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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