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What Is Chocolate Ganache?
Chocolate ganache is a mixture of chocolate and heavy whipping cream. Pastry chefs use chocolate ganache to frost and fill cakes and candies. When warm, ganache has a pourable consistency that makes for a great dessert sauce. When refrigerated, it thickens to a solid, fudge-like texture that's ideal for chocolate truffles.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
There are a few methods for making chocolate ganache: You can combine the chocolate and heavy whipping cream together on the stovetop in a small saucepan or double boiler, or you can heat the cream separately and then add it to the melted chocolate. Both methods work well, but heating the cream separately gives you a little more control. Adding butter in at the end of the process is optional, but it will give your ganache a smoother mouthfeel and shinier look.
What Is the Best Type of Chocolate for Ganache?
The type of chocolate you use to make ganache is a matter of preference, but the darker the chocolate, the richer the ganache. A chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao will yield a more intense chocolate flavor, whether you're using chopped chocolate bars or chocolate chips.
- Bittersweet chocolate generally has a higher percentage of cacao than semi-sweet chocolate.
- Milk chocolate has less cacao than semi-sweet chocolate.
- White chocolate has no cacao at all (just cacao butter).
5 Ways to Use Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate ganache is delicious on its own, but it’s also the foundation for many other sweets. Here are five easy ways to use ganache in your baking.
- In chocolate truffles: Ganache is a popular filling for many confections—including bonbons in tempered chocolate shells—but the easiest to make is the classic French truffle. Simply cool the ganache until it’s firm, roll it into tablespoon-sized spheres, and coat the spheres in cocoa powder.
- As a frosting: Pour warm chocolate ganache over brownies, cakes, and cupcakes for a luxurious frosting that will harden as it cools. Alternatively, let the ganache cool, then whip it for a fluffier frosting.
- In chocolate tarts: Chocolate ganache is the perfect filling for a French chocolate tart. Learn how to make pastry chef Dominique Ansel’s vanilla sable tart shell here.
- As a chocolate sauce: Pour warm chocolate ganache over vanilla ice cream, profiteroles, or cream puffs.
- In chocolate mousse: Dominique Ansel uses chocolate ganache as a base for his chocolate mousse, combining hot ganache with gelatin and then allowing it to cool before gently folding in whipped cream. He then uses this decadent mousse to fill his chocolate cake.
Dominique Ansel’s Chocolate Ganache Recipe
Makes920 grams (3 cups)
Prep Time30 min
Total Time30 min
- 421 grams (1¾ cups) heavy cream
- 431 grams (15¼ ounces) dark chocolate (66%)
- 67 grams (4¾ tablespoons) butter, softened and cubed
- In a medium pot, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Pour half the hot cream over the chocolate, and gently stir with a whisk until the chocolate is mostly melted. You’re whisking to melt the chocolate here, not to incorporate air. Stop whisking when all the chocolate is melted. Pour in the remaining hot cream and stir with the whisk until smooth and the chocolate has fully melted and emulsified with the cream.
- Let the ganache cool to 95°F (35°C). Add the softened butter and blend the mixture with an immersion/hand blender until smooth and there are no lumps. (Adding butter gives the ganache a tiny bit of shine and sheen, and also helps give the ganache a smooth mouthfeel.) Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days.
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