The Ultimate Chocolate Glossary: G


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The Ultimate Chocolate Glossary — Chocolate Words that Start with G


Chocolate Glossary: Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Ganache

A smooth mixture of chocolate and cream, often with butter or cream added. Ganache is used in several ways. A firmer ganache (one with a higher ratio of chocolate to cream) can be rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate and/or rolled in cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, or another coating to form a truffle. A slightly less firm ganache can be used as a bonbon center. Ganache can be beaten with butter and used to fill and frost cakes and pastries (ganache beurre or ganache soufflé). In its liquid state, ganache is poured over cakes and pastries as a glaze. Dark, milk, or white chocolate can be used to make ganache, and it is frequently flavored. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states that “ganache” is the French term for “jowl”; supposedly, it is also a slang term for “imbecile” in the same language.


The French term for filling a chocolate shell using a piping bag.


A sweet dark chocolate invented by Sam German, an Englishman, for Walter Baker & Company (the manufacturer of Baker’s Chocolate) of Dorchester, MA in 1852. German believed that the bar, which contained sugar, would be more convenient for home bakers; in his honor, it was named German’s Chocolate. Today, German Chocolate is most closely associated with German Chocolate Cake, originally called German’s Chocolate Cake. This layer cake, flavored with German Chocolate, has a coconut-pecan frosting between layers.


A collection of genetic resources for an organism. For trees, this takes the form of a nursery. The term has also become synonymous with genetic material, the seed or other material from which plants are propagated.


Chocolate Glossary: Map of Africa with Ghana highlighted.

Ghana in Africa

One of the largest cacao producers in Africa. Particularly noted for amelonado beans.



A smooth paste, made of roasted and finely ground nuts, chocolate, and sugar, all conched together. Historically, gianduja was made with hazelnuts; it was invented in the 1800’s in the Piedmont, Italy’s chief hazelnut-growing region. However, it can also be made with almonds. Originally, gianduja was produced using cocoa powder; today, milk or dark chocolate is used.

Gianduja has also become the name for the flavor combination of chocolate and hazelnuts in general, and the word is used to describe candies and confections with that flavor blend. Also called “hazelnut praline”.



Gold is a malleable metal. Gold leaf is gold that has been hammered into sheets of extraordinary thinness by the ancient art of gold beating. These very thin sheets of gold are mounted on a tissue backing, which allows them to be handled, although careful handling is necessary. Flecks of gold leaf are used as a decoration on some chocolates. Gold leaf is edible and passes harmlessly through the human system.



From the French, another term for sweets.



This term, coined my chocolate manufacturer Valrhona, refers simply to chocolate made with beans from one particular area—that is, single origin chocolate. The chocolate can be made from a single variety of beans or from multiple varieties, as long as the beans are from the same geographic region; that region may be small in scope (the island of Trinidad) or more broadly defined (South America). The terminology was borrowed from the world of wine, in which Grand Cru refers the plot of land where the wine grapes are grown or the chateau where the wine is made. Grand Cru is an official designation of wine in France, and it is wine of very high quality, but a Grand Cru label on chocolate is never a guarantee of anything except a specific growing region.



Another term for the cacao bean or seed. The word is also used in discussing the crystallization pattern of a chocolate bar’s components (chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar). These are most easily seen in the cross-section, when a bar is broken in two.



After roasting, once the hulls (or shells) of the nibs are removed, the nibs are crushed and/or ground in high-speed mills into chocolate liquor. See also Crushing.



Pronounced gree-UT, this French term refers to a Morello cherry.


This glossary would not have been possible without the kind assistance of my good friend Karen Hochman who runs the website: The Nibble. Karen gave us permission to base our chocolate glossary on hers. TheNibble is one of the Internet’s best resources for food articles, reviews, history, and just about anything when it comes to quality food. Please, if you have a few moments, visit my friend Karen’s website and you’ll be amazed at what a valuable resource it is. Thanks for all your help Karen!

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