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Learn how to make chocolate ganache – this easy recipe is perfect room temperature as glaze, chilled as truffles, or whipped as ganache frosting! It’s an all-purpose basic recipe you must know how to make – and I’m making it easy for you.
What is Chocolate Ganache?
Chocolate ganache is a rich mixture of chocolate and cream that, when melted together, becomes an all purpose dip, frosting, or glaze. There are so many uses for this decadent chocolate recipe!
This is one of those recipes that’s so simple but it can be scary for some people. That’s why I’m simplifying it for you and breaking down the recipe to make it super easy! When you’re done reading this post you’ll know all the ways to make this easy chocolate ganache recipe:
2 Ingredients Needed
- Chocolate: Use a good quality baking chocolate, like Baker’s or Ghirardelli brand. This recipe is written for semi-sweet chocolate, which is approximately 55-65% cacao. You can also use this with dark chocolate, but I wouldn’t go above 80% cacao unless you really like bittersweet chocolate.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: No substitutions for this! You must use heavy whipping cream to achieve the results for this recipe. If you need nondairy or low fat, you’ll need to find a different recipe.
Important Ganache Ratios
This recipe is for a classic dark chocolate ganache (using semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate) has a 1:1 ratio (equal parts chocolate and cream).
It’s recommended that you use baking chocolate over chocolate chips, but if you do use semi-sweet chocolate chips, use a good quality brand (like Guittard or Ghiradelli).
Other types of chocolate (milk chocolate and white chocolate) have different ratios of chocolate to cream; usually less cream for the same amount of chocolate.
How to make Ganache
- Make sure your chocolate is at minimum coarsely chopped, so it melts easier. Place chopped chocolate a heat proof bowl.
- Bring heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat (you can also do this in the microwave). Don’t let it fully boil, but just heat until it’s got a little bubbling around the edges. If you prefer to do it over a double boiler you can, but my way is easier.
- Pour hot cream over chocolate in bowl and let sit 5 minutes.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Once you have your chocolate ganache whisked together, it’ll be nice and thick, the consistency of pudding. Chocolate ganache thickens as it cools and/or is chilled. Now you have to decide what to do with it!
Glaze, Drizzle, and Dip
While the chocolate is warm, it’s perfect for using as a fondue-like dip for fruit or shortbread. It’s also a great texture for drizzling over cakes or pies as decoration. Warm ganache is perfect for a light coating of chocolate glaze – just lightly spread cooled chocolate on cupcakes and let them set. The frosting won’t dry hard unless chilled, but it shouldn’t run off.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Allow the frosting to sit and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, and you’ll be able to pipe the chocolate frosting. This frosting is gorgeous and perfect for a rich chocolate flavor. A little goes a long way – this stuff is rich!!
Whipped Ganache Frosting
Chill the ganache like you’re making truffles, but then whip it to make this delicious frosting.
- I recommend using a stand mixer to whip it so it is more powerful, but if you only have a hand mixer, that’s okay too.
- It will take a few minutes to turn from a thick truffle like texture to a whipped airy chocolate frosting. It will change color from dark brown to a lighter brown when done.
- The frosting is fluffier than a buttercream but not as fluffy as whipped cream frosting. It’s perfect for piping at this stage.
- The photo below shows the different stages of ganache frosting.
Tip From Dorothy
- Use a good quality chocolate (baking chocolate) that is at least 56% cacao (semi-sweet). Percentage varies by brand. I normally use Baker’s or Ghirardelli.
- Can you make ganache with chocolate chips? You can, but I recommend only using that when you want to make a quick glaze or dip. As written, this recipe when used as frosting should be done as is.
- Be sure to use heavy whipping cream (no substitutions). You cannot make this recipe with milk or nondairy milk.
- Store ganache at room temperature for up to 2 days in an airtight container, however if you feel more comfortable you can store in the refrigerator then reheat to thin if needed.
- Freeze chocolate ganache for up to a month, but allow it to come to room temperature before heating. I recommend freeze it in use, that is, frost your cupcakes or glaze your cake, then freeze that instead.
- If you want to add flavor to your ganache, you can add any flavor extracts you like (vanilla extract or almond are great choices for truffles).
As long as you use the equal ratio of cream to chocolate, the ganache will set hard when chilled. At room temperature it will be soft but not runny.
Any chocolate can be used with different amounts of cream. For a basic recipe, you’ll want semi-sweet chocolate (approximately 55-75% cacao).
Yes, but be careful. If your chocolate has become hard in the refrigerator, allow it to come to room temperature first, then heat slowly over low heat or on low power in the microwave in just 15 second increments, stirring often, until it becomes the texture you’d like.
Easy Chocolate Ganache Recipe
- 8 ounces (113g) semi-sweet baking chocolate (see note)
- 1 cup (237ml) heavy whipping cream
- Chop chocolate into small pieces. The smaller the chop, the faster it melts. Place in a medium sized heat safe bowl.
- Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium low heat until it just begins to simmer (don't let it boil).
- Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let sit 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth and all chocolate is melted.
- To use as fondue: Use the warm ganache as a dip.
- To use as a dip, drizzle, or glaze: While warm, frost cupcakes with a thin layer (it's not pipable at this stage). Or use as a dip for fruit or drizzle for cakes and pies.
- For pipe-able chocolate frosting: Let sit at room temperature until the mixture cools to room temperature (it will thicken slightly). Place in a pastry bag and pipe onto cupcakes as desired.
- To use as truffles: Chill ganache until firm. Use a cookie scoop to scoop 1 tablespoon size balls. Roll cold ganache into uniform balls and dip in chocolate or coat as desired.
- To make whipped ganache frosting: Place cold ganache in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until fluffy. Ganache will lighten in color. This will take a few minutes – longer if you're using a hand mixer. At this texture you can pipe the frosting using your desired frosting tip.
- Use a good quality chocolate (baking chocolate) that is at least 56% cacao (semi-sweet). Percentage varies by brand.
- Be sure to use heavy whipping cream (no substitutions).
- Store ganache at room temperature for up to 2 days, however if you feel more comfortable you can store in the refrigerator then reheat to thin if needed.
Last Updated on November 10, 2023