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Chef Jeff Bland - The Division Chef and Innovation Expert, Roanoke Division of US Foods shares his recipes so you can wow your family and friends this Valentine's Day!

Chocolate Ganache to make Chocolate Truffles
8 Ounces Heavy Whipping Cream
10 Ounces Chocolate, chopped. Use your favorite flavor or brand. You can use chips.     
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
1 or 2 Ounces Liquor (Grand Marnier, Kahlua, Amaretto, Irish Cream, etc.)
Cocoa Powder, Powdered Sugar, Coconut, Chopped Nuts, melted chocolate, etc.
In a sauce pan, bring the heavy whipping cream to a boil. Place the chocolate and butter into a stainless steel or glass bowl.
When the cream comes to a boil, pour over the chocolate and let this sit for about 1 minute. Slowly stir with a wire whip until all of the chocolate and better have melted completely. Incorporate any flavoring at this point. You can add any flavor liquor, vanilla extract, strong coffee or espresso, or other spice or seasoning. Pour into a shallow casserole dish and let cool until set. You can do this in the refrigerator. (The following set is messy so use food safe gloves if you have them) Once set, scoop the Ganache into small balls using a spoon or disher. Roll into ball and they do not have to be perfect. Place onto a lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to roll or dip.
Dip ball into cocoa powder, powdered sugar, coconut, chopped nuts, or even melted chocolate. Place on a decorative plate or platted and serve.
Chef Jeff Notes:
  • Any chocolate is best enjoyed at room temperature. If possible, do not serve cold or frozen. Let any chocolate dessert set out before enjoying. (Yes, this even applies to ice cream, let it soften slightly)
  • Try sprinkling a truffle with just a touch of sea salt (or a fancy colored mineral salt). It really makes the chocolate flavor pop!
  • Be careful when boiling the cream. It will boil over and become a fire hazard. Do not leave unattended. 
Ganache Family Tree
Ganache is versatile food item which can be incorporated into many different applications. It actually works out as a base and can be used to make other chocolate desserts.
Ganache - Filling/Icing - Truffles - Ganache Cream - Soufflé - Mousse 
Here are a few examples below:
Ganache (Recipe Above): Can be used as an icing or as a filling for cakes, pastries, and candies. It all starts with this chocolate goodness. By adding one or two simple ingredients, we can turn this base into other incredible desserts.
Chocolate Truffles:
Ganache rolled into small balls and coated or dipped into a variety of different garnish options.
Chocolate Soufflé
Pre-heat over to 400 degrees.
½ Cup Ganache
1 Egg Yolk
6 Egg Whites
Mix Ganache together with the egg yolk. Whip the egg whites to a stiff peak, but not dry. Divide the whipped egg whites and fold in the first half of the meringue. Fold in the second half of the meringue. Pour batter into a buttered, sugared soufflé dish, fill to the very top. Tap down the dish to remove any large air bubbles and run finger around the edge. Place in the hot oven and bake until the soufflé has risen over the edges and had cooked through. Depending on how big of a casserole this is baked in, it should take anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes to bake.
Serve with Chantilly Cream. Whipping cream mixed with sugar and flavoring and lightly whipped. Use complimentary flavors in the sauce to the flavor of soufflé. Examples:
Chocolate Soufflé: Coffee or Mocha flavors
Blackberry: Chambord or Berry flavors
White Chocolate: Nut or Citrus flavors
Peanut Butter: Caramel or Nut flavors
Chocolate Mousse
½ Cup Ganache
2 Egg Whites
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla together to stiff peaks and hold in the refrigerator. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, but not dry. Fold the egg whites into the Ganache. Fold in half of the whipped cream into the Ganache mixture, and then the second half. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Spoon or pipe into decorative dishes or bowls. Serve with a cookie for a contrasting texture.
Truffle Cream
Take prepared Ganache from the recipe above and put into an electric mixer.
Whip until light and fluffy. Make a great frosting for cupcakes and other desserts.
Super simple!!