Have you ever been intimidated by the idea of making chocolate ganache? Well, confession time… I have! Back when I first started learning how to bake, chocolate ganache just sounded so fancy and scary at the same time. Looking back, it seems so silly because making chocolate ganache is actually very simple and easy. Seriously, basic chocolate ganache is no more than just warm cream mixed with chocolate!
Chocolate Ganache - Basic Ganache Recipe Tutorial
What is Ganache? Ganache is a mixture of two ingredients, chocolate, and cream, used to cover or fill a cake, such as my easy-to-make chocolate cake recipe.
Chocolate ganache is also one of the best toppings for many desserts and pastries. And depending on the thickness and temperature, you can use it in many different ways... As a filling for your pastries and layer cakes, as a pourable glaze, to cover strawberries, to make truffles, and to top anything you can imagine… You name it, ice cream, pancakes, shortbread, donuts… The options are endless!
What are the Three Types of Ganache?
There are three main types of chocolate ganache - dark, milk, and white chocolate ganache.
- Dark chocolate ganache recipe: is made from semi-sweet or dark chocolate and cream. Dark chocolate contains at least 50-90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar.
- Milk chocolate ganache recipe: is made from milk chocolate and cream. Milk chocolate contains at least 35-55% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk, and sugar.
- White chocolate ganache recipe: is made from white chocolate and cream. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, milk solids, and sugar. It does not contain cocoa solids.
Easy Ganache Ingredients
- ½ cup heavy / thickened cream - Room temperature or straight out of the fridge; it doesn't matter since we're going to heat the cream on the stovetop anyway. I know, right! So convenient!
- 100g / 4 oz chocolate - your favorite dark chocolate.
Dark, semi-sweet, milk, white chocolate, or even flavored chocolate… you can use any chocolate you like or combine several types to create "your" flavor. Note: If you use milk or white chocolate, you must adjust the quantities of chocolate and cream. Check the Chocolate to Cream Ratio Chart below for the ratios.
Chocolate Ganache Easy Instructions
Follow these step-by-step instructions for the best chocolate ganache recipe:
- Finely chop the chocolate and place it into a heat-proof bowl.
- Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it just begins to simmer. (Note: Don't let it boil; gently stir the cream every 30 seconds to prevent scorching.)
- Pour the heated cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute and allow the chocolate to soften.
- Stir the mixture until smooth. I like to use a hand whisk for this task.
- Use the chocolate ganache straight away as a drizzle on a cake, or let it sit to cool entirely and use as a chocolate filling recipe for cakes.
Chocolate to Cream Ratio - Dark Vs. Milk Vs. White
The type of chocolate you choose for your ganache will affect how much cream is required. Follow this chocolate-to-cream ratio chart based on 200grams (7oz) of chocolate:
|Type of Chocolate||Chocolate to Cream Ratio||Chocolate to Cream Weights/Cups|
|Dark Chocolate||1-part chocolate, 1-part cream||200g / 7 oz chocolate, 1 cup cream|
|Milk Chocolate||3-parts chocolate, 1-part cream||200g / 7 oz chocolate, ⅓ cup cream|
|White Chocolate||4-parts chocolate, 1-part cream||200g / 7 oz chocolate, ¼ cup cream|
Ganache Consistencies - Different Uses
Once made, the chocolate ganache will be warm and have a runny texture. As it cools down, it will thicken. If you cool it a little bit, you can use it as a frosting or filling for a cake. If you refrigerate it for a long time, you can roll it into balls and make chocolate truffles!
- Runny texture and still warm - I love warm and runny chocolate ganache poured over vanilla ice cream!
- Runny but not warm - leave the ganache to sit uncovered at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Either dip strawberries into it; use it as a pourable ganache over your cake; or as a glaze and create drips down the side of the cake.
- Room temperature - the ganache will thicken to a soft but thick consistency that you can use for a chocolate ganache filling and frosting or use as a pipeable ganache.
- Cold - refrigerate the ganache for at least 6 hours or overnight. Then scoop out tablespoons and roll them into balls to make chocolate truffles.
Best Types of Cream for Chocolate Ganache
- Heavy cream, whipping cream, thickened cream, and pure cream are all suitable for chocolate ganache.
- If you use a different type of cream than the ones listed above, check that it has at least 30% fat or more. If the fat content is lower than this, the ganache will be too runny.
- If you want to make ganache but full-fat cream isn't available, decrease the amount of cream you add to the chocolate, so it isn't quite as runny.
Best Chocolate for Ganache
- Cooking chocolate – is one of the easiest to cook with as it is stable and melts smoothly. Still, finely chop the chocolate before adding the warmed cream. This will help with a quick, even, and smooth ganache mixture. You can buy cooking chocolate from the baking aisle of your local grocer.
- Block chocolate - buy your favorite chocolate from your local grocer and experiment with the taste of different brands. My favorite is the Lindt 70% cocoa which is not too expensive, and I love the taste. The one concern with buying regular blocks of chocolate compared to compounded cooking chocolate is that it is more likely to split when heating. If this does happen, stir the ganache mixture over a very low heat until it comes back together to emulsify.
- Chocolate chips, chunks, or melts – these small pieces of chocolate are generally made for baking cookies and other baked goods. This means that they hold their shape and do not melt easily. Try zapping the bowl of chocolate chips in the microwave for 10-15 seconds using 50% power to soften them first.
- Dark, semi-sweet, milk, white chocolate - my favorite is semi-sweet and dark chocolate, as they have the right amount of sweetness to bitterness. You can even experiment with flavored chocolate to give your ganache a different taste.
How to Flavor Chocolate Ganache - 8 Variations of Best Chocolate Fillings
Don't you want to step up your ganache game? Make your chocolate ganache unique and special. Here are 8 ideas of how you can flavor your ganache.
- Nutella- Add 2 tablespoons of Nutella to one batch of ganache. I mean, who doesn't love Nutella?
- Coconut - Whisk in ½ teaspoon of coconut essence to one batch of ganache.
- Salted caramel - What can I say? Chocolate + caramel + salt = HEAVEN! To make salted caramel chocolate ganache, stir in 3 tablespoons of homemade or store-bought caramel and 1 teaspoon of flaky salt to 1 batch of ganache.
- Peanut butter - Add 1 tablespoon of my homemade peanut butter recipe to one batch of ganache. Choc + peanut butter is delicious!
- Irish Cream - Stir in 2 tablespoons of Baileys Irish Cream to 1 batch of ganache. This works best with white or dark chocolate ganache.
- Orange Zest - Learn how to zest an orange and add a bit of sunshine and citrusy brightness to your ganache. Add 1 tablespoon of orange zest to 1 batch of chocolate ganache.
- Amaretto - Add 1 tablespoon of this delicious almond liqueur to 1 batch of ganache. Dark chocolate and amaretto are a delicious flavor combination and are one of my favorites!
- Coffee - I especially love to glaze my mocha cake with this chocolate coffee ganache. The coffee flavor is quite strong but not overpowering. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of instant coffee into the cream to make ganache with coffee. Pour the coffee/cream mixture over the finely chopped chocolate and stir to combine. And there it is… luxurious coffee ganache made to impress!
Chocolate Ganache Tips and Troubleshooting
Why is My Ganache Grainy?
Grainy chocolate ganache is generally a result of cream overheating. You see, ganache is basically an emulsion of water and fat. So, if the temperature of your chocolate ganache goes too high, the fat from the chocolate will begin to separate.
How to Prevent Grainy Chocolate Ganache
- Never boil your heavy cream. A gentle simmer is enough.
- Chop your chocolate finely. Yes, even if you're using chocolate chips!
- Don't overheat the mixture. If the mixture is cooled off before the chocolate completely melts, pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds with 50% power.
- Don't overmix the mixture. Once your ganache is smooth and homogenous, stop stirring.
How to Fix Grainy Chocolate Ganache
Reheat your grainy ganache on low heat and continuously stir to emulsify the fat and water content. Alternatively, slowly warm the ganache mixture over a bowl filled with hot water and whisk constantly. These techniques should re-emulsify the mixture.
Does Ganache Harden?
Chocolate ganache will naturally harden and get thicker as it cools. You can either allow the ganache to rest at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours or put it in the refrigerator to speed up the thickening process.
How do you Make Ganache Thinner?
You can use a lower chocolate-to-cream ratio from the beginning to make your ganache thinner. Or, if you have already made your ganache and it is too thick, add more warmed cream.
How do you Make Ganache Thicker?
You can use a higher chocolate-to-cream ratio from the beginning to make your ganache thicker. If you have already made your ganache and it is thinner than you like, chop and add more chocolate to the ganache mixture.
Another way to thicken your ganache is to whip it with an electric mixer, on medium to high speed, for approximately 5 minutes. This mixing will aerate the ganache and cool it down. This process will also thicken the ganache. Please read further below in this article if you'd like to know more about how to whip ganache.
How to Make Colored Ganache
White chocolate ganache can be colored in many shades using special food coloring.
There are two main types of food coloring that you can use to color white chocolate ganache.
- Water-based gels or pastes are concentrated colorings, with no aftertaste, in a gel or paste form. They are commonly used to color buttercreams, ganache, and fondants. Popular brands include AmeriColor (over 50 colors to choose from!). You only need to use a tiny amount, so they are very cost-effective.
- Oil-based colorings are concentrated colorings in an oil base that give a vibrant result. They are often used to color buttercream, swiss meringue, ganache, and fondant. Popular brands include the Australian-made Colour Mill.
You can also mix different shades of coloring to make the perfect color!
Steps and Tips for How to Colour Ganache
Make the white chocolate ganache in this recipe following the step-by-step instructions and video. Once made, you will notice that white chocolate ganache is quite yellow in color rather than white. This means that if you add the coloring agents at this stage, you will be adding them to a yellow base, and you will not likely achieve your desired result. This is especially true if you are trying to create a pale color. This means you must first add a white color to the ganache to whiten it.
For example, if you want to make a pale pink colored ganache, you will need to whiten the chocolate ganache quite a lot. Otherwise, the yellow of the ganache will mix with the pink food coloring, and you will end up with more of an orange shade.
Coloring Instructions - Add a small amount of a white color, such as Chefmaster Bright White Liqua-Gel Food Coloring, to the white chocolate ganache. Once whitened to your desired brightness, you can slowly add in the color. Make sure that you do this a few drops at a time, as the water-based gels and oil-based colorings are very intense colors. If you add too much color, you'll get a much darker shade than you wanted. If this happens, add more whitener again to make the shade paler. Remember, go slow as it is always easy to add more color than to take it away!
Best Ganache Recipe - Substitutes
Chocolate Ganache Whipped Ganache
What is the difference between ganache and whipped ganache? Whipped chocolate ganache recipe makes a decadent whipped ganache filling or frosting that is aerated and fluffier than standard ganache.
- MAKE- make the ganache recipe in this article.
- FRIDGE - put a bowl and the whisk attachment part of your stand or hand-held mixer into the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before you are ready to use it. This will help cool the ganache once you are whipping it.
- WHIP - when ready, put the ganache into the chilled bowl of the mixer with the chilled whisk attachment. Whip the ganache on medium/high; the ganache mixture will increase in volume and lighten in color. This will take approximately 5 minutes. Once ready, spread or pipe on cakes and cupcakes.
Chocolate Ganache Truffles
Homemade truffles make a delicious post-dinner treat or a lovely gift for a friend or family member.
- MAKE the chocolate ganache recipe in this article.
- CHILL the ganache for at least 6 hours or overnight, ideally. Do not freeze the mixture to speed up the process.
- SCOOP a tablespoon measure of the ganache into your hands. Roll the mixture into a ball and place it onto a plate (recipe tip: chill the plate in the fridge for 30 minutes beforehand to stop your rolled ganache balls from getting too soft). Repeat with all of the remaining ganache mixture.
- COATING - Roll chocolate truffles in a range of coatings, such as cocoa, desiccated coconut, crushed nuts, or colored sprinkles.
Chocolate Ganache with Half-and-Half
Can I make ganache with half and half? You can make chocolate ganache with half and half (a blend of equal parts cream and whole milk) instead of heavy whipping cream. And the good news is… you don't have to adjust the method.
Indeed, chocolate ganache made with half-and-half won't be as rich and thick as the one made with only heavy cream. But it will still be delicious, especially if you use high-quality chocolate!
Chocolate Ganache Using Cocoa Powder
You can make cocoa ganache! And it's straightforward! Here's how to make a version of chocolate ganache frosting with cocoa powder:
- Heat ¾ cup of heavy cream over medium heat until it just begins to simmer.
- Pour the heated cream over ½ cup of sifted cocoa powder and ¼ cup of baker's sugar (caster sugar).
- Gently stir to combine… and there you have it! A slightly different but still delicious version of chocolate ganache made with cocoa powder!
TIPS - You can use natural unsweetened or Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Always sift the cocoa powder before pouring in the cream to prevent lumps. You can also add a pinch of salt, a splash of vanilla essence, and coffee to add more oomph!
Vegan Chocolate Ganache
To make a vegan chocolate ganache, swap out the heavy whipping cream with the same amount of coconut cream. The coconut cream will give that creaminess and richness you need from a good ganache. Not to mention the beautiful coconut flavor that works harmoniously with chocolate… Yes, please!
For the chocolate options, you can use any vegan chocolate of your liking. To enhance the coconut cream flavor, you could use coconut milk cooking chocolate. Just play with the chocolate-to-cream ratio to make your vegan ganache as thick or as thin as you like.
Chocolate Ganache FAQs
Chocolate Ganache Storage
Storing chocolate ganache is just as simple as making it! Firstly, place the ganache in a bowl. Then, grab a piece of plastic wrap and press it against the surface of the chocolate ganache to prevent any film from forming.
But the next question is… Where should you store your ganache?
While some people argue that chocolate ganache may stay fresh at room temperature for up to 2 days, I highly recommend you store it in the refrigerator instead. Because… why not? It's safer, and you can extend the shelf life of your chocolate ganache for up to 1 week!
Can I Freeze Ganache?
Yes! Place it in a freezer-safe bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, move it to the refrigerator a day before or let it sit at room temperature until it reaches your desired consistency.
What is the Difference Between Chocolate Ganache and Chocolate Frosting?
Chocolate ganache recipes are made from chocolate and cream; chocolate frosting is usually made with powdered sugar (icing sugar), cocoa powder, milk, and butter. Both options work well for filling or frosting a cake or cupcakes.
How Far in Advance Can I Ganache a Cake?
You can ganache a cake one to two days before you need it. Reminder: store the cake in the fridge if you make it more than one day in advance.
Can I Use Ganache on Cupcakes?
Cupcakes with ganache frosting and ganache-filled cupcakes are delicious!
Bake my chocolate cake recipe and follow the step-by-step instructions to make:
- Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache – make one cake the whole family can enjoy with filling options such as this ganache, or
- Chocolate ganache cupcakes - make 12 individual serves of cupcakes with chocolate ganache filling.
How to Fill Cupcakes With Ganache
Here are three methods to fill your chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache:
- Slice off the top of your cupcake. Scoop out ½ inch from the center of the bottom cupcake piece. Fill the hole in this chocolate cupcake with ganache filling. You'll need about 1 tablespoon of ganache. Replace the top and press down lightly.
- Fill a piping bag with the chocolate ganache cupcake filling. Insert the tip of the piping bag into the top of the cupcake and squeeze the ganache into the cupcake. Then pipe more chocolate ganache icing on top.
- Use an apple corer and remove ½ inch from the center of the cupcake. Either pipe or spoon into the hole the chocolate ganache filling for cupcakes. Either pipe or spread more ganache cupcake frosting on top.
Chocolate Ganache Dessert Ideas
- Chocolate ganache drizzle over my easy-to-make chocolate cake recipe.
- Perfect for a chocolate cake filling recipe or any layer cakes and not-so-traditional tiramisu.
- Chocolate ganache topping for my fudgy chocolate brownies recipe and my brown sugar banana bread recipe.
- Ganache glaze for cupcakes, banana muffins recipe and cheesecakes.
- Filling for pies and hand pies.
- Sandwich together two chocolate chip cookies.
- Ganache topping for pancakes and crepes.
- Chocolate ganache glaze for donuts, eclairs, and croissants.
- Dip for strawberries (or any berries!), kiwi, and banana.
- Make chocolate truffles.
- Chocolate ganache drizzle over ice cream.
Watch How to Make Chocolate Ganache
- ½ cup heavy / thickened cream
- 100 grams dark chocolate 4 oz
- Finely chop the chocolate and place into a heat-proof bowl.
- Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat, on low-medium, until it just begins to simmer (don’t let it boil). Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute while the chocolate softens.
- Stir to combine.
- Enjoy using the ganache straight away as a drizzle on a cake or let it sit to cool completely and use as a filling or frosting for a cake.
- Type of chocolate – adjust the ratio of chocolate to cream if you are using white or milk chocolate. Refer to the ‘Chocolate to Cream Ratio Chart’.
- When heating the cream, do not let it boil. Gentle simmer only.
- If the cream cools down too much, and the chocolate doesn’t fully melt, put the heatproof bowl in the microwave for 10-15 seconds using 50% power.
- Use full-fat creams such as whipping cream, heavy cream, pure cream and thickened cream. Do not use low-fat cream.
- Finely chop the chocolate before adding it to the warmed cream. This will help with the chocolate smoothly melting.
- Split or grainy ganache – slowly reheat the ganache mixture over low heat until the mixture starts to re-emulsify back together and becomes smooth.
- Colouring ganache – don’t forget to whiten the 'yellow' white ganache mixture before adding the food coloring.
- If the ganache consistency is too thin, add more chocolate to the mixture. Note: don’t forget that ganache thickens as it cools.
- If the ganache consistency is too thick, add more warmed cream.
- For whipped ganache put the bowl and the whisk attachment in the fridge for 15 minutes before whipping. This will help keep the ganache cool while whipping.
- Before making the chocolate truffles, put a plate in the fridge for 30 minutes. Place the rolled chocolate truffles on this plate to keep them from softening and losing shape.
Chocolate Ganache - In Conclusion
From the basic ingredients and substitutes to the tips and tricks and other fancy variations, you've just learned all you need to know about the art of making the perfect, classic chocolate ganache!