Ming says: Ganache and I have a history. I almost OD'd on that simple but wonderful chocolate topping years ago at Fauchon in Paris, where I was challenged by Pierre Hermé, the esteemed pastry chef there, to scale up a ganache recipe. Involved were about two thousand dollars' worth of deluxe chocolate, cream, and a thirty-gallon kettle. I miscalculated the amount of cream needed for the new recipe and soon the kettle held ganache to the very, very rim. Pierre was not amused, and neither was I. It wasn't long before there was ganache everywhere, even inside my socks.
But only pleasure awaits you when you make this luscious dessert basic that's used in so many ways—as a frosting and glaze, for fillings, as a mousse and chocolate truffle base, and more. If you like to make sweets and you have ganache on hand, you're really way ahead.
Ganache also makes a great chocolate sauce for ice cream. Just heat the ganache over boiling water until it's pourable. For a quick, delicious chocolate mousse, fold whipped cream into ganache. The greater proportion of ganache to cream, the more intensely chocolate the result. Use warm ganache as a dip for fruit such as strawberries or orange segments. To make the ultimate hot chocolate, heat heavy cream and add as much ganache as you like.
If at all possible, avoid using ultrapasteurized heavy cream to make this. The regular pasteurized product has a richer, deeper flavor. To break up the chocolate easily for melting, put it in a clean plastic garbage bag or large resealable plastic bag, wrap the bag in a kitchen towel, and, using a mallet or hammer, smash the chocolate through the towel.