Step 4: Make the filling

Picture of Make the filling
These chillies are filled with a water ganache, which I've been dying to try since hearing about it at a chocolate festival a few months ago. The basic principle is to make an emulsion using chocolate and boiling water. Since no cream is added, the only flavour you get is the pure rich dark chocolate. Adding water to chocolate seems like the last thing you should do, with the threat of seizing ever present, but with hot water and enough stirring you can work through this.

All you need is 100 g dark chocolate and about half a cup of hot water. The great thing about a water ganache is that it's easy to get flavour into it by infusing the water, or using strong brewed tea instead. I had a mango chilli tea kicking around that fit this project perfectly.

First melt the chocolate, using the microwave or with a double boiler/bain marie method. Once melted, begin adding the water/tea, a tablespoon at a time. Stir in each spoonful thoroughly, waiting until it is fully incorporated before adding the next. Don't worry if the mixture seems to be seizing, just keep adding the liquid and stirring., Eventually you will get a smooth, runny chocolate mix (this took me about six tablespoons, but can vary depending on the fat content of your chocolate). This is your ganache.
Paperduck3 years ago
I gave these a try yesterday and the water ganache did exactly what I thought it would before I read about it for the first time in this instructable: With the first spoon of hot water (tea) it instantly started to seize up. I tried to incorporate the water as best as I could, added another spoonful of water and kept going until after 5 spoonfuls or so it became to thick to be stirred. I continued to knead the paste with the back of the spoon and tried to work more water into it but after 7 spoonfuls it wouldn't absorb any more. Instead a good portion of the fat content of the chocolate started to separate. What I ended up with was a play dough like substance covered in liquid cocoa butter. Very much the opposite of a smooth, runny chocolate mix. I used 70% dark chocolate for this.
I don't know if I did anything wrong during the process but the water ganache recipe doesn't seem to offer too many possibilities to screw it up.
If I had to make a guess as to why it worked for you but didn't work for me it would be the following: Processed chocolate often contains lecithin (particularly soy-lecithin), used to stabilize the emulsion of oil and water. As far as I can tell this doesn't depend on the quality of the chocolate. Some manufacturer use lecithin, others don't. The chocolate I bought didn't contain lecithin. So, based on this experience, maybe water ganache only works with chocolate containing an emulsifier.