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How to Make Chocolate Ganache

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Chocolate ganache is a rich, decadent, and absolutely sinful baking staple. Here is the best part: ganache is easy to make, but we can keep that between us. This easy recipe is perfect for cake fillings, cake toppings, creams, truffles, and many more.

Whisk in the ganache when it is complete

Chocolate ganache is a popular baking staple. You can find it in all kinds of bakes, from tarts, macarons, and cake layer fillings, thanks to its versatility. Bakers also love ganache because it is such an easy recipe; it is equal parts cream and chocolate.

I think of ganache as the baking best-supporting actor due to its many uses, which include doughnut filling, cake filling, macaron filling, drip cakes, and pouring over a cake for a dramatic look.

Ganache can be made with different chocolates. My personal favorite is dark chocolate ganache. In this blog post, I have included variations for dark, milk, white chocolate, and vegan modification.

Ingredients

Heavy whipping cream – 1 cup

Chocolate -8 ounces – Ghridelli is my go-to chocolate. I use both dark and milk chocolate chips. White chocolate requires a slight modification. (See below and in the recipe card for directions.)

Butter – 4 tablespoons – I always recommend using European unsalted butter. European butter has a higher fat content, resulting in a richer butter. Also, use unsalted to control the amount of salt in the recipe.

Sea Salt – Pinch – Sea salt is amazing in ganache. It gives pops of flavor similar to sea salt caramel.

Spices – Traditional ganache is made without spices. Using spices will depend on what you are making. My go-to’s are vanilla and cinnamon.

White, milk and dark chocolate chips laid out in three lines.
White, Milk, and Dark Chocolate Chips

How to Make This Recipe

Whipping Cream

Warm one cup of heavy whipping cream. I recommend heating in a double boiler to control the temperature. Start by filling the bottom pot with 1 – 2 inches of water. Heat the water to a simmering state. The water in the bottom pot should not touch the top of the boiler.

Place the top pan of the double boiler on top of the bottom pot. Add the heavy whipping cream and allow the temperature to rise.

Chocolate melts at 100 degrees. So the cream should be warm to the touch but not too hot. Warm is the keyword here. If the cream is too hot, you run the risk of the chocolate splitting or burning.

Add Chocolate

Break 8 ounces of chocolate into small pieces and add to the warm whipping cream. Whisk continuously until the chocolate is smooth and entirely incorporated into the heavy cream.

Add Butter

Cut four tablespoons of butter into one-tablespoon sections. Then, add one tablespoon of butter at a time. Whisk each tablespoon until entirely incorporated into the chocolate. Repeat until all four tablespoons have been combined into the chocolate.

Spices

Add one tablespoon of vanilla, one teaspoon of cinnamon (optional), and a pinch of salt. Whisk.

Note- Adding spices is nontraditional. Most of the time, I do not add any additional flavor. I like to tweak the gauche flavor slightly to enhance the flavor of my overall bake.

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Video Instructions

How to Use

Here are a few common uses:

  • Cake fillings
  • Frosting
  • Pastry and tart filling
  • Decoration
  • Macaron filling
  • Fondue
  • Mirror glaze
  • Cake topping
6 Mexican Chocolate Tarts topped with whipped cream. One in front and five behind in a v.
Mexican Chocolate Tarts

Substitutions and Variations

Canned Coconut Milk – dairy-free and vegan alternative – Use 8 ounces of full-fat canned coconut milk. Pour the coconut milk into a heavy pot. Warm over low heat and whisk. This substitutes for cream.

White Chocolate – White chocolate is made with cream and cocoa butter. The result is a creamier chip than milk or dark chocolate. To use white chocolate, reduce the cream to 2/3rds cup instead of one cup. This will allow the ganache to be set correctly.

Pro-Tips

Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream – is the only type of cream that will be set up properly. Half-and-half, whole milk, or any other type of milk will leave you with chocolate milk.

Chocolate matters – Chocolate quality is the absolute key to a great ganache. Look for chocolate between 60 and 82% cacao. My favorite is Ghiradelli dark chocolate. Milk chocolate is also wonderful. See the above or the recipe notes about using white chocolate.

Hand holding a strawberry that has been dipped in sauce.

Troubleshooting

The chocolate seized on me – Warm the ganache over hot water and whisk vigorously. If the ganache is still not coming together, add in a tablespoon of room-temperature milk of liqueur. Do not add additional cream to restore your ganache. I will not work.

My ganache is runny – This happens for one of two reasons –

1. A liquid other than heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk was used in the recipe. Solution: There is none, sorry. Ganache has to be made with a high-fat liquid to absorb the chocolate.

2. The chocolate-to-cream ratio is off. Whisk in more chocolate until you reach the desired consistency.

Storing

Counter – Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to two days. While this is possible, I prefer to store ganache in the refrigerator.

Refrigerator – Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

Freezer – Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one month. I recommend thawing the ganache overnight in the refrigerator before using it.

Reheating – Ganache is temperature-sensitive and is easily ruined by heat. Place it in the microwave and heat at 50% power in 10 – 15 second bursts to correctly reheat it.

A whisk laying on the side of the bowl with the chocolate fully incorporated.

FAQ

What Exactly is Ganache?

Ganache is a blend of equal parts of chocolate and cream. I add butter to my ganache to add a shine to the chocolate. Ganache is a versatile baking staple used in many different ways.

Does Ganache Set Up Hard?

Not really. The ganache will firm and expand as it cools, but it never creates a hard type of shell.

Why Isn’t My Chocolate Melting?

This happens when the chocolate pieces are too large. Chop any remaining pieces into smaller pieces. Then warm the cream over a double boiler until the cream is just simmering. Chocolate melts at a low temperature and should begin to melt. During this time, continue to whisk.

Note: Do not microwave; it will ruin the ganache, and you must start over.

Strawberry after being dipped.

How to Make Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate ganache is a rich, decadent, and absolutely sinful baking staple. Here is the best part, ganache is easy to make, but we can keep that between us. This recipe is perfect for cake fillings, cake toppings, creams, truffles, and many more.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Brittish, French
Keyword: Chocolate, Filling, Topping
Servings: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Equipment

  • Double boiler
  • Whisk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream (238g)
  • 8 ounces chocolate (227g) broken into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (56g) cut into 1 tablespoon pats

Optional

  • 1 pinch sea salt (1g)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (2g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (4g)

Instructions

  • Cream: Using a double boiler, warm one cup of heavy cream or heavy whipping cream in the top pan.
    1 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream (238g)
  • Chocolate: Add the chocolate. Whisk continuously until the chocolate is smooth and entirely incorporated into the heavy cream.
    8 ounces chocolate (227g)
  • Butter: Add one tablespoon of butter and whisk until fully incorporated into the chocolate. Repeat until all four tablespoons have been combined into the chocolate.
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter (56g)
  • Spices: Add one tablespoon of vanilla, one teaspoon of cinnamon (optional), and a pinch of salt. Whisk.
    Note: Any type of spice or addition is non-traditional.
    1 pinch sea salt (1g), 1 teaspoon cinnamon (2g), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (4g)

Video

Notes

Dairy-free alternative: Canned Coconut Milk – Use 8 ounces of full-fat canned coconut milk. Pour the coconut milk into a heavy pot. Warm over low heat. This will substitute for the cream.  
White chocolate alternative  – White chocolate is made with cream and cocoa butter. The result is a creamier chip than milk or dark chocolate. To use white chocolate, reduce the cream to 2/3rds cup instead of one cup. This will allow the ganache to be set correctly.
Counter – Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to two days. While this is possible, I prefer to store ganache in the refrigerator.
Refrigerator – Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.
Freezer – Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one month. I recommend thawing ganache overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Reheating – Ganache is very temperature sensitive and is easily ruined by heat. Place it in the microwave and heat at 50% power in 10 – 15 second bursts to correctly reheat it.
See blog post for troubleshooting and FAQs.
  • The equipment section may contain affiliate links to products used in this recipe.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1194 Calories from Fat 954
% Daily Value*
Fat 106g163%
Saturated Fat 65g406%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 31g
Cholesterol 223mg74%
Sodium 86mg4%
Potassium 432mg12%
Carbohydrates 73g24%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 59g66%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 2452IU49%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 122mg12%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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