On the second day of cocoa my true love gave to me: two chocolate drinks and a white “chocolate” one, too. My “true love” being chocolate, of course. Chocolate gave me chocolate? Just go with it.
On this aptly rainy Day Two of the Twelve Days of Cocoa I’ve decided to gift to you a more elegant, but still simple, hot cocoa technique.
Ganache. It’s just sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Heat up some cream, pour it over chocolate to melt, swirl into your preferred warmed milk, and voila! hot cocoa. Tell everyone at your next dinner party they’re drinking ganache hot chocolate and they will be impressed with your culinary prowess.
Ganache is a silky smooth mixture of chocolate and cream that can be used in many ways from thick frosting to fancy hot cocoa. The consistency of your ganache is determined by the cream-to-chocolate ratio. This ratio is higher (more cream less chocolate) for hot cocoa applications and lower (less cream more chocolate) for thicker frosting applications.
As with my simple hot cocoa you can add vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg (or all of the above) to this beverage to give it more layers of flavor.
Ganache can be made with just about any chocolate you can get your hands on, but it’s a good idea to use high-quality chocolate with fewer additives to really let the chocolate flavor shine. (Get a bar of chocolate from your grocery store baking aisle instead of chocolate chips.) The photos here show dark chocolate ganache, light chocolate ganache, and white chocolate ganache. We’ll save the, “white chocolate isn’t chocolate” conversation for another time.
This will be the base for several upcoming hot cocoa recipes so make a batch today and refrigerate in an air tight container. Ganache will last about two weeks. It will harden as it cools, but it just needs to be warmed up to loosen up again.
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
3 Ounces Chocolate, chopped
-Heat cream (do not boil!)
-Stir into chocolate until melted
Ganache Hot Cocoa
1 Cup (or mug) Milk, warmed
Ganache to taste
-Stir ingredients together
-Top with fresh whipped cream or marshmallows