I promised to share a recipe for ganache a while ago, and am sorry I’m just taking care of that now.
Ganache is truly one of the easiest things to make. The ingredients are simple: heavy cream and chocolate. The technique is easy as well: heat cream to beginning of a boil, pour over chocolate, gently stir. The applications are many: in liquid form, ganache can be used to glaze a cake or cupcakes or as a poured frosting over brownies; in whipped form, ganache can be used as a filling or frosting for cakes or cupcakes. Never ever forget the ultimate – heated and used as hot fudge over ice cream.
Small pot for heating cream
Rubber spatula or whisk
Tablespoon & teaspoons
9 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
Optional flavor additions: 1 Tbs of alcohol or coffee
- Measure 1 cup of cream and pour into small pot. Place cream over medium heat
- Weigh 9oz of semi-sweet chocolate and place in heat-proof bowl; set aside
- When cream begins to bubble/simmer around the edges of the pot, remove from heat and pour cream over chocolate
- Let cream sit for 1 minute
- If adding an optional flavoring to your ganache, pour it into the bowl now
- Using a rubber spatula or whisk, slowly stir chocolate mixture and continue stirring until all chocolate is melted. If some pieces of chocolate remain, wash the pot you used to heat the cream, add 2 inches of water, bring water to a boil over high heat, turn off the heat and place the bowl of ganache over the boiling water. This is a double boiler, and the heat from the steam will warm up the bowl of ganache and will melt the pieces of chocolate that did not melt the first time.
Things to note:
- Cream over heat can boil over very easily. Things to keep an eye out for are a ‘layer of skin’ forming on the top of the cream as it heats, bubbles on the edge of the pot that suddenly move toward the center of the pot. When you see these things, they are signs that your cream is ready to come off the heat. You do not need to stir the cream as it heats. However, you do need to keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t boil, and then boil over the top of the pot.
- Semi-sweet chocolate vs bittersweet chocolate – I like to use semi-sweet chocolate when making ganache, because it produces a finished product that pours nicely over cakes. If you prefer the taste of bittersweet chocolate, you may need to add 2-3 Tbs of cream to the ganache recipe to reach the same ‘pourability’.
- Optional flavors are just that…optional. There are so many ways of adding layers of flavor to your finished product. Adding a Tbs of rum or espresso to your ganache is great, and subtle. I personally never add flavors to ganache because I never find that the additional flavor makes that much of a difference to the end product.
- Pouring ganache over a cake: Please do not pour hot ganache over a cake…it never works out well. If you plan on using ganache to glaze a cake, make sure your cake is fulling crumb coated or frosted, and is well chilled. Let the ganache cool down so that the outside of the bowl is warm, not hot. You can place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the ganache to keep a skin from forming. Before pouring the warm ganache over a cake, gently stir with a rubber spatula.
- Rubber spatula vs whisk: Using a whisk is good when making ganache, but it produces a lot of bubbles. We make ganache in large quantities at the bakery, and we often use a whisk to mix the heated cream with the chocolate. However, this almost always produces a lot of air bubbles in the ganache. If you find that your ganache has a lot of air bubbles in it, you have mixed it with too much elbow grease. You can gently tap the bowl of ganache on the table to encourage any air bubbles to rise to the surface. If you’re making a small batch of ganache at home, a rubber spatula will get the job done and will produce fewer air bubbles. Just remember to be gentle when stirring, whatever tool you opt to use.
- Storage: Ganache can be held at room temperature for 4-5 hours, or stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- Heating cold ganache: If you have made ganache ahead of time and need to heat it to glaze a cake, you can either place the ganache over a double boiler and gently heat until it is melted, or you can place it in a microwave-proof container and heat slowly. If you use the microwave, run the microwave at 50% power in 30 second intervals, making sure to inspect and/or stir the ganache in between each interval.
Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section.