Mystery Solved

So, this issue with the ganache that didn’t work? (There were actually two, but the mint — which was completely solid — didn’t even make it to the cutter.) A little bit of research and I figured out exactly what went wrong.

I’ve known all along that ingredient temperatures are important, but I’d been relying more on the look and feel of the melted butter — the last ingredient added to the ganache, which gives it a nice creamy texture. As it turns out, I was putting it into the mix at precisely the wrong temperature.

Oddly enough, butter needs to be either too hot or too cold. “Just right” makes it want to bind together and separate from the rest of the mixture, which is exactly what it did. If it’s too hot, it won’t bind and clump together, and if it’s too cold, well, basically it’s starting to solidify and won’t stick to itself.

Armed with this knowledge, I was able to make my vanilla, chili-vanilla, and newly minted ganaches the way they’re supposed to be, at least as they’re setting. We’ll see tomorrow when I dip them.

Oh, and the caramels! It turns out that if you overcook caramel, you get toffee — it’s not chewy, but rather crunchy. Didn’t bother the friends who tried it on Friday night, which makes me think that I need to find some way to use it in something. More thinking…

The next batch, however, was absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to dip them.

Oh, and the rose-petal truffles. A friend tried them and came up with a singular description: “They taste pretty!”

Nuf said.

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2 Responses to “Mystery Solved”

  1. ah that is probably the reason my ganache broke today as well…guess i should learn to follow recipes better.

  2. Temp is very very important when working with butter, sugar and chocolate. As you mentioned too hot and you can end up with English butter toffee, that will make your friends and family go crazy. Chewy caramel is a tricky thing. I have a done much research, as I have been making candy from my kitchen for 10 years. I have a recipe for caramels that uses sweetened condensed milk. These caramels do not stick to your teeth, and can be used in a number of ways, even chocolate dipping. If you are going for a caramel sauce this is a totally different concept.

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