Those who can’t tolerate dairy, or choose not to consume it, shouldn’t miss out on the sticky, chocolatey delight that is chocolate ganache. Even if you do consume dairy, you may have gotten into a situation once or twice when you wanted something to top a cake or a sauce for dessert but had no cream to mix in with the old block of cooking chocolate stashed in the back of the pantry.
This situation is not new to me, and while baking an emergency birthday pancake cake recently I ran into the exact situation. Out of pure unwillingness to make a trip to the store, I substituted coconut cream for regular cream in a ganache, and it worked a charm.
You could use regular chocolate if there are no aversions to dairy or dark vegan-friendly chocolate. I’ve done it with white chocolate too which is a bit nicer as the coconut flavour comes through just a touch. Personally, I can’t really taste much coconut through the dark or milk chocolate.
How to make pantry staple ganache
Take equal parts chocolate and coconut cream, chocolate measured in grams and coconut cream in mls. About 200 g of chocolate and 200 ml coconut cream will make enough to generously ganache a 23cm cake.
You can use any chocolate you like, but if you’re making it dairy free then look for 70 percent or above.
Break up your chocolate and place in a large bowl. Pop the coconut cream in a heatproof jug and microwave for one to two minutes until hot but not boiling. Pour over the chocolate pieces and stand for a few minutes without stirring to soften the chocolate.
Mix well until a smooth chocolate sauce forms. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir to remove any lumps.
The warm ganache is very viscous so now’s your chance to pour it over a cake for a smooth finish. Alternatively, let it cool a bit for a more spreadable texture.
For something different (or to use up the leftovers) you can let it cool completely and roll the ganache into little balls. Coat them in cocoa powder, icing sugar or in my case crushed up biscuits to make vegan chocolate truffles.
Please beware, if you’re using dark chocolate the ganache will be quite bitter. From here you can freestyle any way you like with flavourings like cinnamon, sea salt, vanilla etc. or just sweeten it slightly by mixing in icing sugar, to taste.
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