I know what you new vegans are thinking, “Ganache? Authentic ganache cannot be vegan!”. Maybe you weren’t thinking that, but believe me, when discussing “authentic” ganache with certified pastry chefs (or people who just think they are pastry chefs) the inevitable questions about the compatibility of veganism and pâtisseries or pastries, always rear their ugly head. When I mention that I don’t use dairy crème liquide or even cow’s milk, accusations and name-calling usually ensue. Seriously.
I realise that in France we have a certain fierté or pride, concerning our pastries and our culinary traditions. This is understandable, given the international reputation our sweet treats have. The general belief is that in order to cultivate the authentic “frenchness” of our recipes, tradition must be respected. Unfortunately, the cult of authenticity often attracts blind followers.
What does “authentic” mean to you? For some people, it’s about following the recipe by the book and any derivation is heresy or blasphemy or even worse (is there worse?). For me it’s about taste. Taste, and ethics. I don’t think it’s ethical to “grow” animals (sentient beings) like plant crops (non-sentient beings), impregnate the females (rape anyone?) then pry their babies from them in order to sell their milk. For me as a woman, a feminist and a mother, that is wrong on so many levels.
But you can have your ganache and your “high moral standards”* people! Granted vegan ganache can hardly be called heathful, it’s at least less deleterious to the cows than its omni counterpart. Ganache is not an “everyday food” people – be sensible, please.
You’re going to need to have some ganache on had for some soon-to-be-posted recipes, so it’s only fitting I share my go-to recipe with you. Try it, or make your own favourite ganache. Don’t eat it all. Trust me, you’ll need it!
Easy Chocolate Ganache
200g (about 7 oz) dark chocolate, broken or cut into smallish chunks
1/2 non-dairy milk (I use soy)
1/4 cup agave syrup
Using a small sauce pan, heat the soy milk to boiling (don’t let it get crazy boiling or you’ll get a layer of soy-skin on top). Turn off heat and add the chocolate chunks. You can either leave this set for a few minutes (maybe wash a few dishes?), then stir, or just stir right away. You’ll have a little more stirring to do if you decide not do let it set, but it’s ok. When the chocolate is completely melted, add the agave and stir until combined. You can either use immediately, or let it cool. This hardens up to a nice fudge-like consistency if left at room temperature long enough, or refrigerated.
Don’t eat it all! You’re going to need it for the next few recipes…
* “high moral standards” – that’s one of the comments, in an ironic, snarky tone, I’ve heard when sharing my ganache recipe. Personally, I take it as a compliment!