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How to Make Chocolate Ganache

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Learn how to make chocolate ganache with this easy tutorial. This simple ganache recipe requires just two ingredients and you can have different consistencies by varying the ratio of each ingredient. The process takes just 5 minutes!

vanilla cupcake topped with chocolate ganache frosting and chocolate glaze

Chocolate ganache almost sounds intimidating, doesn't it? I used to think there was some complicated technique for making it but in actuality, it's so incredibly simple.

It requires just two ingredients: chocolate and heavy cream. You can adjust the ratios of each ingredient to achieve different consistencies depending on how you plan to use it.

Once the ganache is made, it can be used immediately as a silky glaze. If you let it sit at room temperature it can also be whipped into an amazingly rich frosting! Or it can be refrigerated until firm then rolled into chocolate truffles.

We'll talk more in-depth about the different ways to make ganache as we go along.

chocolate truffle cut open so the inside is visible

What to use chocolate ganache for

Chocolate ganache is so versatile! It can be used in a variety of ways from frosting, to glaze, to truffles.

I often used ganache to top eclairs, brownies, tarts, and cheesecake.

While ganache is often made with heavy cream and chocolate, I've made it with butter and chocolate to create a fudge frosting.

See, it has so many uses!

What's the difference between ganache and frosting?

Ganache is an emulsion of solid chocolate melted in heated heavy cream. While frosting is often butter based and whipped with powdered sugar or egg whites. Sometimes ganache can be used as frosting.


Ingredients

You only two ingredients to make a homemade ganache.

  • Chocolate: Use any solid baking chocolate you like. Avoid using chocolate chips. They don't melt as smoothly as real chocolate in bar form.
  • Heavy cream: Look for heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. They are essentially the same thing and contain approximately 35-38% fat.

Can I use milk instead of heavy cream?

You absolutely can use milk instead of heavy cream. But because milk contains much less fat than heavy cream, you'll need to add 2 tablespoons of butter for every 4 ounces of milk.

Can I make ganache with butter?

Yes! But this method is used for making chocolate frosting. I used a ratio of 24-ounces chocolate to 12-ounces of butter to make fudge frosting and it turned out beautifully.

What's the best chocolate for ganache?

Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate is best for making chocolate ganache. I don't suggest using milk chocolate or white chocolate.

Semisweet chocolate is what I use most when making ganache because it's already lightly sweetened and pairs well with other ingredients.

While bittersweet chocolate will yield a wonderfully rich ganache, I find that it's slightly too bitter for most desserts. You can sweeten it slightly by adding a tablespoon of granulated sugar to the heavy cream. As the cream warms, the sugar will dissolve and blend beautifully into the ganache.

Also, a tablespoon of corn syrup works wonderfully for adding a slight sweetness. Plus it adds a gorgeous shine to the chocolate ganache.

chocolate ganache frosting on a vanilla cupcake

How to make chocolate ganache

First, start with a quality brand of semisweet chocolate. I typically use Ghirardelli or Scharffen Berger but Bakers are also a great option.

Most recipes I've seen call for the chocolate to be coarsely chopped but I prefer to chop it finely. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they melt before the heavy cream cools down.

It's important to make sure the chocolate is fine enough to melt evenly so the ganache ends up perfectly smooth.

Warm the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. It's not necessary to boil or simmer the cream. You just want it nice and steamy.

You'll know it's warm enough if you stick your finger in and can leave it for about 3 seconds.

Once the cream is heated, pour it over the chopped chocolate and make sure all the pieces are fully submerged.

Let it sit for about 3 minutes so the chocolate has time melt all the way through.

Then, stir gently until it starts to come together. It might look speckled and broken at first but just keep stirring until it comes together into a creamy, smooth chocolate ganache.

process shots showing how to make chocolate ganache

And you're done. See how simple that was?

Now let's talk about the different ratios of chocolate to heavy cream and how you use each one.


Ratios

There are three different ratios of chocolate to heavy cream when making chocolate ganache. Each one yielding a different consistency for how you plan to use it.

A ganache that you plan to roll into truffles needs to be thicker than a ganache you plan to use for glazing a cake. The ingredients will be the same but the ratio of chocolate to cream will vary.

The ratios are based on weight.

1:1 ratio

This is one part chocolate to one part cream. So, 4 ounces of chocolate to 4 ounces of heavy cream. This ganache is perfect for filling a layer cake or using as a frosting.

Use it while it's warm as a glaze. Let it cool until it's thickened slightly and use it as a spreadable topping. Or let it cool completely until it has thickened but still soft. Then whip it into a pipeable frosting.

whipped chocolate ganache in a glass bowl

2:1 ratio

This is two parts chocolate to one part cream. So, 8 ounces of chocolate to 4 ounces of heavy cream. This ganache is used for rolling into truffles.

Once the chocolate and cream are emulsified, cover it and refrigerate it until firm. Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to portion the ganache into balls. Roll each ball in cocoa powder and enjoy!

ganache used for truffles

1:2 ratio

This is one part chocolate to two parts heavy cream. So, 4 ounces of chocolate to 8 ounces of heavy cream. This ganache is best used as a thin glaze.

I tend to not use this ratio. It's too thin for my liking. Instead, I'll make ganache with the 1:1 ratio and use it while it's warm and thin.

When to use chocolate ganache?

It's important to use each chocolate ganache when it's at the right temperature. This will vary depending on what you are making.

Chocolate ganache used for truffles needs to be cooled until it's thick or you won't be able to roll it. On the other hand, chocolate ganache used for glazing a cake needs to be warm and pourable.

chocolate glaze being poured over chocolate frosting on a vanilla cupcake

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chocolate glaze being poured over chocolate frosting on a vanilla cupcake

How to Make Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 1 cup (depending on ratio)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Learn how to make chocolate ganache with this easy tutorial. This simple ganache recipe requires just two ingredients and you can have different consistencies my varying the ratio of each ingredient. The process takes just 5 minutes!

Ingredients

For pourable glaze and frosting (1:1 ratio)

  • 4 ounces (113 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped - SEE NOTE 1
  • 4 ounces (113 g) heavy cream

For chocolate truffles (2:1 ratio)

  • 8 ounces (226 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped - SEE NOTE 1
  • 4 ounces (113 g) heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Decide how you plan to use the chocolate ganache and measure out the correct weight of ingredients.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Warm cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it's steaming. It doesn't need to simmer or boil.
  4. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and make sure the chocolate is fully submerged.
  5. Let it sit for about 3 minutes then stir gently until it comes together in a smooth, creamy consistency.

Make pourable glaze (1:1 ratio)

  1. Use it while it's warm and pourable. If you need a drip glaze, allow it to cool until slightly. The longer it cools, the thicker it becomes.

Make layer cake filling and frosting (1:1 ratio)

  1. Allow it to cool until it's thickened but still soft and spread it between cake layers or over top of cupcakes or dessert of your choice.
  2. Or allow it to cool until it's thickened but still soft. Beat it with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. When it's fluffy and light in color it's ready to be used.

Make chocolate truffles (2:1 ratio)

  1. Cool the chocolate until it's stiff enough to scoop and roll in the palm of your hand but not hard. It may be necessary to set the ganache in the refrigerator of a few minutes to help it thicken.

Notes

  1. Bittersweet chocolate can be used in place of semisweet chocolate.
  2. If the chocolate isn't sweet enough for your taste, you can add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar to the cream before it's heated. Stir to dissolve the sugar as the cream warms over medium-low heat.
  3. You can also add 1 tablespoon of corn syrup instead of sugar. Corn syrup will add shine to the ganache.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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Lynn

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

I made the 1:1 ratio of the pourable glaze. It was so beautiful and smooth. However after keeping the glazed-cake overnight in the fridge, there were a few long cracks line that appeared on the top part. What could have caused this?

Jen Sobjack

Thursday 1st of April 2021

There are a few reasons ganache will crack. Either the fat content in the specific chocolate you used was too low. In this case, you'd need to add a tad bit more cream. Or the cake was too cold when you applied the ganache. Or the cake absorbed the moisture from the ganache.

Harshada

Sunday 23rd of August 2020

How to make ganache thicker for truffle chocolate balls? My Ganache doesn't roll its start melting while rolling. Even I kept in freezer with air tight container. Pls reply

Jen Sobjack

Sunday 23rd of August 2020

You could try using a little less cream for a firmer ganache.

Julie

Monday 6th of April 2020

I want to make a drip cake, and wonder wich one I should use. 1:1 or 1:2? The ganache should be able to drip down the sides of the cake, without being to runny.

Jen Sobjack

Monday 6th of April 2020

1:1 will work best for what you have in mind.

Sarah

Wednesday 2nd of May 2018

I have an old family recipe for the puff part of cream puffs and am looking to make them for mother’s day. But have to find the filling and chocolate topping recipe. I like your ganache and think it would work great to top the cream puff with. Would you think the pourable 1:2 chocolate to cream ration would be better than the 1:1 ratio?

Jen Sobjack

Thursday 3rd of May 2018

1:2 will be perfect for what you are looking for. Keep in mind that while the ganache is warm it will be quite runny. Let it cool until it's thickened some before using it to top the cream puffs. This will prevent it from running all over the place.

Kat

Monday 23rd of April 2018

I want to make this...I think.. lol. I’m looking for a glaze that “sets up”. Does this do that?

Jen Sobjack

Tuesday 24th of April 2018

Yes, you can use the 1:2 ratio for a pourable glaze listed in the recipe. It will set as it cools.

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