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Epic Failure: Peanut Butter Ganache

Peanut Butter Ganache

I used to call this peanut butter fudge, but after seeing a log of real peanut butter fudge at a touristy candy place, I decided that what I made was really ganache. It is mostly chocolate, after all.

The first time I made this I’d stumbled on the recipe – and I suppose even now I stumble through it still. This begins with a nice, smooth ganache, into which I stir salty, creamy peanut butter. Spoon the whole mess into a plastic-lined pan and after a few hours in the fridge you have a sliceable hunk of peanutty chocolate.

This time when I made it, I learned a couple of important lessons that I’m sharing below. I have not included a recipe for this because it is just three ingredients: cream, chocolate and peanut butter. The lessons learned should help you create and improve upon this if you give it a try!

Lessons learned:

  • Eyeballing the proportions doesn’t always work.
    I used 1 cup of cream to almost 1 pound of chocolate. I had only planned to use 8oz chocolate, but when I mixed the two, it looked so runny that I kept adding chocolate. The original proportion would have worked just fine, and it would have made a lot less in the end.
  • Do the chocolate and peanut butter marry well?
    Because I wound up tossing in about 13oz chocolate to 1 cup of cream, there was a lot of chocolate flavor to balance with peanut butter. I used salted natural peanut butter, but needed the whole jar to balance with the sheer amount of chocolate. Plus, because it was a natural peanut butter, it wasn’t as sweet as say, Jif. The chocolate I’d used was 75% cocoa – far too butter for a not-very-sweet peanut butter. It really couldn’t compete. Next time, just semi-sweet, like 60 – 65%.
  • How much do you need?
    I used 1 cup of cream, 13oz chocolate, and a whole jar of peanut butter. It made a giant amount of ganache, which I suppose I can use to top cupcakes or something. It’s too much to eat as chocolate.
  • When in doubt, try salt.
    After the ganache had firmed up overnight, I for a good taste of it. The peanut butter was more prevalent than when it was warm, but it wasn’t strong enough for my taste. I grabbed a container of sea salt and sprinkled it on a piece and the peanut butter popped right up. It helped, a bit. Remember though, you can only sprinkle salt on just before serving because it will wick moisture from the air and will bead salty water on your chocolate, especially if the chocolate is coming out of the fridge.

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More Info

Chocolate Truffles post on Cooking for Engineers

A super basic truffle recipe on the NYTimes, for proportion reference


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