Making Marjolaine Step 4: The Crème Fraîche Ganache

What, you mean you didn’t know you could make ganache with crème fraîche? Indeed you can, and a splendidly rich, smooth, sweet and tangy experience it is too. Some people make ganache using nothing but crème fraîche (or sour cream) for the dairy component. I myself prefer a mellower 50-50 blend of crème fraîche and heavy cream. For this week’s marjolaine project you’ll use half a cup (4 ounces) of crème fraîche, half a cup (4 ounces) of heavy cream and 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips.

Most of the time when I make ganache I use a microwave to slowly heat my mixture of cream and chocolate. For a “sour” ganache, however, I bring the dairy to a boil first. Why? Partly because it helps liquify the crème fraîche or sour cream, but also because I’m planning to let this ganache cool at room temperature overnight and I’d just as soon all the lactic acid bacteria in the bowl were dead. They don’t really pose much of a threat, and they’d have a hard time surviving amid all that sugar and fat anyway, but they way I see it, the fewer active bacteria in my finished pastry, the better. So adiós muchachos.

Combine the dairy ingredients in a small sauce pan…

…whisk them together and put the pan over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.

Pour it over your chips…

…and stir…

…until it looks about like this.

I make this the evening before I make marjolaine, then let it sit on the counter to slowly firm until I use it the next day.

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