How to Make Chocolate Ganache
Learn How to Make Chocolate Ganache in minutes with these easy tips! It’s luscious and chocolatey, it takes just 2 ingredients, and there are endless ways to use it. It’s great as a dip, topping or filling, or make whipped ganache frosting!
Chocolate Ganache has been a staple in my kitchen for longer than I can remember.
I’ve been using it for years to transform brownies, cupcakes, ice cream and more into something other-worldly delicious.
It may sound fancy and difficult, but that’s the glory of ganache. It feels fancy, it’s silky and luxurious, but it’s so easy to make.
Ganache is simply equal parts chocolate and warm heavy cream that’s stirred together until emulsified. It’s the base for chocolate truffles, chocolate mousse and so much more!
If you’ve ever worked with chocolate you know that it can be temperamental, meaning that if it changes temperature too quickly or comes in contact with water, it can seize, become grainy or separate.
The easy instructions in this post will show you how to make chocolate ganache successfully, and just in case you have a problem (we’ve all been there!), you’ll find the solution here as well.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Chocolate ganache is rich, silky and luxurious, and it is guaranteed to impress.
- It takes just 2 ingredients and 10 minutes to make.
- It can be used countless ways! Serve as a dip or as a topping for ice cream and desserts, use it as a filling for pies and cakes, whip it to use as frosting and so much more!
- It’s naturally gluten-free and it keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Dark chocolate ganache is a 1 to 1 ratio of heavy cream and chocolate. That’s it — just 2 ingredients!
- Chocolate. The chocolate is the star, so use good quality chocolate baking bars or wafers. While chocolate chips can be used, they include stabilizers that affect how it melts. For this recipe, use chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 50% (this includes semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate). Keep in mind that the darker the chocolate, the less sweet your chocolate ganache will be. Milk chocolate and white chocolate cannot be substituted here as they include more cocoa butter, therefore they require less cream.
- Cream. Use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream as they have the appropriate fat content. Do not use regular milk or half and half. Full fat coconut milk is a good substitute.
How to make ganache
This dark chocolate ganache recipe is super easy to make. It’s simply chocolate and warm cream that’s stirred together until emulsified, and the result is smooth, silky and luscious.
The sky is the limit on the ways you can use it, so be sure and see the serving suggestions below for the full run down!
Pro tip: Use good quality pure chocolate bars or baking wafers, with a minimum of 50% cocoa content. Bittersweet chocolate is less sweet and intensely chocolatey, while semi-sweet is a good balance of chocolate flavor and sweetness. I like using 4 ounces bittersweet and 4 ounces semi-sweet for my ganache. While chocolate chips can be used in chocolate ganache, they don’t have the proper meltability due to the addition of stabilizers, which can result in a grainy or less smooth ganache.
See the recipe card below for full instructions.
- Finely chop the chocolate into about 1/4″ pieces or smaller and place in a heatproof bowl. The finer you chop the chocolate, the easier it will melt!
- Heat the cream in a sauce pan over medium heat until just simmering around the edges and smoke is coming off the top. Pour the cream evenly over the chocolate.
- Let stand 1-2 minutes or until the chocolate has softened.
- Stir slowly with a rubber scraper or spoon until smooth and emulsified, about 1-2 minutes. A whisk also works but be careful not incorporate too much air.
How to make whipped ganache frosting
When ganache has cooled completely (about 4 hours at room temperature or 2 hours in the refrigerator), it has a soft yet thick texture. This is when it can be whipped into a glorious whipped ganache frosting, which can be used to top cupcakes, brownies and more.
It can be piped using larger tips such as 1M, but it doesn’t work with small intricate or detailed tips the way buttercream does.
Pro tip: For best results, use semi-sweet chocolate for whipped ganache as it provides a silkier texture.
Chocolate ganache is the emulsification of chopped chocolate and warm cream, which is used as a dessert topping, filling, dip and more.
Warm cream is poured over the chocolate to melt the cocoa butter. From there, the mixture is stirred slowly until the chocolate and cream have emulsified, resulting in a smooth, luxurious chocolate confection.
Dark chocolate ganache is made of a 1 to 1 ratio of dark chocolate and warm heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
Use good quality baking bars or wafers that include a minimum of 50% cocoa content for this recipe (bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate).
Milk chocolate and white chocolate will not work with the 1 to 1 ratio as they have significantly less cocoa content and are much softer. Simply put, they require less cream.
Ganache hardens or thickens as it cools. After 2 hours in the refrigerator ganache is soft yet firm, and after several hours it will harden completely.
Once it becomes firm, it can be softened once again by heating it gently in the microwave at 50% power for about 15-20 second intervals, stirring in between each. Or you can heat it gently in a double boiler.
Whipped ganache is very firm when it’s chilled completely.
For best results, pipe or frost your desserts immediately after whipping the ganache, then store at room temperature for 1-2 days to keep it nice and soft.
You can also refrigerate your frosted desserts and place them on the counter at room temperature for a few hours to soften the whipped ganache.
Ganache can be grainy or lumpy if the chocolate did not melt completely. This typically happens when the chocolate was not chopped fine enough, the cream wasn’t hot enough to melt the chocolate, or the ganache was over stirred.
To avoid this, be sure to chop the chocolate into 1/4″ pieces or smaller, and make sure that the cream is heated to a temperature just below boiling. The cream will simmer around the edges and smoke should be coming off the top.
Be sure to stir the ganache slowly as excessive stirring can can add more air, which will cool the temperature of the chocolate too quickly before it can melt.
Ganache can also become greasy (separated or broken), if the cocoa butter gets too hot.
This can occur if the ganache is prepared in a double boiler and the water below it is simply too hot. It can also occur if the ganache is reheated at a high temperature in the microwave once its been cooled.
If using a double boiler, make sure that the there is just a small amount of water in the bottom portion and that the bowl with the chocolate does not touch it. The water should be simmering, not boiling.
I like to reheat my ganache in the microwave by heating it at 50% power for 15-20 second intervals, stirring slowly in between until melted.
The good news is that if your ganache breaks or becomes grainy, it can be repaired!
Simply warm a couple tablespoons of heavy cream in the microwave for 10-20 seconds until hot and add a couple teaspoons to the ganache. Stir or whisk slowly to incorporate, adding more cream just as necessary.
Be sure not to add too much cream as the ganache can become thin, then it will require some melted chocolate to thicken it up.
Make vegan chocolate ganache by using vegan chocolate and full fat coconut milk. The ratio is different than this recipe, so see the Vegan Ganache recipe by Detoxinista for full instructions.
There are so many ways to use chocolate ganache — if you don’t eat it by the spoonful beforehand, that is. 🙂
- It makes an incredible dip for fresh and dried fruit, graham crackers and more. It would be a great addition to my chocolate dessert board!
- Use it as a topping for ice cream sundaes or swirl it into homemade ice cream and freeze.
- Drizzle it over german chocolate brownies or frosted cupcakes, or use a drip for layer cakes for an elegant touch.
- Dunk unfrosted black bottom cupcakes or brownie bites into ganache for a silky, easy frosting. It also makes a great frosting or filling for cakes, tarts and so much more.
- Chill it completely and make whipped ganache frosting for an extra festive touch.
- Pro tip: Use good quality pure chocolate bars or baking wafers that contain a minimum of 50% cocoa content. Bittersweet chocolate is less sweet and intensely chocolatey, while semi-sweet is a good balance of chocolate flavor and sweetness. I like using 4 ounces bittersweet and 4 ounces semi-sweet for my ganache. While chocolate chips can be used in chocolate ganache, they don’t have the proper meltability due to the addition of stabilizers, which can result in a grainy or less smooth ganache.
- Ganache uses: Right after it’s made, chocolate ganache is thinner so it can be used to drizzle over ice cream, used as a topping for brownies and cupcakes, or as a drip for layer cakes. When it’s cooled in the refrigerator for 2 hours, it will be thick enough to use as a filling for layer cakes or frosting.
- Whipped ganache: Cool the ganache in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, then beat it for 4-5 minutes with a mixer like you would whipped cream. It will become fluffy and lighter in color, and is perfect as a frosting for cakes!
- Troubleshooting. Is your ganache lumpy, grainy or did it separate? See the FAQ’s section in post above.
- Storing. Store chocolate ganache in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. To soften it up, heat at 50% power in the microwave for 15-20 seconds intervals, stirring slowly in between until smooth.
More chocolate recipes you’ll love:
- Almond dragees
- Chocolate peanut butter cake by A Classic Twist
- Chocolate peanut butter fudge
- Crock pot hot chocolate
- Peanut butter brownies
- Peppermint bark
- Rocky road candy
Did you try this recipe? If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
- 8 ounces quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate bars do not use chocolate chips as they have stabilizers and don't melt properly; see notes
- 1 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream may sub with full fat coconut milk
- Using a serrated knife, finely chop the chocolate bars (into 1/4" pieces or smaller) and place it in a medium heatproof bowl. The finer the chocolate is chopped, the easier it will melt.8 ounces quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate bars
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat just until it starts to simmer around the edges and smoke is coming off the top. Remove from heat and pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Submerge any bits of chocolate in the cream and let stand 1-2 minutes or until softened.1 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- Once the chocolate has softened, stir the mixture slowly until it's smooth and emulsified, about 1-2 minutes. If there are any stubborn bits of chocolate that won't melt, place the bowl in the microwave and heat at 50% power for 15-20 second intervals, stirring slowly in between until smooth. Do not overheat as the ganache can break.
- At this point the chocolate ganache is thinner and can be used as a dip or topping for brownies and cakes, or as a drip. Once cooled, chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours until it is thick enough to use as a filling for cakes and tarts or prepare whipped ganache frosting! See notes for more information.
- Pro tip: Use good quality pure chocolate or baking wafers with a minimum of 50% cocoa content. Bittersweet chocolate is less sweet and intensely chocolatey, while semi-sweet is a good balance of chocolate flavor and sweetness. I like using 4 ounces bittersweet and 4 ounces semi-sweet for my ganache. While chocolate chips can be used in chocolate ganache, they don’t have the proper meltability due to the addition of stabilizers, which can result in a grainy or less smooth ganache.
- Whipped ganache frosting: For best results, use semi-sweet chocolate only for whipped ganache as it has a silkier consistency. Cool the ganache completely, then beat it for 4-5 minutes with a mixer like you would whipped cream. It will become fluffy and lighter in color, and is perfect as a frosting for cakes! The frosting will harden so its best softened at room temperature before serving.
- Troubleshooting. Is the ganache lumpy, grainy or did it separate? See the FAQ’s section in above in the post. It can be repaired!
- Storing. Store chocolate ganache in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. To soften it up, heat at 50% power in the microwave for 15-20 seconds intervals, stirring in between until smooth.
- Recipe yields about 1 1/2 cups of ganache.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.