I love things that look seriously impressive but are actually (secretly) really easy. Chocolate ganache is absolutely one of those things and it always delivers so much more than the effort involved in making it. I also love recipes that are so simple that you can trust them to memory, (even when sometimes you can't remember what day it is!) and this is definitely one of those. So here is your guide to making homemade chocolate ganache. I'm sure you'll be pleased to add it to your kitchen repertoire.
What is Chocolate Ganache?
Chocolate ganache is a 1:1 mixture of chocolate and warm cream. And let's pause for a moment there - the ratio of 1:1 is based on weight and NOT on volume. More on that later …
It is gently stirred until smooth, silky, and shiny, and once made has so many different uses - from sauces to glazes; from dipping to filling. When it's warm, it's pourable and when it's cooled down, it becomes spreadable.
Uses for Chocolate Ganache -
- Topping for chocolate cupcakes
- Warm sauce to pour over ice cream
- Filling for a layer cake
- Frosting for a celebration cake
- Dip for churros
- A chocolate fondue with strawberries, cake pieces and other fruits
The two ingredients for Chocolate Ganache -
- Chocolate - traditionally, ganache is made with dark chocolate. I think it's at its best when made with semi-sweet chocolate (which is at the less bitter end of the dark chocolate spectrum). Look out for chocolate with a cocoa level of between 35-65%. Generally, the better the chocolate, the better it will taste, but also the more temperamental it will be. Chocolate chips are designed to be stable but still to melt evenly and smoothly, so if you are new to ganache, perhaps start with these (it saves on all that chopping too!).
- Cream - it's important to use double cream or whipping cream (or something with at least 30% fat content). Anything like milk or low-fat alternatives won't work and the ganache won't set properly.
How to make Chocolate Ganache
Finely chop your chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl. If you are using chocolate chips, measure them and put them in a heatproof bowl.
Warm the cream in a small saucepan on the hob until you start to see steam and some bubbling around the edges. Don't let it get to boiling - just hot enough to melt the chocolate.
Now pour the warm milk over the chocolate and let it stand uncovered for 10 minutes. Then stir gently until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
At this stage, the ganache will be very runny so ideal for pouring and drizzling. The longer you leave it, the more it will thicken. I left mine at room temperature for roughly 90 minutes so that I could ice these cupcakes without too much drama and (full disclosure!) I also popped the cakes into the freezer for 5 minutes before icing them so that the ganache got an extra boost of chill when it hit the cake.
Can you make Chocolate Ganache with milk or white chocolate?
Yes, you can but the ratio of chocolate to cream changes due to the different fat contents -
|Type of chocolate
|Chocolate to cream ratio
|Dark / semi-sweet chocolate
|1 : 1
|250g / 8oz chocolate,
250g / 8oz / 1 cup cream
|3 : 1
|250g / 8oz chocolate,
83g / 2.7oz / ⅓ cup cream
|4 : 1
|250g / 8oz chocolate,
62.5g / 2oz / ¼ cup cream
The things I've learned about making Chocolate Ganache -
- If you are using a bar of chocolate, chop it as finely as possible so that it will melt fully in the warm cream.
- Generally, the more expensive the chocolate, the more prone to splitting it is. Stick to brands in the baking aisle to be safe.
- Leave the bowl UNCOVERED while the warm milk is melting the chocolate. This is because otherwise, condensation may build up on the underside of the lid and drip into the ganache causing it to split - water is the enemy of ganache!
- Avoid using a whisk to combine the melted chocolate, as you will incorporate air bubbles into the mixture. This is particularly important if you are using the ganache to create a smooth, glossy topping for cakes.
- If the chocolate is not melting thoroughly in the cream, either the chocolate was not cut up finely enough or the milk wasn't warmed enough. This can be resolved by putting the bowl into the microwave for about 20 seconds and then stirring again. Repeat until the chocolate is fully melted.
- The kind of chocolate you use will determine how thick your ganache is and how long it will take to reach your desired consistency, so experimentation (or patience!) is required.
- The ganache will cool faster in the fridge but it doesn't cool evenly, so you will need to stir it every now and then.
- The cooler the ganache gets, the thicker it gets and it will also lose its shine.
- Leftover ganache can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- I also freeze leftover chocolate ganache and use it either to decorate a few impromptu cupcakes or I defrost it and warm it to make a sauce for ice cream sundaes or a dip for strawberries.
So, now you can impress your friends and family with this rich, elegant Chocolate Ganache. Let's keep it as our secret that it's WAY easier than it looks. I won't tell, if you don't ...Print