This easy chocolate ganache recipe is perfect a perfect cake frosting or filling, or use slightly melted as a delicious glaze! You can also whip the cooled chocolate for a delicious whipped ganache frosting.
Ganache is such a basic recipe and it is very versatile. It thickens as it cools so depending on the temperature you can use it different ways. It can be used as a glaze, chocolate drip for cakes, chocolate dip for fruit or cookies, a tart or cake filling, or whipped for lighter frosting like texture.
- Chocolate: High quality chocolate bars work best. See troubleshooting and notes for using chocolate chips.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Use heavy whipping cream or regular whipping cream for this recipe. Half and half or milk not work. For a dairy free alternative, use canned coconut milk.
- 1 part chocolate to 1 part cream: This is the ratio of basic ganache using semi-sweet or dark chocolate. It’s perfect for glazes or fillings and can be piped when cooled or whipped for a light and airy frosting alternative.
- 1 part chocolate to 2 parts cream: This is for a thinner chocolate that will stay liquid and creamy for dips like chocolate fondue or topping ice cream.
- 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream: This ratio is used mainly for truffles or a thicker chocolate filling.
- 2 or 3 parts chocolate to 1 part cream: This is used for white chocolate ganache.
HOW TO MAKE
- Chop your chocolate very finely.
- Add to a heat safe bowl.
- Heat the whipping cream in a microwave or on the stove until just boiling. Watch closely, as it goes from simmering to rolling boil really fast and the cream can overheat and overflow in your pan or bowl. Once it’s simmering, pour over the chocolate and let sit for 60 – 90 seconds.
- After a minute, gently start stirring the chocolate using a whisk or fork.
- At first it will look like chocolate speckled cream but eventually it comes together into a silky smooth chocolate ganache.
- Use warm for glazes, or let cool at room temperature or in the fridge for a thicker chocolate.
Whipped ganache is so easy to make. Take your cooled chocolate and using a hand held or standing mixer, whip for using 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
It’s really easy to get different flavors for your ganache. After the chocolate and cream is mixed but still warm, mix in your flavors.
Common flavors include extracts such as vanilla, mint, orange, and coconut. You can also add a teaspoon of espresso powder, a pinch of salt, or a tablespoon or two of liquors such as Whiskey, Baileys, or Grand Marnier.
Sometimes if you overheat your chocolate or cream, or the ratio or chocolate to cream is off, the ganache can break or get grainy and oily. It is also called split or seized ganache. Don’t worry though! You can fix it. There are a few different methods:
- Add more warm cream, typically a tablespoon at a time until it comes back together.
- Add a tablespoon or two of water, skim milk, or corn syrup.
- Add more melted chocolate, a tiny bit at a time, until it comes together.
These all can work since ultimately we’re trying to get back to a fat to liquid ratio that emulsifies the chocolate.
If there are unmelted pieces of chocolate you can remelt in on a double broiler or in the microwave for a few seconds at a time and re-stir. You can also use an immersion blender to smooth it out and/or strain out any unmelted pieces using a sieve.
Using Chocolate Chips
Some people have issues with using bagged chocolate chips since they tend to have more ingredients than regular baking chocolate, so they stay in chocolate chip form when baking. I personally have not had this problem with most chocolate chip brands, but if you’re using chocolate chips and your ganache isn’t working try using high quality chocolate chips such as Ghirardelli or chopped up chocolate bars instead.
Ways to use Ganache
Warm ganache is perfect for:
- Drip cakes
- Filling tarts (then it cools for a thick, fudgey like filling)
- Chocolate dip or fondue
- Topping for ice cream, cream puffs, and other desserts
Once the ganache is room temperature, it turns into a thicker pipeable chocolate. This chocolate is great for:
- Pipeable frosting for cakes and cupcakes
Whipped ganache has a light and airy texture making it perfect frosting for cakes and cupcakes. It’s a great alternative to classic chocolate buttercream and reminiscent of a fancy frosting you’d get from a bakery or have on a wedding cake.
LOOKING FOR more chocolate recipes? CHECK THESE OUT!
- White Chocolate Drip Cake
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Melting and Decorating with Chocolate
- Easy Chocolate Cake
- Heat proof bowl
- Microwave or stove top
- Standing or hand held mixer, optional for whipped ganache
- 8 oz chocolate finely chopped
- 8 oz heavy whipping cream
- If you haven't done so, chop your chocolate very finely and place in a heat safe bowl.
- Heat the whipping cream in a microwave or on the stove until just boiling. Watch closely, as it goes from simmering to a rolling boil very quickly. You want a gentle simmer, not a rolling boil as that can scorch the chocolate.
- Once it’s simmering, pour over the chocolate and let sit for 60 - 90 seconds.
- After a minute or so, gently start stirring the chocolate using a whisk or fork. If you're using bigger pieces of chocolate or chocolate chips, let the chocolate sit a little longer. Up to 2-3 minutes.
- At first it will look like chocolate speckled cream but eventually it comes together into a silky smooth ganache frosting. If adding flavors or extracts, add now and remix.
- Use warm for glazes or pouring into tarts.
- The ganache will thicken as it cools. It will take 3-4 hours to thicken at room temperature, or 1-2 hours to thicken in the fridge.
- Once the ganache has firmed up, you can use as a filling for cakes, macarons, and piping for cupcakes.
- Once the ganache has cooled and thickened, whip using a hand held or standing mixer 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. It should almost double in size. Once whipped it can be piped or spread like a regular frosting.
- This recipe is for regular, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate. For white chocolate use 8 oz chocolate and 3 oz whipping cream. Check out this post for tips on white chocolate ganache.
- Weigh your ingredients. This is the main reason I’ve found ganache doesn’t work is because I try to eyeball it. If you don’t have a scale, 8 oz of chocolate is around 1 3/8 cups but keep in mind this can vary depending on the type of chocolate and how big the chocolate pieces are. You can also use pre-measured chocolate bars such as these 4 oz bars.
- This recipe only works with whipping cream or heavy whipping cream. Other types of milk like half and half, low fat, soy, or oat milk will not work. For a non-dairy alternative, use canned coconut milk.
- Do not overheat the cream. You want a gentle simmer, not a rolling boil. If your cream is too hot and the ganache splits, see troubleshooting section of the blog post.
- This ganache will last about 7-10 days in the fridge or up to two months in the freezer. Let defrost in the fridge and then come to room temperature before using.
- This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups ganache or about 2 ½ cups whipped ganache. You can double or half the recipe as necessary.