Chocolate ganache is made with chocolate and cream and is typically used for icings, sauces, or fillings for baked goods.
Chocolate ganache is a 1 to 1 mixture of chocolate and warm cream. It is a staple in a baker’s kitchen. It is easy to prepare and comes together quickly, and can also be used as a dip.
The ganache always stays fairly soft, making it ideal for pouring over ice cream and filling cakes and cupcakes. However, chocolate ganache can definitely be made thicker if that is something you would like to do. To harden the ganache, allow it to cool at room temperature or place it in the refrigerator. It will get thicker as it cools. Be sure not to mix it while it is cooling, though, or it will become lumpy.
You may be thinking, “That sounds a lot like chocolate mousse.” Chocolate mousse contains eggs, while chocolate ganache does not. In addition, chocolate ganache requires two ingredients, where chocolate mousse requires several. I would say that chocolate ganache is more versatile than chocolate mousse.
Chocolate ganache can more easily be compared to frosting than a mousse. Although, they are not the same either. Chocolate ganache is much heavier than frosting. It contains more cocoa solids and is not whipped. Frosting has a lighter and fluffier consistency and is whipped. Chocolate ganache is poured, while frosting has to be spread into a pastry.
Are you curious as to how to store your chocolate ganache? The ganache will be OK at room temperature for a day or two, but anything longer than that, you should pop it in the refrigerator. It will stiffen up in there, as we discussed earlier, but if you take it out and allow it to come to room temperature, it will soften up again.
If you would like your chocolate ganache to shine like nobody’s business, add butter! If you add a Tablespoon of unsalted butter and stir until it has melted, it will add not only shine but another level of richness to your ganache.
Ready to whip up a batch of chocolate ganache? Here is a recipe from Alton Brown from the Food Network. I really like his recipe because he explains what to do to create a frosting out of the ganache.
16 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
2 cups, 16 ounces of heavy cream
Place the chopped chocolate into the bowl of a food processor.
Heat the heavy cream in a quart-sized, microwavable container and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes on high, or until it just begins to simmer; be careful not to allow the cream to boil over.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes.
Process by pulsing several times until the chocolate mixture is smooth. Use as-is for glazing.
If you wish to make a lighter frosting, allow it to come to room temperature, approximately 2 hours. Once at room temperature, place in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high for 2 to 3 minutes.
Let’s take a look at what we learned here today:
Chocolate ganache is a soft coating or dip
It can be made firm by allowing it to cool or by placing it in the fridge
Ganache can be made into a frosting by whisking it
It only contains two ingredients
It will last at room temperature for up to three days
Ganache is not a mousse or frosting
It can be used to fill cakes or cupcakes
Adding butter creates shine and richness
Bonus tip: Do not use chocolate chips when making your chocolate ganache. They do not melt to the ideal consistency.