Chocolate Ganache –
Ganache. I love that word. Say it with me slowly, “Guh-nahsh.” Don’t you just feel fancy? Even though it sounds very “pastry chef,” basic ganache is an easy way to add some sophistication to your desserts. It has just two ingredients, chocolate and heavy cream. If you can make macaroni and cheese from a box, you can make basic ganache. It may even be easier than mac and cheese.
Simple ganache is made from equal parts heavy cream and chocolate. You will get the best results if you weigh your ingredients. If you don’t have a kitchen scale just remember one cup of liquid is eight ounces. The higher quality of chocolate you use, the better your ganache will taste. You can use chocolate chips like I did here or you can chop gourmet chocolate bars into small pieces. Make sure your chocolate is real. Real chocolate will include cocoa butter in the ingredients.
Set your chocolate aside then heat your cream over medium heat. As it warms, you will see a film form. Then bubbles appear. Don’t turn your back on this. Remove the cream from the heat as soon as it boils. Hot cream is impatient. If you wait to take it off the heat it will spew angry bubbles all over your stove. I can tell you from experience, you don’t want to deal with that mess.
As soon as you take the cream off the heat, pour it onto your chocolate. These two don’t generally get along so you need to give them time to warm up to each other. Let the new friends mingle about two minutes so the chocolate starts to melt.
Gently stir the melty mixture until it becomes smooth. Your kitchen will smell divine as that hot cream releases the chocolate scent. If you want to make yours extra shiny, add a teaspoon of corn syrup here.
Now the most difficult part of the recipe…we wait.
Oh I know it’s giving you that come hither look but you must resist. Hum to yourself, “Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be-eee.” Listen to the song to distract yourself, do your nails, do anything but dive into that pool of sweet goodness.
Chocolate and cream must relax at room temperature to form a nice bond. If you stir too much or put it in the refrigerator too soon the temperature will drop quickly and your ganache could turn grainy.
The cooling time depends on what you plan to do with this versatile creation.
If you wait about an hour you can pour your ganache onto cakes. It gives a beautiful reflective sheen.
If you let your ganache cool for several hours you can form truffles. You can also whip ganache to make the most decadent frosting. We’ll get into all of that over the next few months.
You can take your chocolate to another level with flavor extracts, liquors, and spices. You can play with the ratio of chocolate to cream to change the texture. However, if you’re new to ganache I encourage you to start simple with just the cream and semi-sweet chocolate. While the basic recipe is easy, this is one of those diva recipes that gets finicky if you make too many changes.
Baking 911 has some great information on the more advanced intricacies of and making and storing ganache.
Once you have this down, we’re going to move onto more advanced ganache flavor fun.
Until then enjoy practicing this simply impressive recipe.
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 4 ounces Semi Sweet Chocolate
- Heat heavy cream over medium heat until is just starts to boil.
- Immediately remove cream from heat.
- Pour cream onto chocolate and let sit two minutes.
- Gently stir mixture until all of the chocolate is melted.
- Let cool.
- To use ganache as a glaze pour it on desserts while it is still warm.
- To use ganache in truffles let it cool completely.
- To turn ganache into fluffy frosting let it cool completely then whip with a mixer until soft peaks form.