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I have been wanting to try a few different types of ganache but shelf life / food poisoning / killing people issues has kept me from them...

1) First one - Egg Ganache (using yolks in a sauce/curd type recipe cooked to 80C and then added to chopped chocolate to make a ganache).

When I did a course with Wybauw in Chicago I asked him about the shelf life of egg ganache (he has a few in his books). He didn't really understand why I was singling out this type of ganache - his response focused on water activity. When I asked if the eggs made any difference to shelf life he said 'no'.

In Greweling's book, he states: "due to the potential for food-borne illness when an egg ganache is mishandled, formulas for egg ganache are not included in this work."

What I like so much about egg ganache is the fact that flavours can be enhanced due to less chocolate needing to be added to make the ganache firm enough to slab.

Can someone help me with the science behind the shelf life of these egg ganache and what Greweling means by 'mishandling'? Does the pH need to be addressed in this type of ganache?

2) Bacon in ganache - or in solid chocolate for that matter...

I tried the Vosges bacon bar this past spring. I liked it! I've since had the idea that I would like to incorporate bacon into a ganache. I know the secret is to fry it super crisp. I was even thinking of brining it in even more salt and sugar before cooking it. I was also thinking of caramelizing it. I also determined that the ganache should most likely be a butter based ganache to keep the crispness of the bacon - or I guess it could be sprayed with cocoa butter to retain crispness.

The more I think about ways to retain shelf-life ie. caramelizing, spraying with cocoa butter - the more afraid I am of perhaps creating an anaerobic environment that will favour the botulism bacteria!

Does anyone know the facts on using bacon in chocolate safely?

Thanks!

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Thanks Samantha. Yes, I understand the food handling implications of using eggs but I'm still scratching my head about using the yolk (cooked - as in a custard) in a ganache and what the shelf life implications are in that case. The more I think about it, the more I'm reasoning that there shouldn't be a problem.
I appreciate the reminder to wash hands after cracking eggs. I use farm eggs that haven't undergone the 'hot water bath' so all the more important.
Lana

What's the trick of a good anglaise?

Cooking it just enough.

I think that adds to the concern of the egg ganache. If you cook it too far it loses that subtle flavor and gains texture, cook it too little and you have the opportunity for micro-biological soup.

b
Lana:

I think the concern is transferring anything that might be on the outside of the egg to the inside - and 80C may not be hot enough to kill any microorganisms that get transferred.

My recommendation would be an alcohol-based disinfectant or similar cleaner that works by disrupting the cell membranes of germs. Use it on your hands and clean the egg shells with it. Wait for the alcohol to evaporate and you should have a kill rate of 99.99% on the bacteria. You called also use a UVC light wand.
Great idea Clay! (the alcohol). I'll definitely do that. I do have a UVC light but the alcohol is easier.
I hear what you're saying about the perfect anglaise Brian. I think the only reason I'm considering doing this type of ganache is because of my new toy - the Thermomix. It's fabulous for a creme anglaise - so easy!
You can light the alcohol on fire like they used to in the 1800's for an extra bit of useless dramatic flair!

Alternatively you can pasturize the eggs in a zip bag in 57C water for at least 90 minutes.

I looooove UVC, just get the right protective gear.
At 57C for 90 mins is the yolk still soft and runny?
I heard 60C for 31/2 minutes!! And yes, after this time the yolk and all are raw. I believe the temp has to be maintained.
And, if the yolk is this warm then there's less chance of curdling when making the creme anglaise.

This almost makes me want to turn my daughter's aquarium setup into a sous vide bath. There's temp control AND water circulation. Don't need to oxygenation component and it takes a long time to shift temps - but it is inexpensive compared with commercial immersion circulators.

:: Clay

PS Don't worry, I'd find another home for the fish and not make them my first sous vide experiment. And here's a small world connection - Georges Pralus, the inventor of the sous vide technique, is a cousin of Francois Pralus.
Yup... though the white doesn't whip quite as well, but I always doctor my whites with hydrolyzed soy and/or dried egg whites anyhow.

Herve This does a lot of research with eggs, but the proteins don't really begin to coagulate until the low 60's (64C is frequently regarded as the perfectly cooked egg).
Oxygen passes through chocolate, it is pretty darned difficult to grow botulinus in chocolate. Your best bet (if you were seeking to) would be to add the botulism (which is an inert toxin) into the product, say via some homemade infused oil. This toxin will survive any just about any boiling, UVC treatment, bleach, etc.

Bacon is pretty safe, it tends to have very little water and a lot of salt, plus the smoking impacts microbial growth in a negative way.

I do think the Vosges bar is a lesson in how to make a bacon product that will be enjoyed, almost exclusively by people who don't like bacon... she makes no bones about being a women focused company, and very few women that are into world peace and yoga also happen to love the pig. My advice, recognize this fact and go with it or try a different approach to bacon.
Thanks for the bacon chat Robert. Bacon is on my mind again...

I STILL can't get the fact that it's MEAT!! out of my mind! In terms of food safety that is.

So the Vosges bar gives a 6 month best before date on their bacon bar. Now I know I can't leave a piece of cooked bacon on the counter for 6 months and then eat it without deleterious effects - at least I don't think so... but then what about bacon bits? Actually I read somewhere that in order to make shelf stable bacon bits, stabilizers need to be added. Now what stabilizers - I don't know...

OK, back to the bacon on the counter for 6 months...
So am I to assume that it is because the bacon is 'sealed' in chocolate that it can last so long? (I don't even want to think about those little bits on the top of the bar that aren't sealed in!) It just doesn't make sense to me!

If I make beef jerky, that product is shelf stable, on its own, at room temperature. But cooked bacon isn't. So surely there must have to be some sort of process done to the bacon in order to make it safe in a bar for a 6 month duration. N'est pas?
I wouldn't limit yourself early on with the duration of life expectancy. Make your product, make it taste great, and have a short shelf period like a cupcake. If you want to go the long haul you can always add science to the mix and find ways of making it last longer but that seems overkill starting at the inception of something which taste and texture should prevail..

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