It is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Let’s watch how I made it.
I hope you like this short video, now let’s discuss more about this decadent chocolate ganache. Read on.
What is Chocolate Ganache?
It’s a sinfully delicious mouth-watering versatile chocolate frosting. My ultimate favorite frosting among all frosting. If I have to choose only one frosting that I can keep among the many others that I have in my website, this is the one. Don’t get me wrong, all the others as good as well, the likes of Buttercream Frosting or the Basic Whipped Cream Frosting or the Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting, but they are nothing like Chocolate Ganache . Chocolate Ganache is like heavenly treat for a chocolate lover like me, and maybe you too if you are as crazy as me when it comes to chocolate and anything chocolate. This frosting is just so especial to me for so many reasons, here’s why.
Why Chocolate Ganache is the BESTever Frosting?
Everything! Again, just talking about someone who loves chocolate. But seriously, I have few valid and convincing reasons why I love this frosting and I think a lot of people are in the same boat as me. I’m not trying to convert you to join me in my Chocolate Ganache movement, but you are very welcome to go crazy with this frosting and join the movement. Let me count the reasons.
To die for! – maybe an exaggeration but, did I already say this is the most decadent and sinfully delicious chocolate frosting? I guess I am going to go around saying this like a broken tape recorder just because it’s the truth. I cannot find anything else better to describe this but decadent and sinfully delicious, and I said I again, I warned you though. Why wouldn’t it be? The frosting is basically pure chocolate plus whipping cream (or milk if I am using the substitute), no wonder it is so over the top decadent.
It cannot get easier than this – And it’s true, and I know that most of you will agree with me. It cannot get any more easier than this, a frosting recipe that only have 2 ingredients and 4 steps is what I call easy, even a kid can do it. All you need is a good quality chocolate and a whipping cream. Microwave them together (or pour a hot cream) then gradually stir until smooth. That’s it! Easy enough? Even the alternative way “Stove-Top” or “Baine Marie” is also easy breezy.
Less is more – you don’t need a whole bunch of ingredients to be able to make this frosting. It’s down to the most simple version, just good quality chocolate and cream or milk are all you need. You may even have this in your kitchen, so no need to rush out when you need to make it. Even if you need to go out and buy it, that’s just stopping 2 grocery sections, baking (I love this aisle) and milk section.
A versatile frosting that can be used in multiple ways
You can use it to flood cakes and cupcakes, cover top of brownies, for dipping cookies, for making and coating truffles, for filling cake, cupcake center and tart, for sauce to ice cream and sundae, for sauce to pancakes and crepes and MORE! For me, this is the frosting that fits all.
From liquid to solid …
There’s no magic involve for its changing state. It’s just the nature of chocolate ganache to harden the longer that it rest. It will start from a runny, smooth and silky texture which is the perfect consistency for flooding cupcakes and cakes, and dipping cookies. After 1-2 hours, it will start to get thicker more like a spread consistency that is perfect for filling cupcakes or spreading on top of brownies. Then if it sits even longer, say 3-4 hours, it will become even harder with a consistency that is good for crumb coating (covering cake with initial layer of rustic look frosting layer) cakes like fondant cake. The consistency that you aim depends on how you intend to use it, have that in mind before you make it. Although it it gets harder, you can just pop microwave it for few seconds until it is restored to the consistency that you like.
Substitution: Milk instead of Cream
If you like to cut back in using cream, you can use milk as substitute for the cream. The process is the same as to when you are using cream. A have a separate video for this, check out my Chocolate Ganache Without Heavy Cream, but the milk measurement is different. Basically, you will use less milk than cream if you do the substitution, because it is less creamy and more liquidy. Don’t use the same measurement of cream as you will end up with a too runny ganache. Play around with it, the safest way to go is to start with the minimum suggested liquid measurement and then add 1 tbsp at a time until you get the consistency that you like the will best fit the use of your ganache. Also important thing to remember is that substituting cream with milk limits the use of the ganache. For instance, it is not recommended to use it when making whipped ganache frosting. Ganache using milk is suitable for dipping, pouring, dripping and not for whipping and piping because it does not whipped up and will not be as fluffy as when using cream.
Chocolate to Cream Ratio
The ratio of these 2 ingredients depends on how you intend to use the ganache. You can always play around with it adjusting it as needed. If it turns too runny, just add more chocolate and if it turns too hard add 1 tbsp cream at a time. Among the 3, I find the 1:1 Ratio more flexible so I always go for this one, for me it’s just the matter of timing on when to use it.
1:1 Ratio – 1 part chocolate to 1 part cream, like this recipe 1/2 cup chocolate to 1/2 cup cream. Suitable for dipping cookies, covering cakes and cupcakes, filling tarts, or as hot fudge sauce.
2:1 Ratio – 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream. For this recipe, 1/2 cup chocolate to 1/4 cup cream. Suitable for truffles or for crumb coating cakes, tart filling (if you prefer thicker chocolate) as it has a more harder texture. I find this texture solidifies quickly as the 1:1 ratio, and is too thick and more solid when use to decorate cakes.
1:2 Ratio – 1 part chocolate and 2 parts cream. For this recipe, its 1/2 cup chocolate to 1 cup cream. Suitable for making whipped ganache as the higher portion of cream will make the ganache whip easily and will result to a lighter whipped ganache frosting, like a chocolate whipped cream or chocolate mousse.
Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate or White Chocolate, the choice is yours
Remember that different type of chocolate requires a different amount of cream. Milk chocolate requires less cream than dark chocolate because it have a higher milk content, and white chocolate requires the least cream among the three. Dark chocolate is the easiest to handle among the three and white chocolate is always the tricky one because it could get runny and it doesn’t solidifies as easily as the other two. My general rule is to add or subtract 2 tbsp of cream when I switch from one chocolate type to another. For this recipe, I used 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cream for dark chocolate and for semi-sweet chocolate used 1/2 cup cream. If I am making white chocolate, I’ll go for 1/4 cup and have 2 tbsp on the side as needed only. White chocolate needs careful handling, so adding cream in smaller amount is the way I do it. A lot of times different chocolate brand requires a little bit of adjustment when it comes to how much cream you need.
Factors affecting state of ganache
Aside from ratio between chocolate and cream, humidity and working area temperature greatly affects how fast the ganache solidify, adjust recommended time as needed. The warmer the place, the longer time it will take to solidify. If you are in a hurry, and you want to use it for piping and decorating, pop it in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes then check the consistency. Do not leave for too long as it hardens easily. If that happens, just microwave it again to soften it.
Working with Ganache
If the ganache starts to harden while you are using it, just pop it in the microwave for few seconds (15 seconds, depending on how much ganache you have) to revive the runny consistency.
Can be left 2 days at room temperature (covered) after than it is best to refrigerate. Can be kept frozen for 1 month, when ready to use thaw in refrigerator overnight then take out and leave in room temperature before using. You can also microwave it for few seconds to restore the runny consistency if that is whats needed in your recipe.
Spice it Up or Flavor It
Although already chocolate in flavor, ganache can still be infused with other flavors. You can add liquor, espresso flavor, peanut butter, mint, citrus zest etc. Be careful if you are adding a liquid flavoring as it can thin out the consistency. Add gradually, for this recipe I would say 2 tsp. If using peanut butter, about 1 tbsp then adjust as needed.
- If using block chocolate: 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp /114g/4 oz good quality milk Dark/Chocolate (chopped/ shredded chocolate chunks). I used Bakers or Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses
- If using Chocolate Chips: 1/2 cup/114g/4.0 oz good quality milk Dark/Chocolate. I used Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp /about 148g/148 ml whipping cream (35% milk fat)
- If using block chocolate: 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp /114g/4 oz good quality milk Chocolate (chopped/ shredded chocolate chunks). I used Bakers Chocolate
- If using Chocolate Chips: 1/2 cup/114g/4.0 oz good quality milk Chocolate. I used Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses
- 1/2 cup/114g/125 ml whipping cream (35% milk fat)
- If using block chocolate: Chop chocolate into small pieces then transfer into a mixing bowl. If you are using chocolate chips, it is good to go as is, no need to chop it. I highly recommend using baking chocolate bar as it produces a smoother ganache
- Put the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and pour the cream. If you want to infuse it with flavor (like mint, coffee etc.), this is the step to add it.
- Microwave 30 seconds interval until you get all the chocolates melted. Do NOT microwave in a straight long period of time. Chocolates are sensitive to heat specially milk and white chocolate and it could get burnt and dry easily. Also, it needs to be in a shorter interval so that you can monitor the consistency. Remember, the larger the batch you make the longer you may need to return it back and forth in the microwave. For this small batch, I microwave it twice, first 30 seconds and second 20 seconds.
- Stir slowly after every 30 seconds until the chocolates are fully melted and incorporated with the cream. Do not stir vigorously as you do not want any air bubble in your ganache, especially if you are using it for dripping. Start from the inner center and gradually stir in circular motion. It may take few seconds but it will come together into smooth and creamy texture. You can add more cream (1 tbsp at a time) for a thinner consistency, but I wouldn’t add more than 2 tbsp as it will become too runny.
How to use it
There are variety of ways that you can use it, here are just few of them:
- For dipping cookies and flooding cakes (Ratio 1:1) Ready to use once done, it is still a little bit runny but I find it a better consistency for dipping. If you like it thicker, cover and leave for 3-5 minutes before using.
- For covering cupcakes (Ratio 1:1): Cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the top of the chocolate. This will avoid “film” or “crust” to form on top. Cover and leave for 15-20 minutes at room temperature, don’t refrigerate it. The consistency will be slightly thicker and nice for coating top of cupcakes. If you want a thinner consistency, use it as soon as you finish making it.
- For Filling cupcakes (Ratio 1:1 or 1:2): Cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the top of the chocolate. This will avoid “film” or “crust” to form on top. Leave at room temperature at least 30-45 minutes. The consistency will be thicker.
- For decorating cupcakes, cakes(does not require whipping)(Ratio 1:1) Cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the top of the chocolate. This will avoid “film” or “crust” to form on top. Leave at room temperature 45-60 minutes. The consistency will be thicker and pipeable. Manually stir until texture becomes soft and smooth, about 30 seconds, no need to whip just use as is. You can test it by scooping spoonful of frosting then turn the spoon upside down. If the frosting do not slide down and it holds the shape, its ready for piping like in my video. Pour in a piping bag with desired decorating tip and decorate.
- For decorating cupcakes, cakes with lighter texture (requires whipping) (Ratio 1:1 or 2:1): Cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the top of the chocolate. This will avoid “film” or “crust” to form on top. Leave at room temperature about 60 minutes. The consistency will be thicker and pipeable. You can test it by scooping spoonful of frosting then turn the spoon upside down. If the frosting do not slide down and it holds the shape, its ready for piping like in my video. Using a mixer, whip the frosting for about 2-3 minutes until it turns lighter in color. The consistency will be lighter and fluffier, like a Chocolate Buttercream Whipped Frosting. This can be use to cover squares and bars like brownies.
- For Sundae and Ice Cream as Hot Fudge (Ratio 1:1): Cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the top of the chocolate. This will avoid “film” or “crust” to form on top. Cover and leave for 15-20 minutes at room temperature, don’t refrigerate it. For a thinner consistency, use it as soon as you are done making it.
- Tart Filling (Ratio 1:1 or 1:2): Use as soon as you finish making it. It spread easily on tart when it is still warm. Chill the tart at least 1 hour before serving.
- Spreading to coat cakes (Ratio 1:2): Cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the top of the chocolate. This will avoid “film” or “crust” to form on top. Leave in room temperature for about 45-60 minutes to allow it to harden. Do not chill in the refrigerator as it could get hard fast. Spread on top and side of the cake.
- Truffles(Ratio 1:2): Change the ratio to change the whipping cream measurement to 1/4 cup (semi-sweet) and 3 tbsp for (dark chocolate). Cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the top of the chocolate. This will avoid “film” or “crust” to form on top. Leave in room temperature for about 60 – 75 minutes to allow it to harden. To test it, scoop a spoonful of ganache and if you can roll it into your palm to for a ball without the chocolate sticking to your palm, then it’s good to go. If not, let it sit few minutes longer and check again. Once roll into a ball, roll it in toasted nuts or cocoa powder and chill until ready to serve.
There are other methods to make this if you are not comfortable using a microwave. You can either do a “Water Bath (Baine-Marie)” or the “Stove Top” Method. I have a detailed discussion of these two with photos in my Chocolate Ganache Without Heavy Creampost. Check it out.
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