This ganache is easy, chocolate loveliness that can be used as frosting or glaze.
Simply melting chopped chocolate in hot cream produces something wonderful. The ganache can be used warm as a fudge sauce poured over a cake as in the Pound of Chocolate Cake or used as a glaze or filling. This recipe has been updated. Originally published June 2, 2010.–Renee Schettler Rossi
How to use Ganache
The loveliest thing about ganache isn’t its satiny smoothness or its obscene richness. Or that it’s quick and easy. And it’s not that it comes together from a mere four ingredients. It’s not even that it has a fancy sounding yet easy-to-pronounce French name. To us, the loveliest thing is just how gosh darn versatile it is. When spread over tortes, ganache is a glaze. When slathered over cakes or cupcakes, it’s frosting. And when beaten until it loses its gloss and takes on a billowy lusciousness, it’s a filling for cakes, cookie sandwiches, and truffles. If you’ve any notes to add to the syllabus for Ganache Uses 101, we welcome them. Let us know in a comment below.
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 45 M
- Makes 2 cups
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (.5 ounce)
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter over low heat until the cream is hot and the butter melts. The hot cream mixture should form tiny bubbles and measure about 175°F (80°C) on an instant-read thermometer; do not let the mixture boil as a skin might form on the top. (If this happens, use a spoon to lift off the skin and discard it.)
- 2. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, and let it stand for about 30 seconds until the hot cream mixture softens the chocolate. Whisk the ganache just until all of the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
- 3. If the ganache will be poured or spread, let it cool and thicken slightly, about 30 minutes. It can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week; if it becomes too firm, it can be warmed over low heat, stirring to soften it evenly.
- Fancy Flavored Ganache
- Cover the warm ganache and let stand at room temperature until firm, 3 to 4 hours, or cover and refrigerate the ganache until the edges are firm and the center is slightly thickened, no more than 1 to 2 hours. (You can speed up the process to 30 minutes or less by pouring the ganache into 9-by-13-inch or larger baking dish and leaving it at room temperature.) Drop a teaspoonful of the ganache on a plate, then place the remaining cold ganache in a bowl and whisk until it thickens slightly and changes from a dark chocolate color to a medium chocolate color, about 30 seconds. (Using a whisk prevents the ganache from being whipped too vigorously, which could turn it grainy.) Compare the whipped ganache with the ganache on the plate. The whipped mixture should look lighter in color—similar to a dark, good-quality milk chocolate. It should be spread immediately, as it firms up quickly and becomes difficult to spread smoothly. You can easily double the recipe.
- Add one of these flavorings to the ganache: almond extract, ground cinnamon, dissolved instant coffee granules, finely grated orange or lemon zest, fruit purees, and rum, brandy, or other liqueurs. Start with a small quantity, taste the mixture, and keep adding to your taste. Begin with 1 tablespoon for the liquor or liqueurs and 1 teaspoon for instant coffee or grated zest. For almond extract, start with 1/4 teaspoon; for cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon; and for fruit purees, 1 tablespoon. Quantities can always be increased.
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