Ganache is a chocolate lover’s dream. It’s a simple 2-ingredient recipe with infinite uses. You can use a variety of chocolates to make ganache, from semisweet to dark to bittersweet to milk chocolate. You can even use white chocolate! When the hot cream and chocolate are combined, they result in a smooth, silky, shiny mixture that can be used on its own, whipped, or used as the base of a frosting or other chocolate preparations.
Uses for Chocolate Ganache
- As a frosting for cakes, cupcakes, and bar cookies
- As a filling for layer cakes
- As a dip for strawberries
- As the base for chocolate truffles
- Heavy Cream – you must use heavy cream or whipping cream here, not light cream or half-and-half. Heavy cream has a slightly higher percentage of fat than whipping cream. Heavy cream has between 36 and 40 percent fat while whipping cream has between 30 and 36 percent fat. Either will work fine when making ganache.
- Chocolate – the chocolate you chose must have some sugar in it, as there is no added sugar in the recipe. You can use anything from milk chocolate to a fairly bitter one with a high level of cacao. The best option is to use chocolate bars and chop the chocolate very finely; the finer the chocolate is chopped, the faster it will melt and the smoother your ganache will be. Do not use chocolate chips if possible, which may have other ingredients added in, and the ganache won’t set up properly. If you can find chocolate chips without added ingredients in them (which are often added to stabilize them, and prevent them from spreading: think chocolate chip cookies), those should work fine.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof metal or glass bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat just until it begins to bubble around the edges; do not let it come to a full simmer or a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit, without stirring, for 3 minutes. The chocolate will begin to soften and melt.
With a silicone spatula or metal spoon slowly stir the chocolate into the cream. Do not overbeat the mixture; stir gently.
When the chocolate is melted and the mixture is warm, you can use it as-is as an icing or a sauce. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Once completely cooled, after 2 to 3 hours, it will be very thick and can be scooped up with a spoon and used in truffles or as a center for ganache-filled cupcakes.
You can also beat cooled ganache with a mixer until it becomes fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. This can then be used as a frosting.
What Is the Difference Between Dark Chocolate and Semisweet Chocolate?
Technically the terms can be used interchangeably. Most dark or semisweet chocolate contains between 60 and 62 percent chocolate solids. Some brands call this “bittersweet” chocolate, or sometimes “extra dark.”
Higher percentage chocolates have more cacao and less added sugar, which gives a stronger, more bitter flavor to the chocolate. The higher the number, the less sweet/more bitter the chocolate will be. If your chocolate has a significantly higher percentage of cacao, the recipe might not work as directed. Stick around the 60-65 percent range.
Ratio of Chocolate to Cream
Very simple: 1 to 1!
How to Make Chocolate Ganache: This simple 2-ingredient chocolate dream has many uses. It can be used as a glaze, dip, filling, or frosting!Tweet This
What Went Wrong and Why
The chocolate became gritty, solid, and impossible to stir. This means the chocolate has “seized” and will not melt. This happens when water comes in contact with the chocolate, even a drop of water. It seems odd, as the cream is also a liquid, but the fat in the cream prevents the chocolate from seizing.
The chocolate separated or became greasy or gritty: This could be because your chocolate has an additive in it wasn’tsn’t pure chocolate. It also might mean the chocolate had too high a level of cocoa solids.
Also, if don’ton’t use a glass or metal bowl, it is possible that the bowl itself could have some residue in it that caused this to happen. Plastic bowls are harder to get completely clean, so that might be the cause.
Another tip is to use a metal or silicone spoon or curved spatula to mix the cream and chocolate rather than a whisk. You do not want to incorporate air into the ganache, which can happen if you use a whisk. A wooden spoon might also not be completely clean; make sure your utensil is as clean as the bowl, meaning perfectly clean. And make sure your knife and cutting board are also squeaky clean when you chop the chocolate!
Once cooled, ganache can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to a week. It can also be frozen for up to 4 months and thawed in the refrigerator.
To rewarm ganache for pouring, place the mixture in a double boiler (see How to Make a Double Boiler). The chocolate should not be melted over direct heat, and the top of the double boiler (whether it’s a “real” double boiler or a homemade one) should not touch the simmering water beneath. This will cause the ganache to seize up because of the condensation.
You can transfer the slightly warm or completely cooled ganache into a piping bag and write with it or draw decorations on cookies and cakes.
Other Chocolate Recipes
- Chocolate Espresso Buttercream
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Devil’s Food Cake
- Fudgy Chocolate Cake
- Nut-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake
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How to Make Chocolate Ganache
- 8 ounces semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate (very finely chopped)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof metal or glass bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat just until it begins to bubble around the edges; do not let it come to a full simmer or a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit, without stirring for 3 minutes. The chocolate will begin to soften and melt.
- With a silicone spatula or metal spoon slowly stir the chocolate into the cream. Do not over beat the mixture; stir gently.
- When the chocolate is melted and the mixture is warm, you can use it as is as an icing or a sauce. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Once completely cooled, after 2 to 3 hours, it will be very thick, and can be scooped up with a spoon and used in truffles or as a center for ganache-filled cupcakes.
- You can also beat cooled ganache with a mixer until it becomes fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. This can then be used as a frosting.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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