4 July 2013

Thyme-infused Ganache

Recently, I was asked to take part in a flavour pairing event run by Aero. I was soon sent my kit in the post containing the impressively-sized Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit, along with a bar of Aero mint and orange bubbles. The chocolate was spotted immediately by my family, and disappeared before you could say "Nestle".
The book however, provided me with a more lasting satisfaction as I perused through all the listed combinations with chocolate. The Flavour Thesaurus, although not something that I might of necessarily bought myself, looks like it may well prove to be invaluable, as a brief skim through has left me feeling inspired and ready to become more experimental in the kitchen.
Lots of ingredient combinations caught my interest, but in the end I decided to pair my chocolate dish with thyme. As soon as I read this, I knew that it would work; I could imagine the flavours in my head and knew exactly what I wanted to make.

We have plenty of thyme in our garden, so after arriving home today, I set about preparing my infused ganache. Make sure that the cream isn't too hot; if your 37 degree skin can melt chocolate, then boiling liquid will almost certainly cause it to split.

Thyme-infused Chocolate Ganache
  • 125g good quality dark chocolate (I used 70%)
  • 100ml double cream, extra thick if it is availible
  • 2-3tsp fresh thyme
Chop the chocolate up as finely as possible, and place in a bowl.
Add the cream and thyme to a milk pan, and gently heat, using a really low heat to allow the thyme to infuse its flavour fully. When the cream starts to feel hot to touch, but not boiling, remove from the heat. Strain off the thyme leaves, and pour evenly over the chocolate. Let it sit for a couple of minutes while the chocolate melts, then stir into a smooth, glossy mixture.
Line a rectangular tin with greaseproof paper, and pour over the ganache, spreading into a even layer between 1cm and 1.5cm thick. Leave in a cool place -not the fridge if you can help it -to set, before cutting it up into squares, shapes using icing cutters. 

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