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!
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
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)
shake off the excess…
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.
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!
I use ganache in three ways - frosting, pouring and truffles - Here are tips and tricks for each use!
- 8 oz heavy whipping cream
- 16 oz chocolate semi sweet and bitter sweet work best
Mix about three different chocolate brands for a unique flavor. (2/3's nice chocolate, 1/3 general) Stay away from chocolate chips, they will not melt properly, and milk chocolate, which is too soft.
Measure out your cream and bring it JUST to a boil. Burnt cream tastes NASTY!
- 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.
When the 5 mins are up slowly stir the cream and chocolate until it's all incorporated and smooth.
If it is not smooth, reheat ganache in a double-broiler. (Bowl of ganache over a boiling bot of water)
- 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.