Ganache, you’re great!

My son turned 5 on Wednesday. I’m still in shock and sugar coma. He loves chocolate cake, actually he just loves cake and anything that I bake. Each year I ask him what he wants for his birthday and his answer is always chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Sometimes the chocolate cake will be mixed with pumpkin or filled with a cranberry cream, this year it was chocolate on chocolate.

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This hardest decision is whether I make a buttercream or ganache frosting. Buttercream is great, but the sugar can put me over the edge and the kids up the wall! I asked Milam what he wanted, yes my son knows the difference between both. He opted for the creamy stuff, ganache.

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I have been making ganache for several years now and have had some really not so good turn outs. Cream and chocolate are delicate ingredients and must be handled with care. Do you melt the chocolate and then add the cream or do you heat the cream and then add the chocolate? How much cream to chocolate, every recipe changes to the cooks taste. Some have a higher ratio of cream to chocolate or just the opposite. I don’t use milk chocolate for anything I bake. It has too much sugar and milk already added, making it difficult to control sweetness.

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Don’t rush your ganache or you’ll be disappointed. I prefer to heat the cream and then have a bowl of chopped up dark chocolate waiting to be melted. Once you pour the hot cream over the chocolate, be patient and let the melting magic happened. You don’t want to stir it too much. Just let the chocolate be heated up by the cream and gently give it a stir to help the melting process.

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As the chocolate melts it will turn glossy. Gently stir the mixture to incorporate the bottom pieces of chocolate. If there are lumps, don’t worry. Simply put the heat proof bowl on top of a pot of boiling water, don’t get the mixture too hot, you only want to heat up the bottom of the bowl.

A ganache, once cooled, can be poured, whipped, or pipped. If your desired consistency is for pouring, then you’ll need to add a tablespoon of corn syrup to the finished product (it helps with the smoothness).

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So here’s my recipe.

Chocolate Ganache

makes 2 whipped cups

You’ll need:

8 oz heavy whipping cream (it’s best to use non ultra pasteurized, but it can be hard to find or if you don’t eat dairy you can substitute in any non-dairy milk)

8 oz chocolate; chopped into small pieces

Measure chocolate and set aside in a bowl. Heat the cream in a pot on the stovetop until it comes to a boil. Keep an eye on it and stir frequently. Don’t burn the cream! Once it’s steaming and boiling around the edges pour over the chocolate and gently stir.

Now this is going to be challenging but do not stir the mixture for at least ten minutes. Stirring too frequently will incorporate too much air, which slows down the melting process. After 10 minutes, give it a good stir and watch the magic happen. Gently fold in the bottom bits to ensure an even melting.

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Ganache, you’re great!

For the love of food

I like to call the month of August the month of LOVE. Not only is it my birthday month, but it is THE foodie month in the Bay Area! All things that I love come together during this month and make me one happy mama.

To get the festival weekend started I had a little party at my house with yummy food and lovely friends! The menu consisted of Rosemary, Lemon, Garlic Oven Roasted Chicken, a Vegetable Tian, and a Chocolate Decadence Cake! Oh what a birthday it was! Did I mention the delicious wine too.

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Rosemary, Lemon, and Garlic Roasted Chicken

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Vegetable Tian
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My Birthday Cake! A Chocolate Truffle Cake covered with a luxurious Whipped Cream

Then there was the Outside Lands Music Festival, which landed on my birthday weekend! Azalina had a brilliant idea of fusing together Mexican and Malaysian flavors into a nacho dish. Festival goers had the choice between chicken curry nachos or a peanut tofu nacho. They were a hit! Azalina really knows how to combine the flavors of California with her traditional Malaysian flare!

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My Boss. I like to call her the Malaysian Ninja!

La Cocina was a mad house everyday leading up to the SF Street Food Festival. All 32 businesses were pumping out their amazing tasty treats for the one day street food extravaganza. Every kind of food you could think of was being made and prepared by loving hands, all combining the new with the traditional. There were brains, shrimp heads, thousands of pounds of meat, the freshest fruits and veggies from local farmers, hogs, and a whole lot of sweat and tears.

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My Boss Azalina making 1,600 Vegan Peanut Tofu Tacos for the SF Street Food Festival!
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Our stall at La Cocina’s 4th Annual Street Food Festival! It was a blast, but a blur!
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The Vegan Tacos and Chicken Nachos were a flavor explosion in your mouth! Mexican food goes with everything!

For the love of food