How to Make Chocolate Ganache
Yield: About 1 1/2 to 2 cups, depending on ratio
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Ganache is like liquid gold and if I can find a use for it I will absolutely go overboard. In my mind, ganache elevates any dessert recipe to a whole new level with its ultra chocolaty flavor and rich, creamy, and luscious texture. I use it in many of the recipes I share with you so I thought a detailed step-by-step video and tutorial covering all the ratio options for ganache alongside flavor ideas would be so fun. With this post as your guide you can pretty much create any kind of ganache for any dessert with any flavor!
For all the specifics of everything covered in the video check out the details below. I hope you find this a great resource for your ganache adventures! I’d love to know your favorite ways to make ganache and how you use the stuff.
Chop the chocolate
Coarsely chop the chocolate with a serrated knife then transfer to a heatproof bowl. You can use chocolate chips but since they have ingredients added to help them keep their chip shape, you’re best off using a bar of baking chocolate and chopping it yourself. Since ganache has only two ingredients, be sure to use the highest quality ingredients possible for the best flavor.
You can use milk or white chocolate, but note that since they contain much more milk than semisweet or bittersweet chocolate they can be more susceptible to heat damage. This means you must be very careful not to overheat. Additionally, the extra milk in these chocolates also makes for a softer ganache, so reduce the amount of cream used.
Heat the cream
Bring the cream to just a boil over medium-high heat. Don’t allow the cream to boil over! You can also heat the cream in the microwave. Pour over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the hot cream to melt the chocolate and to allow the overall temperature to reduce because emulsions like ganache form better at 90 to 110°F.
The higher the fat content of the cream, the richer and more stable the ganache will be. Heavy whipping cream is the traditional choice, but you can even use crème fraiche or sour cream. You’ll just need to heat the crème fraiche/sour cream and chocolate together in a double boiler until melted and smooth.
You might be able to get away with using nondairy alternatives such as soy milk or almond milk, but the texture will not be as rich and creamy.
Start slowly then vigorously whisk the mixture in one direction until smooth and creamy. This may take a little while, just keeping whisking. The ingredients won’t want to mix at first but by forcing them to do so we are creating an emulsion which leads to that thick, rich texture everyone loves about ganache.
Basic Ganache Ratios
How the ratio of chocolate to cream greatly impacts the final texture. Which ratio to use will depend on your need and preferences. These ratios don’t have to be perfect, you can increase or decrease the chocolate to cream depending on your desired consistency. Note that as ganache cools it becomes increasingly thick and solid.
To make ganache for a layer cake filling or thick glaze, use equal parts chocolate and cream.
To glaze a cake, cheesecake, or other dessert with ganache:
Let the ganache sit uncovered until it’s at room temperature, about 15 minutes, before pouring over the cake. Start pouring in the middle gently working your way to the edges. You can either do a single coating or let the ganache pour over the sides.
For a very thick, almost solid fudge-like ganache which is perfect for making truffles or thick fillings for cookie sandwiches, whoopee pies, macarons, or tarts, you want to use twice as much chocolate compared to the cream. This would mean 8 ounces of chocolate to 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of cream. This ganache will become solidified as it cools, especially in the fridge. To make for a solid yet chewy texture and shiny appearance, add a tablespoon of corn syrup along with the cream.
For even more tips on making truffles, check out my Ultimate Truffle Guide.
For thin, pourable ganache glaze use a 1:2 ratio, one part chocolate to two parts cream. This is great for dipping fruit in or pouring over ice cream! It’s especially perfect for making whipped ganache, which is photographed above. Whipped ganache is like a combination of chocolate whipped cream and chocolate mousse.
Some of these flavor additions may change the consistency of the ganache. Add more cream or chocolate as you see fit.
To bring out the sweet flavor of the ganache, add 1/8 teaspoon salt to the hot mixture.
Liqueurs and Brandies
Substitute 1 to 2 ounces of the cream with a flavored liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Bailey’s, or Chambord or a brandy like Armagnac to the warm ganache.
Feel free to add flavored extracts, fruit purees, espresso powder, or spices to the warm ganache.
Peanut Butter or Nutella
Start by adding 2 tablespoons to a 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter or Nutella along with the chopped chocolate to the hot cream.
As you heat the cream, infuse it with flavor. Bring to a boil then add fresh mint leaves, tea, herbs such as lavender, coffee beans, or citrus zest and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain before using. Not you may need to rewarm the cream before adding it to the chocolate.
Always store with a piece of plastic wrap pressed against the surface to prevent any film or crust from forming. The general rule is that classic ganache may stay at room temperature for up to 2 days then must be refrigerated. If you’d rather be safe (which I recommend), keep it refrigerated for all storage. Ganache can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge then let come to room temperature before using.
The reason some classic ganache recipes can be stored at room temperature (though some would disagree with that) is because the sugar and fat content is so high it actually binds the water together in a way that microorganisms can’t utilize it to grow and thrive. Because of this I feel comfortable leaving ganache out at a cool room temperature for several hours if I need to.
1:1 ratio for thick glazes, fillings, and frostings
- 8 ounces chocolate
- 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
2:1 ratio for very thick, almost solid fudge-like ganache for truffles, tart fillings, etc.
- 8 ounces chocolate
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
1:2 ratio for very thin, pourable ganache for dipping, ice cream, or whipping
- 4 ounces chocolate
- 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
Coarsely chop the chocolate with a serrated knife then transfer to a heatproof bowl.
Pour the cream into a small saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the hot cream to melt the chocolate and to allow the overall temperature to reduce because emulsions form better at 90 to 110°F.
Vigorously whisk the mixture in one direction until smooth and creamy. This may take a little while, just keeping whisking. If using as a glaze allow to cool for 15 minutes before pouring. If using for truffles cover and chill for 1 hour, or until solid yet malleable, before scooping balls. If using as a frosting allow to chill for 4 hours, or until almost solidified, before using.
To make whipped ganache, let a 1:2 ratio ganache chill in the fridge until thickened, about 1 hour. Whip with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, slowly increasing the speed to medium-high. Whip until just light in color and fluffy in texture. Be careful not to overwhip which will lead to a grainy texture. If this happens, reheat the ganache in a double boiler then strain and start again.
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