Sunday, October 10, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Ganache Dessert Cups

My recipe this week is a party dessert. Over the weekend I helped host a baby shower. One of my duties was to make a ganache dessert. It needed to be served in some form of an edible cup, with a topping, and bite-size. I had never made ganache before, but they were a favorite at the party. Many people asked for the recipe so here it is from my experience. There are two recipes that I used for the over all dessert, one for the ganache and the other for the cup.


2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Place chocolate chips in a large bowl, or in a bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the cream into a saucepan, and bring to a boil. As soon as the cream boils up to the top of the pan, quickly remove it from the heat, and pour it over the chips. Let stand for a minute or two, then stir with a whisk, or use the paddle attachment for the mixer, to mix until smooth. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl occassionally. Stir in the vanilla until well blended. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface, and allow to cool at room temperature, or in a refrigerator.

"Ganache recipe used in many bakeshops. Melt, and pour over cakes as a glaze, or chill and whip until light for a filling. Ganache is a very versatile icing. This can best be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or about 3 days at room temperature."

Found on submitted by Pastrychick101

Chocolate Cookies-and-Cream Crust

2 1/2 cups coursely crushed cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (Oreos)
1/3 cup melted butter

Stir together all ingredients; firmly press crumb mixture on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate (I used a mini-muffin pan because I needed individual desserts). Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack, and cool crust 1 hour or until completely cool before filling.

Found in June 2008 edition of Southern Living magazine

From My Experience:
For this dessert, I combined the two recipes shown above to make the ganache-filled cookie cups. They are both fairly easy recipes, but the whole process takes time. The good news is you can make both ahead of time if necessary. I made the ganache first the night before. I thought I would be health-conscious so I purchased half-and-half instead of heavy cream. It boiled and mixed like normal. Which reminds me, make sure to watch the cream because it boils over easily and makes an extreme mess! Anyway, after the half-and-half was mixed with the chocolate it didn't thicken like I knew it should, so it was back to the grocery store and then starting over. Buy the heavy cream; it's loaded with fat but that's what makes it thick and rich. And this is definitely a special occasion dessert so everyone can splurge once in a while. Once I repeated the process using the heavy cream, I could tell a difference in the consistency and knew I had done it right this time. After the mixture cooled enough, I put it inside a plastic bag and left it a room temperature to cool. If you put it in the fridge, it will thicken making it difficult to fill the cups.
The next day I made the cookies-and-cream cups using a mini-muffin pan though the recipe was originally for a piecrust. The trick to making the cups so small is putting about a spoonful of the moist crumb mixture into each section. They will turn out a little thicker but it will be easier for them to stay intact once they are baked. After pouring the mixture into a one of the slots, push down to form a more dense consistency. If you keep pushing down in the middle, eventually it will start moving up the sides to form a concave cup. They still needed to be baked for 10-12 minutes. Because I needed to quicken the cooling process, I put the whole pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Once they were cooled, then I finished it off with the filling.
The ganache was sitting at room temperature in a plastic bag so I could pipe it into the cooled cookie cups. I cut one corner of the plastic bag and squirted the smooth ganache to fill each cup. Even if the cookie crust doesn't reach the top of the muffin pan, fill the ganache to the brim. Once again, I needed to speed up the chilling process so I stuck the muffin pan back into the freezer for about 15 minutes. Once removed, the ganache had thickened and hardened so I could now pop them out. Take a knife and run it along the side to loosen the cup-shaped crust. I placed the ganache-filled desserts in another pan because they needed to stay refrigerated until served. Once ready to serve, I placed a quarter slice of a strawberry on top of each ganache dessert.
The dessert was delectable, very rich with chocolatey goodness.

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