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I'm making this bete noire for tomorrow: La Bete Noire I have yet to screw up this recipe. It's easy, and will satisfy most hedonists.

It is a little one-note though. I'd like to add some bourbon to the ganache, which is just 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped, in the original recipe.

How much bourbon would be safe to add, and do I need to alter the recipe in any other way? It would be bad if it failed to set.

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The rule of thumb when spiking a ganache is to

  • either reduce the cream by the same amount or
  • add double the amount of chocolate (by weight).

So for one ounce of alcohol you either leave out one ounce of cream or add another two ounces of chocolate.

That said, yours is a slightly lighter ganache than the usual 1 part cream / 2 parts chocolate and a slight variation in texture probably won’t be much of an issue as long as it doesn’t flow down, so I wouldn’t worry too much. Aim for an adjustment roughly as given above and you should be fine - start with one shot, see how that turns out. Too much alcohol is probably overwhelming rather than interesting, but there’s no absolute scale for taste.

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  • Thanks. Worked just fine. I started with the original recipe, to get the feel, added the bourbon, and then added more chocolate until the fell was about the same. It was about 1.5 to 1, chocolate to bourbon Jul 5 at 2:19
  • Thanks for the feedback, always happy to hear how well a method works! The more professional literature often gives a range of 1-3 times chocolate and I slightly simplified to the numbers given to novices or hobby bakers. The lower ratio is probably due to the 1:1 ganache ratio in your recipe.
    – Stephie
    Jul 5 at 4:40
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    And totally off-topic: now I am itching to make a ganache, your recipe or this lavender ganache.
    – Stephie
    Jul 5 at 4:45
  • I'm always amazed by how matter-of-fact and instantly usable your answers are. Well done yet again.
    – Sneftel
    Jul 7 at 11:09

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