How to Make Homemade Chocolate Ganache
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We'll show you how to make chocolate ganache step by step so you can make fancy, decadent desserts at home.
Some of the most satisfying desserts are rich and chocolaty, like flourless chocolate cake, chocolate peanut butter cupcakes and chocolate cheesecake bars. These over-the-top desserts have something in common: chocolate ganache. But you don’t have to dine at a fancy restaurant in order to enjoy these decadent treats—we’ll show you how to make chocolate ganache right in your own kitchen.
What is Chocolate Ganache?
Chocolate ganache is a luscious combination of cream and melted chocolate. It has a gorgeous shine and a fudge-like texture (although there are differences between fudge and ganache). Chocolate ganache can come in a few different forms:
- Pourable ganache will give your cakes a silky glaze, like in this Ganache-Topped Chocolate Cake recipe. Cooled at room temperature, it has a smooth and velvety texture.
- Spreadable ganache is great as a fruit dip, or you can pipe it onto cupcakes or into these Buttery Ganache Cookie Cups. Chilled slightly, it has a thicker consistency.
- Whipped ganache has a light and fluffy texture that comes from whisking cooled or chilled ganache. It’s great as a frosting for cupcakes or cakes, like this Three-Layer Chocolate Ganache Cake.
You can make pourable or spreadable ganache by following our Chocolate Ganache recipe below. From there, it only takes one extra step to make whipped ganache.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
While chocolate ganache may seem fussy, it’s actually very simple to make at home. Depending on the dessert you’re making, the ingredient ratios may vary. But no matter the quantities of chocolate and cream called for, the procedure for how to make chocolate ganache is generally the same.
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Step 1: Heat the cream and prepare the chocolate
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Gently heat the cream on the stove in a heavy saucepan. If your recipe calls for any additional ingredients, like sugar, salt or corn syrup, you can whisk them in here, too.
In the meantime, place your chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. (These are the best chocolate chips, according to our Test Kitchen’s blind taste test.) Alternatively, you can use a finely chopped chocolate bar. For best results, use good-quality chocolate.
Test Kitchen tip: Avoid overboiling the cream—liquid that’s too hot can overheat the fat in the chocolate, causing it to separate.
Step 2: Whisk it together
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Once the mixture reaches a simmer or low boil, remove it from the heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then whisk until you have smooth ganache.
Test Kitchen tip: Remember to let the mixture sit before you begin whisking. If you start mixing immediately, you’ll cool the cream too quickly and the ganache could become grainy.
Step 3: Set the ganache
The final step will vary slightly depending on how you’ll be using the ganache.
- For pourable ganache: Cool at room temperature until the mixture thickens slightly. It should be around 85° to 90°F.
- For spreadable ganache: Chill in the refrigerator, stirring occassionally, until it reaches your desired consistency.
- For whipped ganache: Let it cool, then use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whisk the ganache until it has a fluffy texture and more pale brown color.
Editor’s tip: If your ganache becomes too stiff to use, pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until it’s the right consistency. Just be mindful not to heat for longer intervals—you never want to overheat chocolate.
How to Use Chocolate Ganache
One of the most common ways to use chocolate ganache is as a shiny cake glaze. For this, use a glass liquid measuring cup to slowly pour slightly cooled ganache over your cake, letting the ganache drip over the edges. Then use an offset spatula to smooth and evenly coat the cake, working quickly before the ganache thickens.
But there are many other ways to use ganache, depending on the recipe you’re following. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:
- Drizzle it over desserts: Instead of covering a cake with ganache, lightly drizzle it on cheesecakes or pies, like this Coconut Macaroon Pie with Chocolate Ganache.
- Use it as a tart filling: If you pour ganache into a tart shell and let it set—like in this Salted Dark Chocolate Tart recipe—it becomes a delicious filling.
- Swap in white baking chips: For a different look and taste, make ganache using white baking chips instead of chocolate chips. You can even add food coloring, like we did for this Confetti Birthday Drip Cake.
Chocolate Ganache Tips
How can I fix broken ganache?
If your ganache separates or becomes grainy, try adding more liquid and rewhisking until it becomes smooth. You can also give it a very slight re-warm on the lowest heat setting on the stovetop while whisking. (You need just a whisper of heat to remelt the chocolate.)
Can I put ganache on a warm cake?
Avoid putting chocolate ganache on a warm cake. Instead, let your cake cool completely before topping it with ganache.
How do you store a cake with ganache?
Keeping ganache desserts at room temperature is fine for a day or two. Beyond that, pop them into the refrigerator. Our Test Kitchen recommends using an inverted glass bowl or foil to keep air out. Avoid using plastic wrap, which tends to stick to the ganache.
Sarah Farmer, Taste of Home Executive Culinary Director, contributed to this article.