February is officially here. The game has been played, the groundhog has come out to predict the weather and hearts are appearing in the stores meaning that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Almost every year since our son was born, Jim and I have not done the big romantic night out and just stayed in and enjoyed a wonderful meal and quiet time after our son went to bed and it has always been great. At first, this was mostly due to the fact that we had little money and no sitters willing to give up their night of romance, but now we just love having a meal in. Also, we still don’t have sitters beating our door down to give us a night out but childhood is not forever so I think we will survive:)
So once again this year, I’m thinking it’s dinner and dessert for two at the Cafe Little Prairie Kitchen. Since chocolate is high on our list of favorite ingredients in a decadent dessert, this year I’m whipping up a batch of ganache to cover a cake or some strawberries. Don’t let the fancy name fool you into thinking this is a super hard dessert, it’s not. Ganache is just a fancy way of saying rich chocolate sauce and with only 2 major ingredients (chocolate and heavy cream), if you can boil cream and pour liquid, you can make ganache.
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes plus cooling | Makes: approx. 2 cups
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 70% dark)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- a pinch coarse sea salt flakes (optional)
- Place chocolate chips and dark chocolate in large mixing bowl and set aside
- In a medium saucepan, pour the heavy cream in the pan and warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until cream just begins to bubble and steam (do not allow to come to a boil)
- Remove the cream from the heat and slowly add the cream to the bowl of chocolate, ensuring cream is poured evenly over all of the chocolate
- If using salt, add a pinch and begin to slowly stir cream and chocolate mixture for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is brown in color and smooth with no chocolate lumps remaining
- Refrigerate any unused ganache. Ganache may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Feel free to play with the ratios of dark chocolate to semisweet chocolate. If you are not a huge dark fan, you may want to use a less dark (under 70%) or simply omit all together and use 8 ounces of semisweet. Just be sure you use 8 ounces of chocolate in total.
- My favorite way to use up ganache is as a decadent frosting for a good chocolate cake. The ganache does not have the same whipped and fluffy texture that traditional frosting does, but the smooth spread and amazing flavor will make you forget all about frosting. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.
- Another great use for this fancy chocolate sauce is warm and drizzled over your favorite ice cream. Homemade hot fudge at it’s best! I also love to dip strawberries in the warm ganache for a very fancy take on chocolate covered strawberries.
- Ganache should be refrigerated but can be reheated in the microwave. Heat for 20-30 seconds at a time, stirring ganache in between, until smooth and warm.