50 Best Recipe of the Month: Alcalde's chocolate ganache paired with Glenmorangie

Laura Price - 17/10/2016

Recently awarded The One To Watch title at Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants, Alcalde is putting Guadalajara on the Mexican food map with chef Francisco 'Paco' Ruano's colourful takes on regional dishes.

Here, Ruano shares the recipe for his chocolate ganache with passionfruit juice, perfectly paired with Glenmorangie Original.


Outside Alcalde in Guadalajara


The chef: Born and raised in Guadalajara in the west of Mexico, Ruano worked on cruise ships around the world before going to San Sebastian to study further. He worked at Mugaritz, Akelarre, El Celler de Can Roca and Noma, returning to his hometown to open his own restaurant in 2013.

The restaurant: Alcalde styles itself on 'cocina franca,' or 'frank' cuisine, meaning delicious but straightforward food rooted in regional traditions and produce, but executed with a lighter touch and a flair for artistic plating. Dishes include piglet with pumpkin seed sauce and scallop ceviche with citrus fruits. Up to 90% of Ruano's team are recruited straight out of cooking school, which allows him to mould and train them.

The dish: Ruano picked this recipe to pair with the vanilla, orange and peach notes in the 10-year-old single malt whisky, Glenmorangie Original. Although there are plenty of steps to put together the dish, it's fairly straightforward and can be prepared at home. For those outside Mexico, visit local markets or specialist stores to find hoja santa.

Chocolate ganache with dehydrated hoja santa leaf and passionfruit juice 

"The citrus and vanilla notes in Glenmorangie Original work perfectly with the chocolate and reach their full potential with the hoja santa. The acidity of the passionfruit juice complements the dish, balancing with the chocolate in the dessert and the woody flavours in the whisky." – Francisco Ruano, Alcalde.



Makes approx. 10 portions
Preparation: 1 hour
Cooking: 1 hour 30min
Refrigeration: 1 night

To prepare the dessert:

40g chocolate ganache
30g passionfruit cake
25g buttercream and pink pepper
Chocolate sheets (quantity as desired)
10 dehydrated hoja santa leaf
30g passionfruit juice
5g olive oil
2g sea salt


For the ganache:

Makes approx. 10 portions

2 egg yolks
300g dark chocolate 70%
175g milk
20g cornstarch
175g whipping cream
90g fine sugar
6 sheets of gelatine

Put the milk, egg yolks, sugar, whipping cream and starch into a bain-marie.
Cook until the mixture reaches 70ºC. Add the chocolate and stir with a spatula to incorporate.
Blend the sauce and strain.
Add the remaining cream while the mixture is still hot.
Place the mixture into PacoJet containers and freeze.*
Pacotize the mixture on serving.*
Finish with a few grains of salt and a tablespoon of olive oil over the ganache.

*Don’t worry – if you don’t have a Pacojet, you can whisk the mixture in a bowl over a bag of ice.



For the passionfruit cake:

Makes approx. 10 portions

150g wheat flour
140g cornstarch
100g butter
4 eggs
450g fine sugar
250g passionfruit juice

Heat the passionfruit juice in a pan with 100g of sugar and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved into a syrup. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
Beat the butter and sugar together on high speed for 10 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and beat for a further couple of minutes.
Add the passionfruit juice mixture and mix in.
Add the sieved flour and cornstarch.
Cook in the oven at 180ºC for 18 minutes.


For the buttercream:

Makes approx. 10 portions

5 egg yolks
140g sugar
160g water
250g butter
Pink peppercorns
50g icing sugar

Beat the egg yolks on a high speed.
Heat the water and sugar together in a pan, letting it boil until it creates a syrup – between 100ºC and 106ºC.
Mix in the icing sugar and buttercream.
Finish with a little pink pepper and a pinch of fine salt.
Leave overnight.


For the chocolate sheets:

Makes approx. 10 portions

200g dark chocolate 70%
40g cocoa butter

Melt the butter and chocolate in a bain-marie. Mix until combined.
Place a thin layer of mixture on a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Wait for it to cool and then remove the chocolate.
Cut into irregular-sized pieces.


For the passionfruit juice:

Makes approx. 10 portions

200g reduced passionfruit juice
40g sugar
20ml lemon juice
.005g xanthan gum

Strain the passionfruit juice, add sugar and lemon. Boil gently. Add the xanthan gum. Strain and serve cold.


For the dehydrated hoja santa:

Makes 1 portion

10 hoja santa leaf
100ml water
100g fine sugar
100g glucose

Mix water, sugar and glucose until make liquid syrup.
Brush syrup onto hoja santa leaf. Dehydrate on a sheet of silicone.


To finish the dish:

Moisten the cake with a little sauce and place a tablespoon of the sauce on the dish.
Add a quenelle of ganache on the side with a little oil and salt.
Finish with leaves and chocolate sheets.



Go inside Alcalde and watch the highlights from Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants in Mexico:

Coming soon: Paco Ruano’s guide to Guadalajara.

Discover more recipes from the 50 Best chefs, including Mexican aguas frescas by Enrique Olvera of Pujol.