Recipe video above. Made with just cream and chocolate, ganache is a baking staple with many applications that adds a spot of instant luxury! A pourable fudge sauce when warm, for glazing cakes or making drip decorations, to a spreadable and pipable frosting when cool, or for making truffles when cold (use this recipe for truffles). The possibilities are endless - here's just a few ideas!While it is simple to make, things can go wrong if made without care. So follow the directions and read the Key Points below.Makes 2 cups / 500 ml - enough to frost 1 layer cake (top and sides), smear onto 12 cupcakes, or sauce for 6 to 8 sundaes.2 layer cakes (filling, sides and top) - double the recipe (click on servings and slide). Slightly more than you need, but better to be safe than sorry!
Course: Frosting, Sweet
Keyword: chocolate ganache, Ganache
Servings: 2cups (500 ml) ganache
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
250g/ 8ozdark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate block(up to 50% cocoa, Note 1)
1cupthickened / heavy cream, pure cream or whipping cream (Note 2)
Milk Chocolate Ganache:
375g/ 12 ozmilk chocolate block(Note 3)
1/2cupthickened / heavy cream, pure cream or whipping cream (Note 2)
White Chocolate Ganache:
400g / 14 ozwhite chocolate block(Note 4)
1/3 cup + 1 tbspthickened / heavy cream, pure cream or whipping cream (Note 2)
Using a sharp knife or serrated knife, finely chop the chocolate. Then scrape it all into a heatproof bowl - including all those little powdery shards!
Heat cream: Place cream in a small saucepan over heat or in a heatproof jug to microwave. Heat until hot and steaming but DO NOT let it boil - it might cause the chocolate to split or go grainy. (Note 6)
Pour cream over chocolate: Pour hot cream over chocolate, then spread chocolate out so it's as evenly covered by cream as possible. Cream will not fully cover white or milk chocolate, that's OK.
Wait 10 minutes: Leave for 10 minutes. Do not cover (Note 7).
Stir until smooth: Using a rubber spatula or spoon, stir until cream and chocolate are incorporated and it's silky smooth. (Note 8 about lumps)
Milk & white chocolate only: Because there is less cream, the chocolate may not fully melt. In which case, micrwoave for 20 seconds, stir gently, then microwave again for 10 seconds and stir - this should be enough to fully melt the chocolate. (Note 5)
Troubleshooting:If your ganache splits (ie. oil streaks) or is grainy, or it's too thick or thin, see above in post for how to fix these problems.
Cooling: If cooling your ganache (to spread, pipe or whip), cool it uncovered for 30 minutes. Then cover with cling wrap and press so it contacts the surface (so you don't get a skin forming) and continue to cool.
How to use:
Pourable / dipping sauce / pour glaze - allow to cool for 15 minutes on the counter until it's still runny but pourable. Use as required - pour over cakes as a thick chocolate glaze, over sundaes, into bowls to use for dipping, or to make drip decorations.
Spreadable frosting - cool to a spreadable peanut butter consistency. Cool 30 minutes on the counter then EITHER 4 hours in the fridge, stirring every now and then for even cooling, OR refrigerate overnight and then leave to soften on counter for 15 - 20 minutes.
Whipped Ganache - Place bowl and whisk attachment in fridge for 20 minutes. Place ganache in bowl then whip on high for 2 minutes until it changes to a pale brown colour and it's fluffier. Smear or pipe onto cakes and cupcakes.
The lighter the chocolate (ie. white vs milk vs dark) the softer it is, so the less cream you need.
You MUST use cooking chocolate, ie. chocolate purchased from the baking aisle, NOT regular eating chocolate (it doesn't melt properly).
For troubleshooting tips and "gotchas", see in post.
1. Dark chocolate - called "semi-sweet chocolate" in the US, this has a great, rich dark chocolate flavour with enough sweetness to make a perfect ganache frosting or for truffles. It's less sweet than milk and white chocolate.
Quality - The better the chocolate, the better the ganache. Plaistowe in Australia is the best you can get at everyday stores. Cadbury blocks are a near second. In the US, Ghiradelli is an excellent option - I stock up when I visit!
Cocoa % - Anything up to 50% cocoa is great. If it's higher then 60% cocoa (like 70% cocoa - called "bittersweet chocolate"), it is not sweet enough to use for ganache unless you add glucose or sugar (which is a different recipe).
Melts or chips intended for melting work fine too, but blocks tend to be better quality. Plus you're able to chop them finer than chips, so melt better for a smoother ganache.
Dark chocolate ganache is the most common ganache you see in patisseries and used for fancy cake decorations. I also like it best for its flavour and texture. It is the most luxurious and creamy.
2. Cream - must be >30% fat in order for the ganache to thicken as required. Thickened cream, heavy cream, pure cream, whipping cream and thickened whipping cream will all work. Low fat does not work, don't try!3. Milk chocolate is softer and sweeter than dark/semi-sweet chocolate and typically has 12 - 20% cocoa. Because it's softer than dark chocolate, we need less cream. See Note 1 about chips and melts instead of block.4. White Chocolate is the softest and sweetest, so we use the least amount of cream. See Note 1 about chips and melts instead of block.5. Finish melting - because less cream is used for white and milk chocolate, it may need a little extra help at the end to fully melt the chocolate. Just depends how finely you chop the chocolate, the chocolate itself, warmth of your kitchen etc.6. Cream - if you accidentally bring it to a boil, take off the heat and let it cool, then reheat. If cream is too hot, it may split the chocolate (especially true of expensive chocolate which doesn't have stabilisers in it).7. Condensation is water and can make chocolate split. While cheaper chocolate blocks, chips and melts are engineered to be more stable, expensive / good chocolate (which has a more pure flavour and texture) is far more sensitive to water and other foreign liquids that can make ganache split or go grainy.8. Bubbles or lumps? If you see little lumps, check to see if it's unmelted chocolate bits or if they are just bubbles - bubbles will disappear as it cools. If there are unmelted chocolate lumps, microwave ganache for 20 seconds, stir, and repeat as necessary until fully melted and smooth.9. Troubleshooting for split/grainy/too thin/too thick - see in post for how to fix.10. Storage - at room temperature on cooler days: 2 days. Fridge: 1 week. Freezer: 3 months. Fully cool before storing in an airtight container. If ganache is warm/hot, condensation will form and water may cause it to split when reheated.Freezer - cover surface with cling wrap (so it contacts the surface), then store in an airtight container. To thaw, leave overnight in the fridge, then use a paper towel to dab away any condensed water on the surface before mixing.Reheat to make it runny - microwave in 30 second increments or set over a saucepan of hot water.11. Nutrition - just bit more than a carrot stick (this is for dark chocolate ganache, assuming 1 batch serves 8)