Ganache – 3 uses – frosting, truffles & pouring

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I use ganache more than any other recipe in my arsenal!  So when I was asked to teach at a chocolate extravaganza I though sharing the three uses of Ganache would be perfect!

ganache-frosting-truffles

Lets start out with the basic Ganache recipe – chocolate and cream! Thats it! The normal ratio is 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream, but you change it up a bit depending on what your making.

ganache-recipe-chocolate

Start with your chocolate. First off – go by weight. a single batch for me is 16 oz chocolate 8 oz cream.

Ganache will taste exactly like whatever chocolate you use to make it, so the higher end, nicer chocolate is best. STAY AWAY FROM CHOCOLATE CHIPS, they have an extra ingredient to hold their shape in higher temps and do NOT make good cream.

I like to mix 3 different chocolate brands so the end result isn’t a clear “oh this is dove”. I also like to use 2/3rd more expensive chocolates and then 1/3 I feel I can go cheaper without ruining it.

And DARK chocolate makes better ganache than milk, semi-sweet, bittersweet and Dark all work best. Milk is just too soft in my opinion, not the right texture. You can DIP it in milk chocolate if you want to!

ganache-recipe-cream

Measure out your cream and bring it JUST to a boil, a little bit of bubbles on the edge and your done.  Watch it carefully and don’t burn it, you don’t want your chocolate to taste like burnt cream.  Nasty.

ganache-recipe-pour

Pour the heated cream over the chocolate.  Shake your bowl to settle the chocolate so it’s all covered and let it sit for 5 mins.

ganache-recipe-stir

When the 5 mins are up slowly stir the cream and chocolate until it’s all incorporated and smooth.  IF for some reason you have a lot of chocolate chunks (as in your chocolate pieces were too big to soften enough in the heated cream) you can save it by placing the bowl over a pot of boiling water (double broiler style) and stir until it’s melted, you’ll just have a longer cooling time later.

WARNING: make sure everything you use, spoons, spatulas, the bowl, etc.. are DRY any water at ALL will make the chocolate SEIZE, and there is no fixing that.

ganache-pouring-frosting

Now what to do with the Ganache!  Warm,  you can pour it, cool you can whip it up and use it as frosting and cold you scoop it into truffles!  Here you can see the warm, dark, ganache  and below the cooled whipped ganache I use for frosting.

1. You can use the 2 part chocolate 1 part cream, but for a thicker frosting (that holds piping better) use 3 parts chocolate to 1 part cream.
2. let it cool enough before whipping, otherwise you’ll be whipping without thickening a long time.
3. the more you whip it the lighter the color will become, I think I over-whipped it a big above, it still worked great, just created a more dull look to the cake.

ganache-frosting-recipe

Let’s start with frosting.  I use ganache almost exclusively under fondant.  Once it sets it holds the shape and form of the cake so the heavy fondant doesn’t weight it down the way butter cream squishes out the bottom!  I love it.  This Easter cake I made is covered in whipped ganache and then all the pipping is done with the ganache as well.  You can see this is darker than the other frosting, I didn’t whip it as much.

ganache-pouring

Now pouring, you can pour just a little on top, and get the dripping edge look, or pour it over the whole cake to get a glossy dark chocolate look.  For the full cover I put the cake on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath to catch the excess.

ganache-pouring-thick

now as I started to pour this I realized it was a bit thick.  To get the smooth pour I’d use 1 1/2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream, a bit runnier, it will be thinner but set well.

ganache-pouring-smooth

because this batch was thicker I couldn’t just rock it around or shake it a bit to get the full coverage, GAH!  Bad example.  I had to smooth the top with a cake spatula…

ganache-pouring-spreading

As well as the sides, boo…  so it’s not quit the high glossy look I prefer.  I should have thinned it down a bit before starting.  Once you start manipulating it with the spatula it loses the effect I like.

ganache-truffles-balls

And tuffles!!!!  Once you finish your gananche just toss it in the fridge!  once it’s hard you scoop out your truffles, and roll them into circles.  I like it best when I use a mini scooper, but mine broke and I haven’t replaced it yet!

To get a different flavor change the chocolates you use, I think semi sweet and dark chocolate work the best, I’m not a fan of the milk chocolate for ganache.  You can add oil based flavoring (not water- it will seize) or while your heating the cream you can add vanila beans or mint leaves or anything else you like to steep and bring out the flavor.

Or you can add chunks of toffee, nuts, or anything else to the ganache while its warm, and it will mix in so when you scoop out the truffles it’s already in there!

ganache-truffles-dipping

Refridgerate the truffles once you have the shape you want, and once cold again dip them in melted chocolate, I like to use wafers, but you can use anything you want, if  it’s a bit thick thin it down with some shortening (a little at a time)

ganache-truffles-dipped

shake off the excess…

ganache-truffles

And place it on parchment.  I can’t seem to do this part as pretty as others.  Once it cools I break off the excess messy parts!  If you want anything on top, crushed nuts/candy, sugar, salt, etc… make sure you sprinkle it on while it’s still wet.  once it’s dry you can decorate with melted chocolate if you want.

ganache-frosting

So that’s ganache!  I usually make a triple batch every week, or more.  Any extra I have after frosting a cake I refridgerate.  To use it again I either bring it to room temp and whip it up a bit again, or I melt it over a double broiler to get it warm or I scoop it out and turn into truffles!

Ganache
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 3 Cups ganache
Ingredients
  • 8 oz cream
  • 16 oz chocolate (semi sweet and bitter sweet work best)
Instructions
  1. Ganache will taste exactly like whatever chocolate you use to make it, so the higher end, nicer chocolate is best. STAY AWAY FROM CHOCOLATE CHIPS, they have an extra ingredient to hold their shape in higher temps and do NOT make good cream.
  2. I like to mix 3 different chocolate brands so the end result isn't a clear "oh this is dove". I also like to use 2/3rd more expensive chocolates and then 1/3 I feel I can go cheaper without ruining it.
  3. And DARK chocolate makes better ganache than milk, semi-sweet, bittersweet and Dark all work best. Milk is just too soft in my opinion, not the right texture. You can DIP it in milk chocolate if you want to!
  4. Measure out your cream and bring it JUST to a boil, a little bit of bubbles on the edge and your done.  Watch it carefully and don't burn it, you don't want your chocolate to taste like burnt cream.  Nasty.
  5. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate.  Shake your bowl to settle the chocolate so it's all covered and let it sit for 5 mins.
  6. When the 5 mins are up slowly stir the cream and chocolate until it's all incorporated and smooth.  IF for some reason you have a lot of chocolate chunks (as in your chocolate pieces were too big to soften enough in the heated cream) you can save it by placing the bowl over a pot of boiling water (double broiler style) and stir until it's melted, you'll just have a longer cooling time later.
  7. WARNING: make sure everything you use, spoons, spatulas, the bowl, etc.. are DRY any water at ALL will make the chocolate SEIZE, and there is no fixing that.
  8. Now what to do with the Ganache!  Warm,  you can pour it, cool you can whip it up and use it as frosting and cold you scoop it into truffles!  Here you can see the warm, dark, ganache  and below the cooled whipped ganache I use for frosting.
Notes
1. You can use the 2 part chocolate 1 part cream, but for a thicker frosting (that holds piping better) use 3 parts chocolate to 1 part cream.

2. let it cool enough before whipping, otherwise you'll be whipping without thickening a long time.

3. the more you whip it the lighter the color will become, I think I over-whipped it a big above, it still worked great, just created a more dull look to the cake.

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Ashlee
Ashlee has been cake decorating for 9 year, and blogging for 7+. She has 5 children ages 3-13 that she enjoys throwing parties for. She loves to bake, cook, crochet, knit, do home improvement, graphic design, photography and writing.
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Comments

  1. says

    This is so helpful! Thanks so much for sharing. I have never attempted ganache before simply because I found it so intimidating but I think I might actually be able to do this. Pinning :)

    Kari

  2. says

    I probably shouldn’t have read this first thing in the morning. Now I need chocolate. :) Amazing pics Ash and a great tutorial.
    xoxo

    • says

      right????? Why do you think I haven’t lost any of the “baby” weight… I make this at least once a week!!! I eat chocolate at every meal at this point I think. And thanks, about the pictures, I’ve been working hard to improve my food photography.

  3. says

    Ashlee – what awesome ideas! I tried making truffles once and they never got hard enough to roll or do anything with – but I have no idea what mixture/ratio I used – anyway, do you do 2-1 for the truffles or a little more chocolate?

    • says

      Yes, I do the 2-1 ratio for the truffles. And you can totally still do the 2-1 ratio for frosting too. Let me know if this recipe works out for you!

    • says

      you are so welcome! This is totally what I used under the fondant on the Cinco De Mayo cake that you got to enjoy last year! let me know how you use it!

    • says

      And gluten free!!!! Yay! And when you live far away from me and can’t get some of my flourless chocolate cake you can make a batch of these!

    • says

      thanks! But in truth it really is easy, a few simple tricks (like the no water, and use a double broiler if you have chuncks) and anyone can do it!

  4. says

    I’m having some serious chocolate cravings… I’d like for you to stop whatever you are doing today and come make me this cake! I’ll expect you here in twenty minutes!

    • says

      you are the cutest! I, of course, have a batch of ganache in the fridge, and a cake in the freezer, so come on by and we can frost one for you (oh and ice cream in the freezer)… you know anytime you stop by I’ll have something for you!

  5. says

    Hi Ashlee,
    I’m thinking we could be best friends – maybe if we were BFFs you’d make this cake for me? What do you say? :)
    Stopping by from the Mom it Forward Facebook Group – I pinned this and can’t wait to make it!
    Happy Monday!
    Ang, Juggling Act Mama

  6. Nicole says

    I just came from the pinners expo at the sandy expo center. I was in your ganache class. HOLY COW what an amazing chocolate cake recipe. Do you give out the recipe to make just the cake??

    • says

      thank you so much! And no I don’t. I do share a lot of recipes, but my cake and frosting recipes are not something I share I am working on getting a cookbook published with my cake recipes, but I’m not quite “big” enough to get a deal yet, working on it though!

  7. Heidi says

    If you are adding flavorings to the truffles (i.e. hazelnut liqueor) how much should you add? Assuming 16 oz of chocolate and 8 oz of cream. Do you add 1 drop? 1/2 teaspoon? Do you have any guidelines? I am unfamiliar with using flavorings, and I don’t want to overdo it.

    • says

      I add the flavor to the cream as it’s heating that way it’s easier to incorporate than trying to mix once you’ve added the chocolate. As for amount, it depends on the flavor and your preference. So it takes some playing. I’d start with 1 tsp per cup for extracts, 1/2 tsp per cup for emulsions (stronger). But try a batch and see what you think.

    • says

      It totally depends on your scoop size. I’ve never counted, I made 120 the other day, but now I don’t remember if it was a single batch, half batch or double batch! I rarely make this size batch, I’m always making HUGE batches cause I go through so much of it!

  8. Aundrea says

    Thanks for sharing your crochet patterns. Have you thought about putting the truffles in the fridge and rolling with your hand to get them more round? You would need to work in small batches due to them melting from the warmth of your hands. Your cake looks delicious.

    • says

      I usually use a scoop, but the day I was at my sisters I didn’t have one and I was in a hurry, thus the messy pictures (she has better light but I’ll try to remember my scoop next time I’m at her house and take some more pictures.

  9. Tina says

    I HATE fondant and so does my family. So I love experimenting with ganache recipes til I find what works best for me. I love the tips and yes. I agree with the patience it takes before whipping the ganache. I know that I have made that mistake before. It was still too runny to work with. I also agree with good quality chocolate. I have worked with a lot of different kinds until I found what I liked. Thanks for posting this up. It’s really helpful to have as backup.

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