Chocolate Ganache

Never underestimate the power of a good dessert. Everyone's spirits are bound to soar when they bite into a heavenly ganache (pronounced: gun osh '). It's a simple cream and chocolate mixture that you can dribble over ice cream to make a hot fudge sundae or when whipped and chilled, can be used as a frosting that will knock your shoes off.

Planning ahead is one of the basic keys to success in the kitchen. It only takes a few minutes to whip up this Chocolate Ganache over the stove, but it must chill several hours in the fridge. For three cups of divine chocolate spread, you'll need:

1 cup           heavy cream
1/4 cup         light corn syrup
1 lb.           bitter sweet chocolate (or semi sweet), coarsely chopped
4 TB            unsalted butter, softened
1 TB            chocolate liqueur (optional)

In a small sauce pan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the stove and add chocolate and butter. Shake the pan and let mix a little, then set aside for about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth and add your coffee liqueur. Let set in fridge 3 hours. If the ganache is too hard when pulled from the fridge, place in a mixer and beat just until it becomes workable. Do not overbeat or it will separate.

You will notice that this frosting glides on as smooth as silk. It also makes a nice filling between cake layers. This is also the filling that is used for those sinful little morsels called truffles! The warm ganache can also be spooned over a chilled cake to give it a glossy effect. It is a very versatile sauce.

I can ID canned frosting from across the room just by getting a whiff of it. Promise yourself that the next time you are going to need some chocolate frosting for your cake or some cupcakes that instead of reaching for that commercial brand, you'll spend just a few minutes creating your own. The difference is incredible and your guests will take notice! And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.