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!

pouring chocolate ganache over ice cream like chocolate sauce

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?

side view of a cake covered with chocolate ganache glaze

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.

 

showing how to make chocolate ganache by stirring it with a wooden spoon once melted

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.

best chocolate ganache in a bowl as a dip for cinnamon chips

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. 

chocolate ganache glaze drizzling down a cake

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.

side view of a chocolate ganache cupcake sliced open showing chocolate ganache center

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.  

chocolate ganache frosting over a chocolate raspberry cake

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 ⅓ cups NOT one cup.

up close of chopped chocolate for chocolate ganache in microwave

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.

showing how to make chocolate ganache by adding chopped chocolate to heavy cream in a glass bowl to melt

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.

whisking ganache in a glass bowl for Dark Chocolate Cake

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.

a wooden spoon full of chocolate ganache

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.

 dipping a cinnamon crisp into homemade chocolate ganache

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.

chocolate ganache cheesecake with a row of raspberries on top

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.

 dipping a churro into chocolate ganache

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

pouring chocolate ganache over waffles like chocolate syrup

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.

pouring easy chocolate ganache over donuts

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.

up close of chocolate ganache glaze over a donut

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.

top view of a cake covered with chocolate ganache glaze

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 Dip: Use almost immediately.  Dunkable delicious for churros, cinnamon crisps, donuts, or pretzels.

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. 

showing how to glaze a cake with chocolate ganache by pouring it over the cake

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. 

showing how to make chocolate ganache glaze by spreading it over a cake

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 ¼ 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 ½ teaspoon Ganache and replace Top.  See my German Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling for an example and instructional photos.

up close of chocolate ganche cupcake with creamy ganache center

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.

top view of a forking taking a bite of a cake with chocolate ganache glaze

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

pouring chocolate ganache over ice cream like chocolate sauce

Chocolate Ganache

Easy Chocolate Ganache made in 5 minutes with just 4 ingredients.  Its ideal for glazes, frostings, fillings and 1000X better than store bought chocolate sauce.  Use this simple Chocolate Ganache to elevate ice cream, brownies, cakes, truffles or anything it touches!  
Servings: 1.5 cups
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup optional*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract optional

Instructions

  • 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 OR add heavy cream, butter and corn syrup to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes or just until simmering and butter is melted.
  • Add chocolate and give it swirl so the chocolate is covered. Let stand 3 minutes.
  • After 3 minutes, vigorously whisk in circular motions until chocolate is melted and completely smooth. Whisk in vanilla if using.
  • Let ganache cool for 10 minutes before using as a dip or sauce or allow to cool to room temperature for frosting, filling, etc., stirring often. Reheat at 50 % power in the microwave with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil if ganache thickens too much as you work or becomes grainy.

Notes

*Do I Have to Use 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
Corn syrup 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 to Store Ganache

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.  Let refrigerated ganache come to room temperature before using by placing on the counter for 1-2 hours.  You can also microwave it at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds.  

How to freeze ganache:

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.  Stir in 1-3 teaspoons vegetable oil for a smoother ganache. 

What can ganache be used for?

  • Chocolate Sauce:  Use almost immediately.  Fabulous to drizzle on ice cream, waffles, pancakes or popcorn.
  • Chocolate Dip: Use almost immediately..  Dunkable delicious for churros, cinnamon crisps, donuts, or pretzels.
  • 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 ¼ 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 ½ 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.

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12 Comments

  1. Leslie says

    Jen, your photos are so gorgeous I want to lick the screen! Thanks you for always going above and beyond. I thoroughly enjoy reading all your posts and learn something new every time. I can’t wait to make this chocolate ganache!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment Leslie! I’m honored you are enjoying my posts. Hopefully you can make this ganache soon – it tastes even better than your screen 🙂

  2. Naomi says

    Jen, you have saved the day for me! I am making a chocolate bundt cake for valentines day and wanted to top it with a thicker ganache. I wasn’t sure of the ratio of ingredients to achieve the results, but you have done all the work for me and now I won’t have to experiment! That’s why I love your recipes. You explain things as you go! Thanks for all that you do. You are the best!

    • Jen says

      Oh good, I’m so glad this was perfect timing! Thanks so much Naomi, happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. Mama V says

    Jen,
    Do you have a recipe for the gorgeous chocolate cake/tort with raspberry and chocolate frosting?

  4. Nancy Robinson says

    Fabulous, fabulous and thorough article…a master class in ganache. Thank you SO much!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Nancy! I hope you can make it soon!

  5. Elle says

    This is the best (and easiest) ganache recipe! I have made several different ganaches for frosting cakes through the years, but they never turned out as good as this one. I will always use this for a chocolate sauce from now on. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Elle, thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m so pleased this is the easiest and best Chocolate Ganache recipe you’ve found – thank you!

  6. Sylvie says

    This looks easy enough but instead of chocolate squares, could I use chocolate chips, semi-sweet and dark, mixed, thank you

    • Jen says

      Hi Sylvie, you can use any mix of chocolate chips but they will need to be quality chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa butter such as Ghirardelli or Guittard. Many other chocolate brands contain less cocoa butter and will not melt as seamlessly and can leave you with stubborn chocolate pieces.