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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.