We’re breaking down exactly how to make chocolate ganache. Rich and silky, this easy dark chocolate ganache sauce is so versatile you can use it so many recipes! This velvety smooth chocolate mixture is made from only two ingredients, chopped chocolate and hot heavy cream. Some variations (including this recipe) add butter for extra richness. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used to fill truffles, cakes or elevate platted desserts.
Mastering this recipe for dark chocolate ganache will make any home baker feel like a pro! Once you’ve made this recipe once, you can adapt it for plenty of different uses. That’s why this ganache recipe is included in Module Two: Sugar and Fillings of the Kira Bakes Gluten Free Pastry School.
What is Chocolate Ganache?
Chocolate ganache is a smooth, rich confection made from combining chocolate and heavy cream.
The ratio of chocolate to cream will determine the consistency of the final ganache:
- For a thicker ganache that can be used as a filling or to mask cakes, the ratio is one part chocolate to one part heavy cream (1:1).
- For a more fluid ganache the ratio would be two parts chocolate to one part heavy cream (2:1).
Can I make this Chocolate Ganache Vegan (dairy-free)?
YES! Just substitute for a dairy free chocolate such as Theo Organic Vegan Chocolate and use Unsweetened Full Fat Coconut Cream instead of the heavy cream. You can just exclude the butter from the recipe.
Tips for making perfect Chocolate Ganache
- Use quality chocolate. This is not the place to skimp on the quality of chocolate you use. To achieve a smooth, velvety texture the chocolate needs to have a good amount of cocoa butter in it. When buying chocolate look at the ingredient list and the first ingredients should say ‘cocoa mass, cocoa liquor, or cocoa solids’. Cheaper chocolate will use vegetable shortening or other fats instead of cocoa butter and the results make for a poor-quality tasting chocolate and a ganache that’s rough in texture. I often use this chocolate by Lindt as it’s available in most grocery stores and contains a nice percentage of cocoa butter.
- Finely chop the chocolate. To get a silky-smooth texture, we want to make sure the warm heavy cream can melt the chopped chocolate within a minute or two. If the chocolate is in too large of pieces, then the cream starts to cool too quickly, before it has a chance to melt the cocoa solids and you will be left with little flakes of chocolate in your ganache.
- Add Salt and Butter. Adding a pinch of salt and soft butter adds a little extra richness and balance.
What can you make with Chocolate Ganache?
- Dark chocolate ganache can be used as a filling for tarts and cakes.
- When warm and fluid, ganache can be poured over cake as a glaze or used as a sauce on ice cream.
- Once cooled, you can whip this ganache and it turned into a decadent frosting you can use on cupcakes.
- Platted or restaurant-style desserts. I like to pour warm ganache into small jars or fancy glasses. Once set, I top them with fresh whipped cream and berries for a dessert that is refined and truly decedent.
How to make Chocolate Ganache
Lets get baking! (Step-by-Step Instructions)
Mis en Place
Going back to the Kira Bakes Gluten Free Pastry Principals, this is always our first step when baking as it not only helps ensure accuracy during the mixing process, but it also makes the whole baking process a lot more relaxing and enjoyable. It’s a win/win!
If I’ve said it 100 times, I’ll say it again. Measuring ingredients by weight not volume is the magic sauce to gluten free baking! I always do my best to provide the cup (volume) measurements where possible. If you are going to measure by volume, click this link for tips on the correct way to measure by volume.
Scale the following ingredients
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:
300g or 1 3/4 cup Dark Chocolate (60-70%)
375ml Heavy Cream (whipping cream)
20g or 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
60g or 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (room temp)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Prepare the equipment
- Small saucepan
- Medium heat resistant bowl
- Serrated knife
- Cutting board
- Kitchen towel or cling film
Chop the chocolate into coarse pieces and place in a medium heat resistant bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, warm the heavy cream until it just starts to simmer.
Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and cover with a kitchen towel to help retain the heat. Let sit for 3 minutes. Do not stir or agitate the mixture at this time.
Using a spatula, stir the mixture working from the inside out until the chocolate and cream are fully emulsified.
Allow the ganache to cool slightly before adding the butter. The best temperature to add butter to ganache is roughly 95°F (35°C). This is so the ganache isn’t so hot that it turns the butter to liquid, instead slowly melting the fat into the ganache creating a shiny, rich appearance.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days.
Storing Chocolate Ganache
Dark Chocolate Ganache can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Placing a sheet of cling film across the top of the ganache will keep it from forming a skin.
Chocolate Ganache Q&A
Question: Is chocolate ganache gluten free?
It is gluten free! Because this dark chocolate ganache only incorporates chocolate, heavy cream and butter. It is naturally gluten free and safe for anyone who is celiac or can’t tolerate gluten.
Question: Can I use chocolate chips to make chocolate ganache?
Unfortunately, not. Chocolate chips have added ingredients that help them hold their shape when introduced to heat. Which is what makes them perfect for chocolate chip cookies! Trying to use them in chocolate ganache will only lead to a clumpy mess.
Question: Do I need to use a candy or digital thermometer?
YES! Just substitute for a dairy free chocolate such as Theo Organic Vegan Chocolate and use Unsweetened Full Fat Coconut Cream instead of the heavy cream. You can just exclude the butter from the recipe.Print
The next lesson is Module Three: Cream and Custard. Modules launch the last Monday of each month. Make sure to sign up to my newsletter for reminders and other gluten free recipes and tips.