Dark Chocolate Ganache - A rich and decadent sauce that's incredibly simple and easy to make. What's not to like? If you follow this chocolate ganache recipe, you'll be amazed at how quick and versatile it is!
Like most simple things, there are a plethora of things to say about this indulgent and handy sauce. In this post, I will endeavor to explain as completely as possible the practical and fascinating hints, tricks, and facts surrounding making chocolate ganache.
What Does "Ganache" Mean?
When literally translated from French, the word "ganache" means "fool", or "imbecile".
I know that really sounds like kind of harsh language to describe chocolate sauce, allow me to explain.
Because this sauce is so simple, and requires so few ingredients and tools, it was said that any simpleton could make it well. That is why it is a "fool's" chocolate sauce.
The Many Uses of Chocolate Ganache
- Cake Filling and Frosting - Chocolate ganache makes for an exceptional cake filling or frosting. It's smooth, glossy finish adds a touch of sophistication to any baked creation. Whether you're frosting a classic chocolate cake or filling the delicate layers of an opera cake, ganache brings a richness that will elevate the entire dessert. Whipped ganache will give it a lighter and mousse-like texture.
- Truffles and Confections - Rolling dark chocolate ganache into truffles is a delightful way to create bite-sized treats. After allowing the ganache to set, scoop out portions and roll them into balls, coating them with cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or tempered chocolate.
- Glaze for Pastries - For a shiny finish on pastries, eclairs, or tarts, ganache works wonders as a glaze. The glossy sheen it imparts not only enhances the visual appeal but also adds a layer of velvety richness to each bite.
- Hot Chocolate - Try using a spoonful or two in warm milk. The result is a a drink that goes beyond the ordinary, enveloping you in a comforting embrace of chocolatey goodness.
- Ice Cream Topping - Give your sundae a luxurious upgrade with warm ganache. It pairs perfectly with almost any flavor!
At it's core, chocolate ganache is a harmonious marriage of just two ingredients: chocolate, and cream. The synergy of these components is so absolute, it almost seems as though they were created in order to be combined this way. We like to use a little vanilla, as well as butter, for the flavor and texture.
- Chocolate - whenever making something with so few ingredients, it's essential that the quality is top notch. whether using sweet chocolate chips, chunks, or bars, read the ingredients. High quality chocolate should contain cocoa butter, not vegetable fats. It should also have a high percentage of cocoa solids, which indicates better quality. A higher cocoa content means that the chocolate product contains less sugar. Avoid dark chocolate that contains trans-fat, milk, artificial flavorings, high amounts of sugar, and other unnecessary ingredients. We like to use Callebaut brand semisweet callets 54.5%.
- Butter - we always use unsalted butter to cook with, in order to maintain control over seasoning. this ingredient is optional, but we prefer to use a little in order to create a softer texture, and it also provides a little extra shine.
- Cream - this is labelled many different ways, heavy cream, whipping cream, even as heavy whipping cream! they are all essentially the same thing. Milk or half and half cannot be substituted, the sauce will not achieve the right thickness or texture.
- Vanilla - this is also an optional ingredient, but not only do we really enjoy the back note of flavor that it brings, it also helps us to illustrate how different flavor extracts and liquors can be used to modify the ganache to your tastes.
See recipe card for quantities.
Step One & Two - Heat Cream and Add to Chocolate
Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Be careful to not let it come to a full boil, this would be a little too hot, and it would also easily boil over and create a huge mess.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate pieces and let it sit for a minute to allow the heat to melt the chocolate.
Step Three - Combine Ingredients
Stir gently to incorporate the chocolate fully and create a smooth consistency.
Stir in the softened butter to combine.
Step Four - Use as Glaze, Or Cool
Once the butter is mixed in, add the vanilla and stir in.
Here you see how lovely it works to coat these beautiful cream puffs.
We've already talked so much about how versatile this ganache is, but we're not done yet!
- Flavors - in place of the vanilla extract, you can use orange, rum, almond, coffee, and mint, really almost anything! Just make sure that whatever you add isn't adding a lot of moisture, and that it is relatively concentrated. Using flavored liquors is a great idea!
- Chocolate Type - we love dark chocolate in the seasons two taste kitchen, but you can use milk, or even white.
Temperature changes need to be gentle and even when it comes to this sauce, so before putting it in the fridge, let it come to room temperature first. Once it's tightly sealed and in the cooler, it will stay fresh for about 2 weeks.
Once again, gentle and slow is the key to warming ganache. We suggest adding a little more cream, and heating slowly in a double boiler over medium low heat, while stirring. The sauce can also be heated in the microwave with a little cream added, just make sure to do it in very short bursts, and mix thoroughly in between to prevent scorching.
By adjusting the ratio of cream to chocolate, you can adjust the finished consistency either thick or thinner.
As the ganache cools, it will start to take on a matte finish as opposed to the glossiness that it has when warm.
Usually the reason for this is mixing too aggressively. If you stir hard enough to incorporate air into the mixture, it will cause a greasy texture
Dark Chocolate Ganache
- 1 Mixing Bowl heat safe
- 1 Kitchen Scale
- 1 liquid measuring cup
- 1 Rubber Spatula
- 1 Saucepan
- 1 wire whip
- 1 Measuring Spoon Set
- 1 lb. Dark Chocolate chips
- 16 oz Heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Butter unsalted
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract or liquor of your choice
- Place the chocolate pieces in a heat safe mixing bowl.
- Add the heavy cream to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Pour the heated heavy cream over the chocolate pieces and allow to sit for 3-4 minutes.
- Using a wire whip quickly and carefully combine the cream and the chocolate. Stir with the whip two or three times, being careful not to add air to the mixture. You can use the rubber spatula for the stirring in order to prevent the ganache from becoming greasy.
- Add the desired flavored liquor or extract and the butter and stir with a rubber spatula to combine.
- Cool the ganache completely before storing in a container in the refrigerator.
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