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Cranberry Ganache · GF (about 1 cup)

While most of us know ganache as a blend of chocolate and cream, you can actually get away with making it from all sorts of other things. I had a big batch of Cranberry Syrup leftover from Christmas, so I decided to give it a try as the basis for ganache.

The result wasn’t as luxurious or glossy as a cream ganache, but I loved its sweet-tart flavor; the cranberry came through loud and clear. If you enjoy combos like Chocolate Orange or Chocolate Cherry, then you’d totally dig it too.

Because of its light body and clean finish, it’s ideal for saucing creamy desserts like ice cream or cheesecake. I used it to cover a Chocolate Cranberry Layer Cake. It gave the buttercream a bold pop of flavor, but without the tongue-coating richness of a traditional ganache.

enrobing a cake with ganache

Cranberry Ganache is super lean, so look for chocolates in the 50-60% range; the cocoa butter helps keep the emulsion stable. I used Videri Dark Milk, which has a 50% cocoa content and a bright flavor unlike typical ultra-mellow milk chocolates.

Cranberry Ganache, about 1 cup
4 ounces homemade Cranberry Syrup
4 ounces milk or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 ounce heavy cream or coconut milk, possibly more

In a 2 quart stainless steel pot, melt the Cranberry Syrup over low heat. Meanwhile, finely chop the chocolate. Don’t use chips to save time, they don’t have enough cocoa butter to keep the ganache creamy.

Increase the heat to medium. When the Cranberry Syrup beings to bubble, shut off the heat. Add the chopped chocolate all at once and whisk until completely melted, though the ganache may look slightly broken.

Drizzle in the cream or coconut milk a little at a time, whisking until the ganache looks smooth and glossy. If you like, strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seedy bits and flecks of cranberry skin (I didn’t bother).

Variations

Pink Ganache: this makes a beautiful ganache, but it only works to the extent that you love a given brand of white chocolate, so don’t use anything you wouldn’t enjoy eating out of hand. Something about the creamy richness of white chocolate combined with a tart“red” flavor reminds me of strawberry yogurt, oddly enough.

Simply the dark chocolate with 8 ounces of top-notch white chocolate, and season to taste with a hearty pinch of salt.

Fork!

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