I’ve played around with them a bit and the great thing is they’re really easy to experiment with because you can easily correct mistakes.
The only ingredients are water and couverture chocolate. Heat the water to approximately 45-50 degrees celcius (ie., it should be hot but not boiling). Then remove from heat and melt the chocolate into it. Keep stirring while the chocolate is melting in the water. When the chocolate is melted into the water, transfer into a bowl in an ice bath and combine. When incorporated, chill and allow to set.
Depending on your ratio of chocolate to water you can have achieve a whipped cream like finish, a mousse like finish or a ganache like finish. More water is required in the ratio for dark chocolate than milk chocolate as dark chocolate has more fat (cocoa butter).
So to answer your actual question, the ratio of water to chocolate depends on what type of chocolate you want to use. But you can experiment and if you find the mixture doesn’t set up hard enough, you can remelt it (because it is just water and chocolate) and add more chocolate – nothing is wasted. Maybe start trying with 75% of your chocolate weight in water – ie., combining 100g of chocolate with 75g water. Then take it from there.
Shelf life for this mixture is very short because of the high water content. You can never be exact with shelf life due to there being so many considerations but I wouldn’t have thought more than a few days at best.