Do you think making chocolate ganache is difficult? It is the quite the opposite. It requires only 2 ingredients and roughly about 10 minutes. Scroll down for the simple instructions on how to make chocolate ganache.
Chocolate Ganache Recipe
Chocolate ganache is such a versatile sauce. It works well on top of ice cream just as it does on top of pie. It can be whipped to make a decadent frosting, or used to make chocolate truffles. It works amazing as a drip on a cake, or as a glaze on a quick bread. It's also super easy to make, requiring only two ingredients and absolutely no fancy equipment.
- Heavy Cream
No, this is not a joke. That's all you need to make it.
For Dairy Free
If you wanted to make ganache, but needed it to be dairy-free, canned coconut milk works exactly the same as heavy cream. It's just as delicious, too.
Let's Talk Chocolate
In an ideal world, ganache is made with a chopped pure chocolate bar from a high-quality brand. A pure chocolate or baking bar is better for ganache because it doesn't have any additives in it that would prevent a silky smooth ganache.
However, I don't always have chocolate bars at home. What I do always have on hand is chocolate chips (file that under: Mom Life). Therefore, I often find myself making ganache with chocolate chips. I've never had an issue making ganache from high-quality chocolate chips from brands like Ghirardelli, Guittard or Callebaut. It's advised to stay away from using chocolate chips because they do have added ingredients that help them retain their shape, which causes them to melt less evenly than chocolate bars.
So, if you are looking for the smoothest ganache, use a whole chocolate bar that has been chopped up very finely. If in a pinch, use high-quality chocolate chips.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
- Chop the chocolate, or high-quality chocolate chips and place in a heat proof glass or metal bowl.
- Heat the cream on the stove top until just simmering around the edges. You want to avoid having the cream scald to prevent it from forming a "skin" on the top; this can cause the chocolate to be gritty. Additionally, you never want to bring the cream to a boil. Boiled cream poured over chocolate will cause the chocolate to separate. Simply put, once it separates, it's not smoothing out again and you have to start over.
- Pour the cream on top of the chocolate and make sure all of the chocolate is submerged in the cream. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes without disturbing it.
- Gently whisk the cream until it is fully combined with the melted chocolate. Do not over whisk the chocolate or air bubbles will form inside the ganache. The ganache will be runny while it is still hot, and will thicken until it's of a "scoopable" consistency. You'll know when you see it.
Here are some problems you could run into when making chocolate ganache.
The ganache is grainy: This might mean that the chocolate has seized up. Chocolate seizes up for a few reasons. The first is that the chocolate might have been overheated. If the cream was close to boiling, it could cause the chocolate to "break". If your chocolate mixture is not shiny this is the most likely culprit as broken chocolate looks dull. The second possibility is that some water accidentally got inside the chocolate. Even a drop or two of water can cause the ganache to break, so be careful not to use a damp bowl or utensil in the chocolate. Unfortunately there isn't much to be done about fixing these problems. The chocolate will still totally be edible, but it may not become smooth and shiny again.
There are pieces of chocolate not melted in the ganache: Either your cream was not hot enough, it didn't sit for long enough, or the chocolate wasn't chopped small enough. However, there is a simple solution to this: Place the bowl of chocolate on top of a pan of simmering water to gently melt the chocolate. Just take care not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the chocolate together until it's fully melted.
The ganache is too thin or thick: A standard ganache recipe will call for 1 part chocolate to 1 part cream. The ganache will be very thin when it is hot, and as it cools it will thicken until it is eventually "scoopable", as stated above. When stored in the refrigerator, it will be very firm. If you are looking for a very thin ganache sauce, add in more warmed cream with a ratio of 2 parts cream to 1 part chocolate. For a thicker ganache, do a ratio of 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream.
How to Store it
Ganache should be stored in the refrigerator. It will be quite thick once completely chilled. It will last up to 1-2 weeks, depending on how fresh the cream was that was used to make it.
To warm it up again, scoop the ganache into a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over a simmering pot of water for a few minutes until it starts to warm up. Stir together until heated.
Pies to Make Using Ganache
This ganache recipe is the perfect consistency to cover any pie with chocolate. I also call for ganache in this Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pie.
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