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Ganache too hard to pipe
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shnou
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October 16, 2010 - 11:31 pm
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Hi!  I'm so thrilled to have found such a great forum!  I've browsed a lot of the threads already--so helpful!

One thing I haven't found an answer to: I'm currently making truffles using the most basic recipe in Peter Greweling's book, and though I've followed all the directions as accurately as I can, the ganache I've ended up with is far too firm to pipe through the pastry bag.  It's still relatively soft and sticky in the bowl or if I pick it up with my fingers, but it simply won't go through the bag no matter how hard I squeeze.  This is clearly not how it's supposed to be, based on the book and on other recipes I've seen online.  This happened the last time I made truffles, too, though I was using a slightly different recipe and technique.  Does anyone know what I might be doing wrong?  And whether anything can be done to fix this?  Should I reheat the ganache somehow?

Thanks in advance!

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Gracie
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October 18, 2010 - 8:27 pm
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Try putting less in the bag...you need quite alot of strength to push through ganache if the bag is full. Are you chilling the ganche in the fridge?...if so, try leaving it at room temp instead to firm up and pipe before it is completely set.

Play with the recipe if you want a softer consistency. Is the original recipe supposed to be piped? Why not leave it to set in a lined tray then cut into squares instead?

You might try whipping the mix slightly with an electric hand whisk then piping, although you must not hang around once it's been whipped because although it will initially be softer, it will set firm quite soon afterwards.

 

Good luck!

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shnou
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October 18, 2010 - 10:08 pm
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Thanks for the reply!  I've not been using the fridge; Greweling's recipe says to leave the ganache to firm up at room temperature for an hour, then to agitate it slightly before piping.  It seems to really firm up in just an hour, though--I'm wondering if maybe something's off with my ingredients or proportions?  I read somewhere that clarified butter can make a ganache softer; I'd already used quite a bit of butter, but it was only softened, not clarified.  Do you think that's the problem?  

I also agitated it by hand with a spatula, but next time I'll try the electric mixer as you suggested.  Thanks for the tip!

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gap
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October 20, 2010 - 12:31 am
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It's usually best to pipe the ganache before it is fully set. The one hour waiting time is a guideline and if your work area is colder, the ganache may set quicker. Piping ganache just takes a bit of practice about knowing what consisteny to look for when it's ready to pipe.

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Alex Rast
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October 20, 2010 - 12:42 am
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shnou said:

Thanks for the reply!  I've not been using the fridge; Greweling's recipe says to leave the ganache to firm up at room temperature for an hour, then to agitate it slightly before piping.  It seems to really firm up in just an hour, though--I'm wondering if maybe something's off with my ingredients or proportions?

 

That sounds to me like possible differences in fat formulations in either the chocolate or the cream. A high proportion of cocoa butter in the chocolate will make the ganache softer initially (although increasing the risk of "breaking") but the transition to firm happens more sharply and it then becomes much more firm. High-fat cream invariably makes the ganache firmer.

 

How big of an amount are you making, relative to the recipe in the book? Total proportions matter; if you're making a smaller amount it will become firm much more quickly and also *exact* measurement becomes ever more critical, as even a slight difference in amounts translates to a greater difference in proportions. That's usually where I find people going awry. In fact, some recipes can't be made below a certain volume, because of various bulk-based effects such as reduction of working time, diminished aeration volume, etc.

 

 I read somewhere that clarified butter can make a ganache softer; I'd already used quite a bit of butter, but it was only softened, not clarified.  Do you think that's the problem?

Clarified butter (i.e. butter oil) can generate greater softness that ordinary butter, but not by terrifically much, nor do I think this is necessarily the source of the problem. I'd look at the other factors above first.

 

I also agitated it by hand with a spatula, but next time I'll try the electric mixer as you suggested.

 

I find that a hand whisk gives the best balance of control and aeration, although just as has been remarked, aeration also decreases working time.

 

 Thanks for the tip!


Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
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October 20, 2010 - 7:52 am
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Keep an eye on the recipes in that book too - sometimes he converts something like a teaspoon of syrup into 7g then a few pages later the same teaspoon of the same syrup is 14g. Something like that could throw your recipe out.

Duffy

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shnou
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October 23, 2010 - 3:01 am
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Thanks so much for all the responses!  I made a second batch and kept checking it as it set and it worked much better when I piped it earlier.  I'm making much smaller batches than the recipe is for, so that was probably the problem as suggested.  I'll keep an eye out for the measurement discrepancy thing, too--thanks for the tip!

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Ganache too hard to pipe | Techniques | Forum