Chocolate ganache is something that all bakers and dessert lovers should master. Luckily, the concept is simpler than the name would have you believe: simply combine chocolate and cream for a luxuriously rich and velvety chocolate sauce. It can be used as a filling, a topping or as icing on your favourite chocolate cake.
Sounds easy enough, right? But depending on its intended purpose and the consistency you’re looking for, the recipe’s proportions will change slightly. If you’re wanting to roll your chocolate ganache into truffles, you’ll need more chocolate than cream. If you’re wanting to use it as a thin drizzle over a cheesecake, then you’ll want more cream than chocolate. Balance is everything so read on, and we’ll take you through the three most common versions to ensure you’re getting your proportions right every time.
For best results, use a kitchen scale to ensure you’re using the right amounts of chocolate and cream in your recipes. Ahead, we go through how to make chocolate ganache and how to alter the recipe’s proportions for different purposes.
How to make chocolate ganache
- Start by measuring your chocolate and cream in separate bowls.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan over a medium low heat.
- Keep an eye on it – the cream shouldn’t simmer or boil, it should just get hot.
- Chop your chocolate into small pieces.
- Add the chocolate to the cream and stir gently to distribute evenly.
- Allow a couple of minutes for the chocolate to soften and start melting.
- Stir your chocolate mixture until it comes together to form a creamy mass.
One on one: Chocolate ganache for layer cake and thick icing
This is the easiest way to make chocolate ganache, because it uses equal proportions of chocolate and cream (1:1). Measure equal amounts of chocolate and cream, then follow the above steps to make your ganache. Allow the mixture to cool enough to be thick but still soft, then beat with an electric mixer until it is fluffy and has lightened in colour.
Once finished, this mixture is perfect for layering between cakes or roughly icing the outside of a cake.
Double trouble: Chocolate ganache for truffles
For truffles, you want a thicker consistency and a higher proportion of chocolate to cream (2:1). You may also want to add in extra flavours, such as vanilla, mint or rum to make your truffle flavours more diverse. After preparing your ganache, pour into a pan and place in the fridge to cool.
Every 5 minutes, remove the pan and stir the mixture so that it cools evenly and you can keep track of the thickness of your chocolate. When it has reached the right consistency – thick but not rock hard – remove from the fridge and scoop out spoonfuls onto a tray. Now you’re ready to roll them into balls and dip them in cocoa or coconut flakes before putting back in the fridge. Be sure to keep your hands cool while rolling so the ganache doesn’t melt – try keeping a bag of frozen peas nearby or regularly running them under cold water.
Half-hearted: Chocolate ganache for soft icing or pourable glaze
For a ganache with a thinner consistency, you will need lower proportions of chocolate to cream (1:2). When the mixture is properly combined, allow it to sit and cool down for about 10 minutes. When ready, it should have a glossy sheen and be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Now you’re ready to pour it over the top of your cake (make sure your cake is completely cool and sitting on a wire rack with something underneath to catch the drips) or inside your pastries.