A two-ingredient simple chocolate ganache that can be used for fillings, glazing, piping, frosting, and many other ways!
If there’s one thing that makes a good cake better, it is a decadent chocolate ganache. It’s the mother of all frostings – easy to make, simple ingredients, and highly versatile. You can use it to frost your cake, drizzle over ice cream, use as a filling for croissants, cookies, tarts, or use it as a dip. The possibilities with ganache are really endless. Also, it stores well, and so can be made ahead of time.
Simply put, chocolate ganache is really just a combination of chocolate and cream. However, the ratio of each of these two ingredients is what makes the texture of the ganache and differs according to the need of use.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients first:
Chocolate makes up for 50% or more of the ganache, and thus the quality of the chocolate you use decides the quality of your ganache for the most part. Covertures or pure chocolates are more expensive but also better tasting. If you do use compound, try and use a good brand. While I’m more of a dark chocolate fan, milk chocolate can also be used for ganache. However, it may be a bit sweeter than is usually preferred. A combination of the two will work well.
Fresh cream is used in this ganache. I use Amul fresh cream, but you could use any brand of your choice. The cream needs to be at room temperature and not cold while using.
I love adding a little bit of salted butter in my ganache because it gives it a great shine, some richness, and also cuts down on the sweetness. However, this is optional and you can choose to skip it.
Making the chocolate ganache
To make the ganache, you start by chopping the chocolate and pouring hot cream over it.
Allow this to sit for 5-10 minutes so that the cream melts the chocolate by itself, then stir it till you have a smooth, lump-free mix. You could add butter or any flavorings at this point.
If using the ganache as a dip or glaze, or a filling for pancakes, waffles, doughnuts, etc., it’s perfect to use at this stage. Ensure it’s not very hot though.
However, if you want to use the chocolate ganache to frost cakes or to pipe on cupcakes, it needs to be refrigerated and whipped. While refrigerating brings down the temperature and lets the ganache become firm as it cools, whipping incorporates air into it, making it lighter with a silky consistency.
How to Whip Ganache?
After the chocolate ganache has been sitting in the fridge for sometime, it’s easier to work with for whipping. Also, you ideally need an electric beater to do this job – a hand whisk will not whip as smoothly or quickly.
For a firmer ganache to frost cakes you need to whip the ganache for only 1-2 minutes. It’s perfect to use at this stage and smoothens over cakes and cupcakes really well and holds it shape too.
However, if you like a really light ganache – both in texture and colour, then you need to whip longer – 4-5 minutes.
Storing the chocolate ganache
Chocolate ganache stores well for a few days. Store cooled ganache in an airtight container in the refrigerator for upto a week. To use, let it come to room temperature.
Ganache can be mildly flavored in a variety of ways using extracts, purees, etc.
Some ideas are:
Nutella or Nut Butters – You could use 2-4 tbsp of Nutella, or your favorite nut butter, adding it along with the cream to the chocolate.
Vanilla or other Extracts – Add ½ -1 tsp of a good quality vanilla, caramel, mint, or any extract after mixing the cream and chocolate together.
Coffee – Coffee is actually an amazing flavor to incorporate in your ganache. Not only does it bring out a mild coffee flavor but also provides a great depth to the chocolate. Add 1.5-2 tsp instant coffee powder to 1 tbsp of hot water to dissolve it, then add it to the ganache.
Fruit Purees/Preserves, Zest – Fruit preserves or purees give a wonderful twist to the classic ganache. My personal favorites to use are raspberry, strawberry, or the zest of an orange. With citrus fruits it’s always better to add the zest, whereas for others, you could add 2-4 tbsp. of the fruit puree directly to the ganache.
Fresh Herbs – While not very common, I like using fresh herbs and some spices like mint, lavender, or cinnamon in my ganache sometimes. Heat the cream, and infuse your herbs/spice in it. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes then strain the cream. Reheat it, and pour the infused cream over the chopped chocolate.
Basic Ganache Ratios
The ratio of the chocolate : cream in a chocolate ganache can be adjusted depending on how sturdy or lose you want the ganache.
1:2 – Very thin, pourable ganache
For dipping, drizzles, or as a glaze
1:1 – Sturdy, consistent ganache
For cake fillings, frostings, piping, cupcakes
2:1 – Thick, almost fudge-like ganache
For truffles, fillings for tarts.
How to use chocolate ganache
- As a filling between your cake layers
- For frosting of celebration cakes
- To pipe and make fancy designs
- As a filling for doughnut holes, pancake bombs, etc.
- Drizzle over tea cakes, brownies, pancakes, etc.
- As a dip for fruits and nuts
- As a glaze for doughnuts or cheesecakes
Not a fan of chocolate? Then check out my post on how to make whipped cream here.
Here are some recipes from the blog where you can use chocolate ganache.
- Lockdown Chocolate Cake
- Vanilla Sponge Cake
- Chocolate Doughnuts
- Fudgy Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
- 2-ingredient Ice-cream bread
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Easy Chocolate Ganache
- 240 gms Chocolate
- 240 ml Fresh cream (Like Amul)
- 1 tbsp butter
- Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat proof bowl.
- Pour the cream in another bowl, and heat it in the microwave till it becomes really hot but not boiling. Alternatively, place the cream in a pan, and heat it over the flame, ensuring to stir so that it doesn’t burn.
- Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate but don’t stir. Let this sit for 5-7 minutes. The chocolate will start melting by itself. After 5 minutes, stir the mixture with a spatula, breaking any remaining lumps of the chocolate till you have a very smooth mixture. Add the butter and whisk well.
- Cover the ganache with a cling wrap and refrigerate for 45-60 minutes.
- After an hour, beat the ganache with an electric beater till it becomes light and airy in color.
- Fill in piping bags to decorate cupcakes or frost directly on a cake. Store unused ganache in an airtight container in the refrigerator.