Let's set the record straight, ganache is hands-down the richest and most decadent chocolate filling/frosting in all the right ways. It is incredibly silky smooth and very versatile. Despite the fancy French name, ganache is quite simple and pure. Really, there are only 2 ingredients needed to make a delicious chocolate ganache.
Chocolate Ganache Recipe
16 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped 8 ounces heavy cream
Using a high quality semi or bittersweet chocolate, finely chop and set aside in a heat resistant bowl. I like a nice Callebaut Semisweet, but anything between 60-70% cacao will do. Over medium-high heat, place the heavy cream in a saucepan. Heat the cream slowly until it comes to a low boil. Be sure not to heat to quickly, or your cream may burn. Once it starts to boil, pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the cream sit for a few minutes before stirring. Continue to stir until the chocolate has melted and the texture is silky. Depending on the usage, pour immediately or let cool.
I usually stick to a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream. Depending on the use of the ganache, you may want to experiment with this ratio ( up to about 1:1 ) until you find a texture you love.
As I mentioned, ganache is quite versatile. It may be used in a variey of forms and temperatures.
Glaze: While the ganache is still warm, pour over whole cakes to create a smoothy, shiny finish. You may also dip the tops of cupcakes into a bowl of warm ganache for a similar effect.
Filling: After the chocolate and cream have combined, let the bowl cool at room temperature. Stir occasionally, so it cools evenly. Once the mixture has thickened and is no longer runny, use this form of ganache as filling or frosting for layer cakes.
Whipped Frosting: To be used as a fluffy frosting, place cooled ganache into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip the frosting until the desired texture. The more you whip, the fluffier the frosting will be. Whip up until the ganache doubles in volume.
Ganache Buttercream: As an alternative to plain ganache, this buttercream can be used as filling or frosting as well. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine 1/2 lb unsalted butter, 1/4 coco powder, 1/4 powdered sugar, and 1/4 cup heavy cream to 1 cup chocolate ganache.
Truffles: Chill ganache in the refrigerator until firm. Using a mini cookie scoop or melon-baller, scoop out ganache and roll into balls. Dust with powdered sugar, cocoa powder, or roll in chopped nuts.
Now that you’ve learned a thing or two about ganache, I invite you to explore the possibilities and incorporate ganache in all of your favorite desserts. Try drizzling warm ganache over ice cream, or using it to make a cup of hot chocolate. Want to get fancy? Infuse other flavors such as lavender, chili, or whisky into the ganache. What other ways do you use ganache?