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hello. When a ganash is made using fresh cream for a chocolate truffel, what would be the shelf life please ?
Once the chocolate is made, how long will it last ?
Thank you in advance, Joey

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Comment by Georgina Joey Ledlie on June 8, 2011 at 7:56pm
Hi, When i make a ganash, I always tend to make too much. i use what i need and then freeze the rest. Lasts a long time in the freezer. Hugs, joey
Comment by Patrick Murphy on June 8, 2011 at 5:09pm

 Joey how is it with all the things you do you still have time to spare to help people perfect the things you are involved in. I on the other hand am supposed to be retired and have no time for the simple things in life.

 An adopted daughter of Veronica just gave birth to her fourth child. ( Veronica is as you may remember my first born and lives in England.)

Love Uncle Patrick

Comment by Georgina Joey Ledlie on December 16, 2008 at 8:30pm
Thank you Donald.
may I please take this moment to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and new year. God's blessings, Joey
Comment by Donald Tyler on December 16, 2008 at 6:02pm
The Brix level is also very important relative to water activity. Basically free water molecules (i.e. water activity) are able to interact with molds and yeast that are present in cocoa causing spoilage. Reducing the amount of free water molecules by reducing water content relative to sugar content. I believe FDA standard for shelf stability is a water activity below .85 . As Clay pointed out adding some type of sugar will help reduce water activity because sugar attaches the free H2O molecules so thy cannot react with other substances in the ganache. I've used Jerusalem Artichoke sugar and Rosemary sugar mainly because I can source both in an Organic (and vegan) version. To test you need to take your product/s to a lab. There are lot's out there to choose from, I'd go local.
Comment by Georgina Joey Ledlie on December 6, 2008 at 2:22am
Thank you Clay. I have been worried about this for a while now. I will have to see if I can get a copy of the book.
Blessings, joey
Comment by Clay Gordon on December 5, 2008 at 11:31am

This is a very good question and one that most chocolatiers need to know more about.

The real key to understanding longevity with ganache is in its "water activity" level. Basically, the more water there is in the ganache (from the butter and cream) the greater the likelihood that bacteria and/or mold will grow sooner rather than later. While the dairy ingredients may be pasteurized, spores get into the ganache in the kitchen as it is being made through simple air contact and the incorporation of air into the ganache through the mixing process.

There are ingredients you can add to reduce spoilage that are not preservatives in and of themselves but that have preservative properties. One of those is what we call here in the US trimoline. This is an invert form of sugar (like honey) that is used because it increases the sensation of moistness in a ganache without adding too much extra sweetness; and it also extends the life of the ganache.

Once made, you can keep your ganache for months by keeping it very cold but not frozen, say at 1 degree C (34F). That same ganache at room temp (20C/68F) might last 3 days or it might last 3 weeks depending on the water activity level - and the thickness of the chocolate shell surrounding the ganache. Chocolate acts as an oxygen barrier slowing (but not completely stopping) the migration of spore-laden oxygen into the ganache. That's (one of the reasons) why chocolates with very thin enrobings (e.g., from La Maison du Chocolat) have very short shelf lives. So - exactly the same ganache will have a shorter shelf life if covered with a thin chocolate shell than if it was covered with a thick shell.

The challenge, of course, is to balance the difference in textures between the ganache and the shell to get something you like texturally and from a taste perspective.

If you get serious about this you can get your recipes test for water activity by a local lab. A great book to look at for guidance and direction in this area (as well as recipes) is from Jean-Pierre Wybauw titled Fine Chocolate Great Experiences. In this book he lists the water activity level for each of his ganache recipes.

:: Clay

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