Easy Chocolate Ganache made in 5 minutes!
This Chocolate Ganache is silky, creamy, sweet and shiny made with just 4 ingredients. It’s ideal for glazes, frostings, fillings and 1000X better than store bought chocolate sauce. Use this simple ganache to elevate ice cream, brownies, cakes, truffles or anything it touches! I’ve included how to make Chocolate Ganache, How to Store Chocolate Ganache, How to Use Chocolate Ganache and everything in between!
Chocolate Ganache recipe
With Valentine’s Day upon us, I wanted to revamp my Chocolate Ganache recipe (originally in 2015), in anticipation of using it to bathe Chocolate Waffles coming later this week. I’ve included many of the same photos as well as recipes I’ve used chocolate ganache in over the years. I hope you will enjoy this tried and true ganache recipe with new tips and tricks – and then use it to smother your Chocolate Waffles – or just your face.
This Chocolate Ganache Recipe is pure chocolate decadence yet is deceptively easy to make! You only need chocolate, heavy whipping cream, butter, a microwave, and 5 minutes to make this fool proof, easy ganache recipe.
Whether it is Valentine’s Day, bridal or baby showers, birthdays, family movie night, family ice cream night, or simply dessert time, this Chocolate Ganache recipe makes every memory more delicious. We inhale it drizzled on popcorn, enveloping donuts, bathing cakes, smothering ice cream and on and on. What is your favorite way to devour ganache?
What is Chocolate Ganache?
Chocolate Ganache (pronounced geh-Nahsh) sounds fancy because the term “Ganache” is French, but it simply means chocolate melted into hot cream. It is a basic pastry component and SO easy.
The resulting Chocolate Ganache is the consistency of a silky chocolate sauce although it becomes thicker, like creamy peanut butter, as it cools making it ideal for truffles, dessert fillings, icings, and whipped frosting.
Why do they Call it Ganache?
While no one knows the exact origin of Chocolate Ganache, legend claims it comes from a young French student who poured hot cream onto chocolate bits. His tutoring chef called him a “ganache” which means “moron” in old French. His mistake, however, resulted in one of today’s most beloved forms of chocolate.
What is ganache made from?
Chocolate Ganache is typically made with equal parts chocolate and heavy cream, although the ratio can change depending on the usage. It can also contain butter for added flavor and smoothness, corn syrup for extra shine or alcohol, extracts or spices for flavor.
Can I make Ganache with other chocolates?
Absolutely! You can make ganache with any type of chocolate:
- White Chocolate Ganache: replace semi-sweet chocolate with white chocolate and use 25% less heavy cream.
- Milk Chocolate Ganache: replace semi-sweet chocolate with milk chocolate.
- Dark Chocolate Ganache: use semi-sweet chocolate (which is technically dark chocolate) or use part semi-sweet chocolate and part bittersweet chocolate.
Can I use Chocolate Chips?
Baking chocolate is cooled, hardened chocolate liquor with a high percentage of cocoa butter because it’s intended to be baked with and therefore melts beautifully for ganache.
If you would like to substitute baking chocolate for chocolate chips, you will need to use high quality chocolate chips with a higher percentage of cocoa butter.
Some brands of chocolate contain significantly more cocoa butter and others contain significantly less cocoa butter and more additives. Cocoa butter is important because it comes from fermented, roasted dried cocoa beans and is where the cocoa flavor, aroma and texture comes from. When selecting chocolate, check the label for cocoa butter; the higher the percentage of cocoa butter, the better the chocolate. This translates into the tangible qualities of richer flavor, aroma, and better melting ability.
I recommend Guittard or Ghirardelli brand chocolate chips. Many other chocolate brands contain less cocoa butter and will not melt as seamlessly and can leave you with stubborn chocolate pieces AKA they’re not suitable for ganache.
Can you make ganache with half and half instead of cream?
Heavy Cream is always the best option for Chocolate Ganache because the higher the fat content of the cream, the richer and more stable the finished ganache will be. I would only attempt to use half and half if you are using the ganache as a glaze, and not a thicker frosting because the half and half will permanently thin down the ganache. It will also not be as shiny and can easily become grainy when over stirred.
Can I substitute milk for cream in ganache?
I do not recommend using milk to make Chocolate Ganache. It will produce a thin, less indulgent ganache with lackluster shine and taste and is likely to become grainy.
Chocolate to Cream Ratio
In this Chocolate Ganache recipe, I use a basic 1:1 ratio, 8 ounces heavy cream (1 cup) to 8 ounces of chocolate. I use this ratio for practically everything. It is ideal for sauces, glazes and at room temperature wonderfully spreadable for frosting or fillings.
The only time you should need a thicker ganache is for truffles. In that instance you will want 2 parts chocolate to 1-part cream. You may want a thinner ganache with more cream than chocolate if making a chocolate syrup or sauce that needs to stay runny for an extended period of time.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate Ganache is quick and easy to make:
STEP 1: Chop Chocolate
First, roughly chop your semi-sweet chocolate bar. The pieces don’t have to be uniform but should be on the smaller side so they melt easily.
Your chocolate ganache is only as tasty as your chocolate – so splurge a little and use quality chocolate! I suggest Bakers or Ghirardelli brand chocolate bars. Quality chocolate chips can also work but ONLY use Guittard or Ghirardelli. Other chocolate brands have too many additives and will not melt nicely. Note: 8 oz. chocolate chips is roughly 1 1/3 cups NOT one cup.
STEP 2: HEAT HEAVY CREAM
You can heat the heavy cream on the stove or in the microwave, but I prefer the easy microwave method.
MICROWAVE: Add heavy cream, butter and corn syrup (if using) to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes or just until simmering and butter is melted. If the butter is not completely melted after 2 minutes, then microwave at 30 second intervals until butter is completely melted.
STOVE TOP: Add heavy cream, butter and corn syrup (if using) to a medium saucepan and heat until butter is melted and the mixture just begins to simmer, stirring occasionally.
You never want to melt your chocolate and cream together unless using a high ratio of corn syrup because the chocolate will scorch.
STEP 3: Add Chocolate
Add chocolate and let the mixture stand for 3 minutes without stirring. This allows the heat of the cream to soften the chocolate while bringing down the temperature of the cream.
If you are over eager and whisk too soon, the heavy cream will be too hot and result in a gritty texture. If this does happen to you, then whisk in 1-3 teaspoons vegetable oil until smooth.
STEP 4: Stir until smooth
Using a wire whisk, start at the center of the bowl and whisk outward in in a vigorous circular motion to melt the chocolate completely and to achieve thick, glossy ganache. This ensures you are creating an emulsion in which the fat from the cream, butter and chocolate are suspended into the liquid of the cream, resulting in a silky-smooth ganache.
STEP 5: Cool
Cool at room temperature for 10 minutes before using as a sauce or dip or cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the chocolate and allow to cool and thicken for frosting or piping.
Why Do you Add Corn Syrup?
This Chocolate Ganache recipe contains corn syrup for 3 purposes:
- To make the ganache extra smooth
- Keep the ganache shiny even after being refrigerated
- Keep the ganache flexible when it sets
It makes A HUGE difference in the final product. You can omit the corn syrup if you really are opposed but the ganache will not be as smooth, shiny, flexible or overall successful.
How Do I thicken Chocolate Ganache?
You will want to use Chocolate Ganache almost immediately for sauces, glazes and dips, allowing it to cool for only about 10 minutes.
If you are using it for anything else, then it will need to thicken either in the refrigerator or at room temperature. So, if you have already made Chocolate Ganache and it seems thin, remember it will thicken upon cooling and be the thickest after refrigerating.
To thicken ganache quickly, cover it with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly against the top of the chocolate so a film does not form. Chill ganache in the refrigerator until it reaches desired consistency, about 30-60 minutes, depending on usage and quantity and size/depth of container.
You may also thicken the Chocolate Ganache at room temperatures but this will take almost twice as long as the refrigerator.
If you would still like a thicker ganache even after it reaches room temperature, then whip the ganache with a hand or electric mixer for a few minutes so it increases in volume and becomes light brown in color. This will create air pockets like in whipped cream, so it will hold its shape.
Does ganache harden?
If you use the 1 to 1 ratio of cream to chocolate like in this Chocolate Ganache recipe, then your ganache will thicken and set up but not completely harden.
If your ganache becomes thicker than you would like or does harden when refrigerated– don’t worry! You can either let the ganache sit in a warm part of your kitchen for about an hour or add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and microwave on low for 10 seconds then whisk and microwave another 10 seconds if required until completely smooth.
Is it safe to leave ganache out overnight?
Yes! Chocolate Ganache is safe at room temperature (not summer temperatures), for up to 2 days. After 2 days, it should be refrigerated.
Can you store leftover ganache?
Absolutely! Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ganache so its touching. This will stop a sugar film from forming. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerate for three weeks.
How long does ganache last?
When stored properly in an airtight container, Chocolate Ganache can last for:
- Room temperature: 2 days
- Refrigerated: 3 weeks
- Freezer: 3 months
Can you make ganache ahead of time?
Yes! Chocolate Ganache can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.
If it has been refrigerated, then let it come to room temperature before using.
If it has thickened more than your liking at room temperatures or in the refrigerator, then microwave ganache at 50% power, stirring every 10 seconds, until it reaches desired consistency. For a creamier ganache, stir in 1-3 teaspoons vegetable oil when reheating.
Can you freeze ganache?
Yes, you can freeze Chocolate Ganache for up to 3 months in an airtight container without noticeable change in quality. I would suggest placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ganache so its touching to prevent sugar crystals.
When ready to use, let ganache thaw overnight in the refrigerator then let sit at room temperature for a few hours before serving. You may microwave the ganache at 50% power, stirring every 15 seconds if you still would like thinner ganache.
What is the difference between ganache and frosting?
Ganache can be a frosting, but most frostings are not a ganache. Even most chocolate frostings are not ganache.
Chocolate Ganache is always melted chocolate, heavy cream and sometimes butter and corn syrup. It can be whipped to create a frosting.
Frosting, on the other hand, is a generic term for whipped sugar, butter and milk/heavy cream that is most commonly used to frost cakes. It can also contain other ingredients such as cream cheese, cocoa powder, etc.
What can ganache be used for?
I use Chocolate Ganache all the time in various desserts (as you can see photos of scattered through this post). It can be used as a glaze, filling for cakes or truffles, or whipped to create a frosting. If the ganache is to be used for anything other than a glaze, sauce or dip, it will need to thicken first (see section above).
Chocolate Sauce: Use almost immediately. Fabulous to drizzle on ice cream, waffles, pancakes or popcorn.
Chocolate Ganache Cake: let ganache cool for 15 minutes. Place your cake on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet for easy cleanup. Pour the ganache evenly over the top of your cake (you may not use all of it). You can re-use the chocolate ganache that drips onto the baking sheet.
Chocolate Ganache Icing: let ganache cool to room temperature for about an hour, stirring often. Whip it with an electric mixer until increased in volume. Use the ganache immediately or it can thicken to the point it is unspreadable. See my Chocolate Raspberry Cake in which I use ganache it in both the icing and the mascarpone filling.
Ganache Frosting: let ganache cool to room temperature for about an hour, stirring often. Beat ganache with 1 stick of softened butter, one tablespoon at a time, until creamy. Gradually beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar until smooth. If the ganache is too stiff, add a tablespoon of cream at a time until it reaches desired consistency.
Chocolate Glaze: prepare ganache as directed and let thicken slightly then pour or spread over cakes or brownies like in my Chocolate Eclair Cake or Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake. I add additional corn syrup in my Chocolate Eclair Cake to keep the glaze pliable even after refrigerating.
Whipped Chocolate Ganache: whipped chocolate ganache can be used for truffles or filling. Let ganache cool to lukewarm, stirring often. You want it thickened but still soft so it doesn’t break or curdle. Beat with an electric mixture until light and fluffy but take care not to over-beat or it will become grainy.
Chocolate Ganache Piping: let ganache cool to room temperature, stirring often. Check the consistency – if it will hold a peak, then it is ready, if not then let it continue to cool and thicken. Place the ganache into a piping bag and pipe into truffles, cupcakes, etc.
Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes: let ganache cool to room temperature, stirring often. Insert a knife at 45 degrees approximately 1/4 inch from the edge of each cupcake, and proceed to cut a cone shape. Remove cone and cut away all but the circular top – or just eat the bottom of the cone. Fill each cupcake with a heaping 1/2 teaspoon Ganache and replace Top. See my German Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling for an example and instructional photos.
Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake: let ganache cool for 15 minutes then either remove springform and allow the ganache to run over the cheesecake edges slightly when you spread it evenly over the cheesecake with a spatula or back of a spoon, or you can keep the springform on and spread the ganache just to the edges like in Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake.
Hot Chocolate: whisk some Chocolate Ganache into hot milk for the most insanely delicious hot chocolate.
Looking for more Chocolate recipes?
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Easy Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
- Chocolate Peanut Clusters
- Chocolate Fondue
- Turlte Brownies
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