How to Make Ganache and 5 Ways to Use Ganache

With Valentine’s Day coming up in a few days, many of us probably have chocolate on the brain. There is no simpler or more indulgent chocolate dessert than ganache.

Made of heavy cream and dark chocolate, you would be hard pressed to find a dessert with a shorter ingredient list. Not to mention that many of us probably have these items in the house already.

How to Make Chocolate Ganache

Not only is ganache easy and delicious, but it is very versatile. One batch of ganache can give you many different options for dessert if you have a little time to be creative.

Five Ways to Use Chocolate Ganache

1. Chocolate Fondue: Keep the chocolate warm and, if necessary, thin it to your desired dipping consistency with additional heavy cream or liquor. Perfect to dip fresh fruit, such as orange sections, raspberries and strawberries, homemade marshmallows, cheesecake bites, pretzels, or whatever else you’d like to eat dipped in warm, silky chocolate.

2. Chocolate Sauce: Pour or drizzle warm ganache over items like ice cream or crepes.

3. Coating Chocolate: Dip caramels, homemade marshmallows, fresh or dried fruit, nuts, pretzels, and more. Let the dipped edibles cool on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet in the refrigerator until hardened.

4. Frosting or Glaze for Cakes:

For a shiny, chocolate glaze:ย pour liquid, but cooled, chocolate over cheesecake, bundt cakes, brownies (while still in the pan, but completely cooled), or layer cakes.

For whipped frosting: Chill a metal mixing bowl and mixer’s whisk(s) in your freezer. When the ganache has completely cooled (about an hour) and begun setting, you can remove the bowl and whisk from the freezer and whip the chocolate.

Whip ganache at medium-high speed as you would whip heavy cream until the chocolate has lightened in color and is fluffy – about 2 – 5 minutes. This is perfect for filling layer cakes or piping on top of cupcakes for a fluffy chocolate frosting.

For Rich and Thick Cupcake Frosting: Allow the ganache to cool completely (about an hour) until it begins to set up but is still soft. Spoon into a pastry bag with a piping tip and pipe as desired for a rich dark chocolate frosting for cupcakes.

5. Quick Fudge: Pour the ganache into a lined pan and allow it to set. Cut into squares of fudge. If desired, swirl things like nut butters, dried or freeze dried fruit, coconut, marshmallows, caramel, vanilla bean, extracts or flavorings, or nuts into the fudge before pouring into the pan. If you like, sprinkle the top with sea salt before it hardens.

How do you like to use chocolate ganache?

How to Make Ganache

Yield: 1 1/2 cups ganache

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

8 ounces chopped dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Place the chopped dark chocolate into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

Then, pour the cream into a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until bubbles begin to form along the edges and the cream is hot. Do not bring to a boil.

Pour the hot cream into the bowl with the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for about 5 minutes while the chocolate melts. Using a small wire whisk or wooden spoon, stir the hot cream and chocolate mixture until smooth and glossy. Ganache will become thicker as it cools.

For pourable ganache: It is best to allow it to cool until no longer hot, but still a liquid pourable consistency. Then you can pour it over a cake as a glaze or on top of brownies as a glaze like frosting

For piped ganache:Allow the ganache to cool completely (about an hour) until it begins to set up but is still soft. Spoon into a pastry bag with a piping tip and pipe as desired for a rich dark chocolate frosting.

For whipped ganache: Place a metal mixing bowl and your stand or hand mixer's whisks in your freezer. When the ganache has completely cooled (about an hour) and begun setting, you can remove the bowl and whisk from the freezer and whip the ganache at medium-high speed as you would whip heavy cream until the chocolate has lightened in color and is fluffy - about 2 - 5 minutes. This is perfect for filling layer cakes or piping on top of cupcakes for a fluffy chocolate frosting.