Shelf Life of Ganache: A Guide

Shelf life of ganache – how to increase it and a lesser known method of making to improve shelf life – Keylink WP

Shelf Life of Ganache - How to Extend it,
Plus a Lesser Known Method of Making Ganache to Improve Shelf Life

Shelf life – the topic on everybody’s lips, the bane of many a chocolatier’s business plans, the thorn in the side of the display cabinets of bakers up and down the country. It’s a tough subject to tackle, and an even tougher one to get right, but with a little learning, you’ll be able to tailor your recipes to the amount of time you wish your sweet treats to be at their best.

by Michael Rodber

12 January 2024

There are many factors that can impact the shelf life of even the simplest of confectionery, but today, we’re going to focus on just one; tempering your ganache. Before we go into that, however, here’s a recap on the other factors affecting shelf life that you should also consider when developing your chocolates or baked goods.

Remember, there are a multitude of reasons why there’s no cut and dry answer to the question, “what will be the shelf life of this bonbon?”.

Factors Impacting the Shelf Life of Chocolates

  • Hygiene before, during and after production
  • Air (pockets in a chocolate shell, etc.)
  • Alcohol content (presence of alcohol makes for a less habitable ground for bacteria to grow)
  • Water activity/AW (the amount of non-binded water in a recipe that allows bacteria to grow)
  • pH level (bacteria typically grows best at a neutral pH level)
  • Odeurs (can affect the taste integrity)
  • Storage, light and humidity
  • The quality of ingredients
  • Temperature stability (increasing and decreasing the temperature of a chocolate negatively impacts the shelf life) 
  • Types of sugar used
  • Fat and water balance (emulsion prevents ‘free water’ as mentioned above)

For more information on the above and how they affect your products’ shelf life, check out these resources: 

Keylink & Chocolate Academy shelf life livestream

Keylink & Chocolate Academy info pack

Callebaut: How to influence shelf life podcast

Tempering your Ganache for a Longer Shelf Life

Ganache is a staple in the chocolatier’s and baker’s recipebook alike, and with many learning the microwave method from day one, tempering your ganache as a means of improving shine, consistency, and shelf life is a lesser known technique that you may want to consider implementing in your day to day activities. Essentially, you’re bringing down both the cream and tempered chocolate and combining them at a workable temperature. Here’s a recipe using white chocolate – this will have to be adjusted if using milk or dark.

You’ll need:

  • 190g cream
  • 25g invert sugar
  • 25g butter
  • 560g white chocolate

Step 1 – Pour the cream and invert sugar into a pan and bring to boil, combining as you go.

Step 2 – Once at boil, take off the heat and combine with butter using a spatula. Leave to cool to 32°C. 

Step 3 – While your cream mix is cooling, melt and temper your chocolate using your preferred method.

Step 4 – Combine the white chocolate at around 30°C with the cream mix at 32°C with a spatula for around a minute, ensuring the sides are scraped.

Step 5 – Use a hand blender to finish combining the mix, breaking the surface at a horizontal angle to ensure no air is combined with the mix. If the noise of the hand blender increases in volume, this is a sign air has entered the mix. Simply stop and shake out the air bubble, or insert again as previously described.

With this method, you’ll get a firmer, more compositionally stable (and shinier) ganache, giving the mixture an extended shelf life. Of course, any other standard method of making ganache is perfectly fine, but if you want to really stretch the shelf life of your chocolate creations, then consider this method alongside other shelf-life-extending techniques!

And finally, you might be thinking “but Keylink, I still don’t know what my shelf life is?”, but fear not – we’ve got you covered. For more on shelf life, check out our livestream highlights with the UK Chocolate Academy here!

Michael is a Marketing Executive with a penchant for punk rock, cheese, and indoor bouldering.

His favourite chocolate is Valrhona Tanariva.