says “soften” butter. Well…I don’t really 100% what soften really means. So I took the portion I need from the fridge and leave it at room temperature until it’s soft enough and stir.

Anyway the end result did not look like a proper mixture (chocolate and fat do not bind together). It was way too soft even after putting into fridge. Impossible to pipe into ball shape then.

I think I am gonna try something else before I have confidence to try this again.

April 9, 2005
4:26 pm
Sebastian
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Don’t despair 8-) half the fun in learning to make chocolate is, well, learning 8-) you can always eat your mistakes. If you’re finding it too soft, simply cut back on the amount of butter you’re using…

April 9, 2005
5:50 pm
chocolatero
london
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which book is it?
if you want e-mail the exact recipe and i’ll see if I can make sense of it
Chocolatero

July 28, 2005
3:47 am
J.T.
Alabama & Chicago, USA
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At what temp are you adding the butter? Maybe you could try at add the butter once the melted chocolate reaches say 38C or so and then add the butter blend well and add th alcohol last and blend once more.

Maybe that will help.

Know that every experience is a lesson / test / opportunity to show our mastery of ourselves and life’s natural laws — From Sacred Symbols: Tao

Know that every experience is a lesson / test / opportunity to show our mastery of ourselves and life's natural laws -- From Sacred Symbols: Tao
August 19, 2005
7:26 pm
seneca
USA
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Just noticed this post…

I’ve never seen a ganache recipe involving butter, and technically (I think–please correct if wrong) ganache is always an emulsification of cream and chocolate. Alice Medrich has some great and really easy ganache techniques in a couple of her books.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganache

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
August 19, 2005
10:20 pm
Sebastian
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Since there’s no ‘official, legal’ definition of ganache, it really can be anything. The most accepted is simply chocolate and cream, but there are plenty of recipies that call for cream, sugars, syrups, flavors, etc that still are accepted as ganache. Debelis and Callebaut sell fluid milk based ganaches that have all sorts of other thigns in them.

August 19, 2005
11:25 pm
seneca
USA
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I would imagine that for folks like Callebaut to sell products they’d have to have some kind of stabilizers and other additives to increase shelflife, but that seems like a different kind of thing entirely in some basic way.

If you ask me, just scald some cream, drop in some chocolate and go from there…

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
August 19, 2005
11:51 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Of course, to purists who prefer freshness and no additives, a ganache should consist of no more than cream and chocolate. But as Sebastian noted, there are no legal definitions for what can, or should, go into it. However, there are basic standards by which most people consider as traditional, but the definitions say nothing of it being limited to just cream and chocolate.

In a ganache with a high chocolate proportion (e.g. 2:1 ratio), there are more cocoa particles that slowly absorb moisture from the mixture. In such a ganache, the cocoa particles can eventually absorb so much moisture that they swell and stick together, thus forming an unstable, coarse, and dry texture. Confections with this kind of ganache are rarer on the industrial market, so as a result, the interiors of mass produced “truffles” are going to be gooier and/or contain the infamous palm kernel oil to retain moisture and extend shelflife.

September 6, 2005
5:57 am
monper
Seattle, USA
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Hi,
I’ve made truffles for freinds for 13 plus years now; I first
started heating my cream, with a Tablespoon or two of butter in
it to a rolling boil, and then pour it over my chopped chocolate;
I alway’s add liqeurs to the cream mix; I would then stir by
hand (yuk); A good percentage of the time, especially the milk
chocolate, the oil would separate, end up on top; Ruined the
batch,made it grainy; I think it’s a temperature thing; Think
it somehow overheats the chocolate;
So this is how I now make my truffles, hundreds, every christmas,
never fails; for years;
1. Bring 2/3 cup of HEAVY cream with 1-2 Tablespoons of butter
to a rolling boil; I add about 2-3 Tablespoons of any liqueur
to this;
2. Then, with a Cuisinart, with the blade, and ONLY A CUISINART
(no other one is strong enough); Pour this heated mixture
over about 1 lb, of chopped chocolate; So, I have chopped
my chocolate into about 1 inch squares, then put it in the
CUISINART, and then with the blade, chopper, (plain blade
that sits on the bottom.)I then finely chop the chocolate
again in the cuisinart; THEN, I pour the hot mix over the
finely chopped chocolate in the cusinart; I blend a minute,
let it sit a minute, then blend another minute till it’s
all melted;
3. Then I pour it into a big bowl, stick it in the fridge overnite;
4. Next day, take it out a couple hours before rolling / or dipping;
Scoop and roll into small balls;
5. Then, dip, rolled truffle balls at ROOM TEMPERATURE, into TEMPERED
CHOCOLATE;
6. If your chocolate is tempered, and the bottoms of your truffles
are sealed, your chocolates will easily keep for weeks;

I’ve done it this way now for years, never had a spoiled truffle
after weeks, never ruin a batch of truffles centers;

Monica