Ganache (guh-nawsh), the first half of our company name, is a confusing or unknown word for many. When we exhibit at trade shows and foodie festivals, the word Ganache is often mistaken for Ganesh, the elephant-headed, Hindu god of wisdom and learning.
Whilst we would like to imagine that eating our macarons will somehow lead to enlightenment and remove some great obstacles from your life, this unfortunately is not where the name Ganache Macaron comes from.
The simple answer for why our company is called ganache is that many of our macarons are filled with ganache; a delicious and versatile mixture of chocolate (white, milk or dark) and cream. Pretty imaginative, right? Well, apart from the simple explanation there is so much more to the story or ganache and Ganache Macaron.
Ganache is basically an all purpose filling or topping that is used for a wide range of delicious desserts. Change the ratio of chocolate to cream and you have a whole new texture, which makes ganache perfect for all different types of chocolatey treats. You have probably had it in chocolate truffles (see Jamie Oliver's truffle recipe), as the glazing on a cake or brownie (see Martha Stewart's glaze recipe) or even as a mousse filling (see recipes from The Guardian).
Due to its wide range of uses, it is no surprise that the origins of Ganache are disputed. Some attribute the invention of ganache to Italy or Switzerland because of it's relationship to the chocolate truffle; however, our favourite story is that of ganache's French/British origins. This is how it goes...
Sometime in the early 1900's legendary chef, restauranteur and culinary writer, Auguste Escoffier was working as head chef in the kitchen of London's Carlton Hotel (which was demolished in 1958 after much of it was destroyed during WWII). The hotel kitchen was staffed with his selected chefs and apprentices; all busy creating the hotel's renowned food and patisserie.
On this particular day Escoffier tasked one of his stagiaires (apprentices) with heating some cream to create a pastry cream filling (see BBC Food Recipe). But, instead of pouring the hot cream into the whipped egg and sugar mixture, as the recipe called for, the stagiaire accidentally poured the cream into a bowl of chocolate pieces. Whoops!
Escoffier noticed the stagiaire's mistake and shouted "GANACHE!" which, at the time, was a French slang term meaning idiot or fool. However, once stirring and tasting the mixture, Escoffier discovered that it was a delicious combination and went on to use to create a multitude of different desserts with it. And although there is nothing foolish about this creamy chocolatey loveliness, the name ganache stuck!