from Dan and Jael Rattigan of French Broad Chocolates in Asheville, NC
1 pound chocolate, chopped
16 ounces cream
Select a chocolate you love to eat. The Rattigans are partial to their own, especially their 68 percent Nicaragua.
Using a chef's knife, finely chop the chocolate (pieces should be no larger than an almond) and place in a glass bowl.
Bring the cream to a simmer (to “smiling” as they say in France, to the point where bubbles just begin along the sides of the pan) over medium-high heat.
Immediately pour the hot cream on top of the chopped chocolate, ensuring all the chocolate is covered by cream. Let sit for 1 minute to melt the chocolate.
Starting at the center, whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth and emulsified. You made ganache!
Allowed to set up in a square parchment-lined pan, ganache makes the creamy center of chocolate truffles (cut into 1×1-inch squares). Melted together with half-and-half or milk, the ganache makes a dreamy sipping chocolate. Or pour warm ganache into a tart shell for a sublime chocolate tart.
Note: The ratio of chocolate to cream is of utmost importance. Be sure to weigh and measure carefully or the resulting ganache will lack both the desired taste and texture.