Emulsions, broken and repaired

This weekend, my husband, knowing how I feel about working with chocolate, suggested we make a batch of chocolates in order to get more experience. The result was these Dark and Stormy truffles. The centre, from Peter Greweling’s Chocolates and Confections, is a white chocolate ganache flavoured with vanilla, ginger, lime zest and Gosling’s Black Seal rum.

Well, tempering the dark chocolate for dipping went well, though we still need to figure out how to minimize bubbles in the chocolate. But we ran into a different problem: our ganache broke.

You see, ganache is a fat-in-water emulsion, much like hollandaise sauce. And, like hollandaise sauce, if the ratio of fat to water gets too high, the fat (in this case a blend of butterfat and cocoa butter) will separate out, and you’ll be left with a mixture that’s oily rather than creamy.

Fortunately, it was easily fixed, thanks to the advice in Chocolates and Confections. First, we tried simply re-warming it and stirring. When that failed, we added some warm milk, bit by bit, to increase the amount of water in the mix. Slowly, the ganache came back together. When it no longer seemed oily, we poured it into a frame and continued with the recipe. It worked perfectly, providing further proof that a broken emulsion isn’t the end of the world!

Have you ever successfully saved a broken emulsion?

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36 Responses to “Emulsions, broken and repaired”

  1. OMG those look AMAZINGLY YUMMY.

  2. Matthew Kayahara January 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks, Rachel! They are pretty yummy.

  3. Those look beautifully professional, Matthews!

    Yep, I’ve repaired a mayonaise and a Hollandaise more often than I’d like to admit. Almost always the problem was cause by my impatience wanting to add the fat too quickly.

  4. OMG, this fix totally worked! thanks so much for saving my ganache!!

  5. Thanks. it worked for me too.

  6. awesome! i was starting to stress! thanks so much!!

  7. OMG Thank you thank you! I typed into google ‘help! my ganache is too oily’ after watching in dismay as my first ever ganache turned oily and very unappealing, and got your site straight away.
    Truly an emergancy for cooks, and after a 40km trip to get the ingredients, I was sooo grateful. The milk trick worked perfectly – thank you!
    BTW, your chocolates look amazing – I am a novice, and in awe. 🙂
    A
    xx

  8. Glad you were able to rescue it! And thanks for the kind words.

  9. i think my ganache broke because my butter wasn’t quite at room temp. I followed the advice, heated some cream in the microwave and it worked!! Thank you so much 🙂

  10. Glad it worked for you! What were you making with the ganache?

  11. THANK YOU!!! worked like a charm!!!! :))

  12. Hi, I warmed a little milk in the microwave and added it about a tablespoon at a time to my broken ganache. It only took two or three spoonfuls to fix it! Amazing! Many thanks!

  13. Thank you! Your fix worked perfectly and just saved my daughter’s chocolate birthday cake! I was so disappointed when it split and gutted at the waste, but the warm milk saved the day. Thanks soooo much! :0)

  14. Hello! Can’t thank you enough for this lifesaver tip! I haven’t made ganache many times and it split BIG TIME! I added the warm milk a bit at a time and after some stiring it magically mended! AMAZING x

  15. You just completely saved the truffles I am sending to my boyfriend for valentine’s as I can’t be with him on the day. My ganache had never separated before and I had no clue what to do. Thank you so much, the milk worked like a charm!

  16. My mousse was going to be destroyed until I saw this!

    Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

  17. Thank you so much! Worked perfectly.

  18. Wow. I’ve made white ganache twice successfully. I’ve just thrown two kilos if split ganache in the bin and having last attempt at midnight for a wedding cake I need to deliver in three days. You have just saved my life! I think I love you!

  19. Thank you!!!!!!! This sooooo worked. 🙂 🙂

  20. This was a total lifesaver! I am quite new to working with chocolate and I have an order going out tomorrow for truffles and my ganache looked HORRID. this fixed it right up, it is smooth and glossy. I can’t thank you enough!

    Jamieinwyoming

  21. OMG thank you so much!!!
    Cooking for a dinner party and the ganache for my dessert split. Thankfully following your tip it’s now saved and setting in the fridge
    Phew!!

  22. Thank you so much. I was ready to cry when my ganache split but thought before discarding it why not just google and see what happens. Am so happy that I stumbled upon your website. I first drained the excess oil then added just 2 tablespoons of milk and whisked….voila perfect, glossy ganache…a lifesaver…thank you once again:-)

  23. I can ‘t believe the milk option worked. I always thougt it split because there was too much fat. When I poured it in it looked 10 times worse for about a minute, and then suddenly it started working.
    Thanks so much. Beautiful ganache.

  24. I can’t thank you enough for this simple & very effective tip, split ganache repaired in a few seconds, I’m so impressed and very relieved. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU 😄 😃

  25. That warm milk trick was amazing. Saved the day. Like magic.

  26. Annette Canning May 8, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve just tried this – was making ganache for a chocolate orange cake & it split. Did this & it’s saved!!! Thank you!!

  27. Thank you so much for this trick!
    I was making some fondue for my kids with chocolate & cream when it separated into an oily mess. This trick saved it! Thanks again 🙂

  28. Thank you so much for posting this! you’re a life saver! I was so miffed that my ganache didn’t work out, but I just added a few drops of milk and some of the left over cream – works a treat 🙂 Happy baker right now!

  29. I use a different method. I put the ganache in the fridge and take out and mix with a wooden spoon at 15 minute intervals till it looks perfect again
    Works everytime. But may try this at some point too. Sorry i know this post it old!

  30. It worked!!!! I can’t believe it was so easy. I just put in like a tablespoon of warm milk and it instantly transformed my ganache from an oily separated mess into a real ganache. Thank you!

  31. After baking for years, I finally had my first broken ganache. But I came across your site and: Miracle!

    Much appreciation for this super easy fix!<3

  32. I’ve had occasional trouble since moving to the UK and using double cream instead of heavy cream, which has more fat. This method totally just fixed my ganache. THANK YOU!!

  33. THIS IS AMAZING

    THIS SAVED MY GANACHE FOR TONIGHT’S SEDER DINNER

    I am so grateful.

  34. Thank you sooooh much, this works great! I thought for sure it was ruined. I had this happen before and thought I did something wrong. Just happened to Google what causes oily ganache and found this. This is a bakers well needed to know trick. Thanks aging for sharing 🙂

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