Chocolate lovers must adore the translation of ganache: to paddle or wade through something – in this case, chopped chocolate and cream. By varying the proportion of cream to chocolate, it can be made thin and pourable or thick and dense. It isn’t difficult to make, yet the process is always fraught with tension, because if the cream and chocolate don’t come together to form a homogeneous and stable emulsion, it will curdle and turn out dull and wrinkly instead of glossy and smooth. Luckily, Ortrud Carstens explains chocolate varieties and and brands that work well; the best fat content of cream to use; and proportions to suit various purposes. Many photos and step-by-step directions leave nothing up to chance. Carstens closes with ideas on how to save curdled attempts, then includes an intensely chocolate cake recipe.