When I was a kid, my shul (synagogue) had a sisterhood. The members cooked for congregational Chanukah and Purim parties, organized an annual rummage sale as a fundraiser, and had lots of Sunday morning meetings. My current shul doesn’t have a sisterhood, but the ladies do have a WhatsApp group. Welcome to the 21st century. The first message I received after joining the group two weeks ago was an invitation to a chocolate workshop in honor of the happy Hebrew month of Adar. Because women+chocolate= :-). Am I perpetuating stereotypes? Oops.
Most recipes for ganache or truffles call for chocolate and cream or nondairy creamer. Since nondairy creamer is right below margarine on the list of things not allowed into my kitchen, I was happy to learn that ganache can be made with just chocolate and hot water. Apparently, it is not just a way to save money on cream. Chocolate purists prefer using water to thin the chocolate because it doesn’t adulterate the chocolate flavor. Who knew that cheap could be chic? This is good if you’re using high-quality chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids). If you only have chocolate chips, they’ll taste like melted chocolate chips without the cream to enrich the flavor.
Whereas the classic ganache recipe calls for equal parts cream and chocolate, if water is used, less is needed since it is thinner than cream. The standard size of local chocolate bars is 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces). To make ganache, add 85 ml (about 1/3 cup) boiling water to each 100 grams of chocolate, broken into pieces. Let it sit for a minute, and then stir until melted together. No whisk or mixer needed. A regular bowl and spoon work just fine. If there are stubborn lumps of chocolate after a few minutes of mixing, microwave for 30 seconds or heat over a double boiler until the chocolate has all melted. At this point, you can add flavorings, such as liquor or peanut butter. For mocha flavored ganache, melt the chocolate with hot coffee instead of hot water. If using the ganache to frost cake, you’re ready to go. Let that chocolate flow. If you want to use the ganache more like a mousse, such as to fill dessert cups like in the picture, you have a little more work ahead. Put the chocolate mixture in the fridge to cool for about a half hour, until it has thickened to frosting consistency, but not hardened. Fill a pastry bag or corner of a zip-top plastic bag (Regular sandwich bags aren’t strong enough.), snip the end, and pipe into place. Decorate with nuts, shredded coconut, or sprinkles. If the chocolate mixture hardens too much in the fridge, simply microwave for increments of 10-15 seconds until it’s soft enough to squeeze out of pastry bags.
Lite Chocolate Ganache Recipe
100 grams good quality chocolate
85 ml (about 1/3 cup) boiling water
1 teaspoon liquor, coffee, nut butter, or other flavoring (optional)
nuts, shredded coconut or other toppings (optional)
- Break chocolate into small pieces and put into microwave-safe bowl.
- Pour hot water over chocolate. Let sit for one minute.
- Stir until an even, smooth sauce is formed.
- Mix in flavoring, if desired.
- If you want a thicker consistency, refrigerate for a half hour.
- Spoon into pastry bag or zip-top bag with the corner cut off to frost with.
- Decorate with toppings, if desired.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, try Gluten-Free No-Bake Brownie Bites.