Simple Chocolate Ganache, Step-by-Step

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SARAH SAYS: I came up with the idea that the tart shell in the Easy Breezy Summer Cream Tart and Banana Cream Chocolate Ganache Pie Recipes should be lined with a thin layer of chocolate ganache instead of a thin layer of melted chocolate under the pastry cream, which the original recipe called for. Most pastry chefs use a thin layer of chocolate to serve as a moisture barrier to help keep the crust from becoming soggy when using pastry cream. It was my solution to the problem after a Premium Member complained to me in a post, that when lining a pastry shell with just melted chocolate, and it sets, the chocolate becomes hard, and then splinters and cracks into smaller pieces when trying to serve the tart or eat it. Sometimes the hard chocolate will even break the crust into pieces, ruining the tart. 

This recipe is also used with the Chocolate Blueberry Frosted Cupcakes.


I felt that the ganache solution would work because it not only helps keep the crust crisp, it would also adds another layer of flavor, plus most importantly, it is soft enough to cut through without breaking and splintering. It worked brilliantly. Making the ganache with Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips works best to achieve more depth, flavor and color!

1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped; weigh and then chop into 1/4-inch evenly sized pieces
SARAH SAYS: Or, you can use 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

KELLY SAYS: I was making two tarts and doubled the recipe, and weighed 8 ounces chocolate chips; that's why the scale reads 8-ounces instead of 4-ounces!
For the same two tarts, I also doubled the heavy cream and used 1 cup. instead of 1/2 cup.

1. Bring heavy cream to a boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Pour chocolate into the hot cream. Let sit for 60 seconds before stirring.

2. Stir, IN ONE DIRECTION, to create a smooth ganache emulsion.

3. Cool Ganache: Refrigerate ganache for 15 minutes, stir well in the same direction as before. Chill another 15 minutes and stir again in the same direction as before or until the ganache has thickened and cooled, but has still remained pourable.
SARAH SAYS: If the ganache has stiffened too much, GENTLY reheat, stirring very slowly, until JUST warmed.

After making and for storing, always place a piece of plastic wrap firmly against its surface so a film does not form or it won't form a sugar crust on its surface. Classic ganache can generally stay at room temperature for 2 days, as long as it's kept in a cool place, and then it must be refrigerated, where it can stay for up to a month. Let it stand at room temperature to warm up.  Ganache can be frozen for a month. Thaw in the refrigerator, and then let stand at room temperature to warm up.

NOTE: If using as a pie crust lining:
1. After making, IMMEDIATELY spread CHOCOLATE GANACHE into cooled, prebaked pie shell, to make a layer about 1/4-inch thick, taking care not to crush the crust.

2. Spread the ganache up the sides of the crust, too.
SARAH SAYS: This creates a moisture barrier.

3. Chill the pie crust shell until the ganache has set before filling with pastry cream, etc.

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