A while back, I found out that ganache is basically chocolate mixed with cream, and ever since then I’ve been occasionally making this tasty quasi-ganache in my microwave. Here’s an approximate recipe.
Short version: Put some chocolate in some cream, warm it up in the microwave for a minute, and mush it all together; then cool. Then eat.
Detailed version follows.
- 4 oz or so of heavy whipping cream
- 4 to 6 oz of 72% dark chocolate (ideally slavery-free) (I use chocolate bars, but presumably you could use other chocolate formats.) (I’ve also tried milk chocolate, but felt like it didn’t work as well. But your tastes may vary.)
- a heaping 1/2-tablespoon of honey (optional)
- a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter (definitely optional)
- bits of dried fruit or other mix-ins (very optional)
- Pour the cream into a microwave-safe large soup bowl or other similar container.
- Break up the chocolate into roughly 1/4-oz pieces. (For example, break a 3-oz chocolate bar into about 12 pieces.) (Or smaller.)
- Dump the chocolate pieces into the bowl of cream.
- Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. (You can do this on low power if you want, but it seems to work on full power in my microwave. But I have an old microwave.)
- Take the bowl out of the microwave and stir the chocolate/cream mixture, smushing some of the softer chocolate chunks.
- Put the bowl back in the microwave for another 30 seconds.
- Stir again, smushing all of the chocolate chunks (they should all be soft enough to smush by now; if they’re not, then repeat steps 6 and 7).
- Add the honey. This is probably not necessary, but I feel like without the honey, the quasi-ganache tastes a little bit bitter for the first few hours. (Oddly, it seems to get less bitter over time.) Whereas with the honey, it’s non-bitter from the start.
- Add the peanut butter if desired. The end result doesn’t taste very peanut buttery to me, but I feel like the peanut butter adds some nice thickness. But the recipe also seems to also work without the peanut butter, and may produce a more ganache-like texture without the peanut butter. I imagine that if you don’t like or can’t eat peanut butter, there are other foodstuffs you could use to thicken the mixture, if you want to do so.
- If you want to add bits of dried apricot or similar, you can do that now. I’ve done this once or twice and it’s worked reasonably well, but I feel like it’s maybe more stuff than is really needed.
- Stir all the ingredients together for a minute or so, until the mixture is a uniform chocolate color and a uniform thick texture (except for any bits of dried fruit or peanuts or what-have-you). (In particular, stir until the remaining liquid cream is mixed in.)
- Put the bowl back in the microwave for another 30 seconds, just to melt everything together. (This step may not be necessary.)
- Stir again for good luck. Try to achieve a fairly uniform texture.
- Put the bowl in the fridge for about 2 hours. (I suppose it would probably be a good idea to cover the bowl? But I haven’t been doing that.)
- Take the bowl out of the fridge and eat as much as you want with a spoon.
- Alternatively, at this point it may be solid enough to cut with a butterknife, so you can cut it into bite-size pieces and then eat as many of those as you want.
- Store in fridge. How long it lasts depends on how fast you eat it.
Many of those steps are probably unnecessary. It probably works just about as well to put the chocolate and cream in the bowl, microwave for 1 minute, mush and stir to a uniform consistency, and put it in the fridge just like that. But the above full recipe is approximately what I’ve been doing most of the time when I’ve made this.
Note about the recipe title: When I first mentioned that I had been melting chocolate in the microwave, various friends told me that it was impossible to melt chocolate in the microwave. Y’all who said that are awesome and usually correct about other things; I mean no disrespect. But in this particular context, it turns out that chocolate melted in the microwave is delicious.
I recently did some online research about melting chocolate in a microwave, and it appears that it is indeed pretty easy to burn chocolate if you do that. But if you keep the microwave set on low, and/or heat the chocolate in relatively short bursts (stirring in between), and/or mix the chocolate with liquid (like the cream in this recipe), then the microwave works fine.