I was in a hurry and knew it was risky but did it anyway. What happened? Grainy ganache. The cardinal sin of frosting!
Would the brownies taste good without the frosting? Sure. Would they be decadent and delicious? Perhaps. But they certainly wouldn’t be quite as luxuriously self-indulgent.
Could I throw out an entire batch of ganache? Hell no.
Could it be saved? Maybe.
First, why did this happen? Because I rushed it and the temperature got away from me. Ganache rewards patience. If your ganache gets too hot, the fats separate and have their own little party and spoil your ganache into an oily, separated mess.
These are the 5 tools in my kitchen hack pack to try to save a spiraling ganache:
1. Add milk
Depending on how much milk you need, this hack will thin the texture of your ganache, but it works really well if you plan to use it as a glaze.
2. (Re)melt & Stir.
While the first hack works well on still warm or cooling ganache, this trick is perfect for grainy ganache that has cooled down. It works really well on leftover ganache that you might have frozen and thawed (as consequence of frugality is that the ganache will definitely split when frozen/thawed) .
Place the grainy ganache in a saucepan on low. Stir with a whisk as it melts. Keep stirring and whisking. Be patient. By the time all the ganache has melted, it will have come together again.
3. Add more chocolate/solid fat
Like the milk hack, this will alter the texture depending on how much chocolate you need, so be careful. It will become stiffer with more fat. But again, depending on how you plan to use it, this might not be a problem.
4. Add more cream/liquid fat
Heat about 2 Tbsp of cream till it begins to steam slightly. Turn off the heat and whisk your broken ganache into the cream little by little till everything is once again incorporated, smooth and glossy.
5. Cool it down
First, it’s critical to get the ingredients at room temperature before you even start. This might mean leaving things out overnight to truly make sure they reach room temperature.
But sometimes the environment is beyond your control. If you’re working in a sweaty, steamy kitchen and the ganache starts to break, try putting the bowl of ganache in an ice bath to quickly chill the frosting and stave off disaster.
Throwing out any chocolate or frosting is a sin. I went to catechism classes for years, that’s no lie. Split or grainy ganache isn’t great, but it’s not something that should throw you into a panic. Try one of these 5 steps and you should be able to save your eternal soul. Or at least the ganache.