Learn how to make chocolate ganache, a decadent yet simple, 2 ingredient dessert topping with an endless number of uses. This creamy chocolate mixture is pourable (for using as a shiny glaze on cakes and cupcakes), pipeable (for filling pastries or piping atop your favorite desserts), and whippable (for creating airy yet rich whipped ganache). Plus, this small batch recipe can easily be scaled up to fit bigger baking needs.
If you're looking to take your desserts to the next level, you need to know how to make chocolate ganache. This rich, creamy, chocolate mixture is incredibly versatile for enhancing desserts, despite the fact that it's incredibly easy to make.
What is chocolate ganache?
Chocolate ganache (pronounced guh-nawsh) is a decadent dessert staple made from chocolate and heavy cream. When mixed together, these two simple ingredients create a creamy, indulgent chocolate glaze or filling.
The ratio of chocolate to heavy cream impacts the texture of the ganache. In this post I'm focusing on classic chocolate ganache with a 1:1 ratio of chocolate to heavy cream, which creates a thick but pourable glaze. Chocolate ganache is also commonly used as the base for chocolate truffles (like my Irish cream chocolate truffles), though for truffles you'll need a firmer consistency and will therefore want a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to heavy cream. Conversely, for a highly pourable chocolate glaze with a consistency that's more loose, you'll need more heavy cream and may opt for a 1:2 ratio of chocolate to heavy cream. Again, we're focusing on a 1:1 ratio here.
Uses for chocolate ganache
Besides simply eating it with a spoon (no judgement!), there are plenty of uses for chocolate ganache:
- Glazing cupcakes or cakes
- Filling layer cakes
- Topping ice cream
- Dipping fruit
- Filling pastries
- Glazing donuts
- Topping brownies or bars
- Topping tarts or single-crust pies
- Piping onto cupcakes or cakes (once it's cooled and has set/firmed up)
- Whipping to create whipped ganache (read more about whipped ganache below)
How to make chocolate ganache
Chocolate ganache is SO easy to make. Yes, really! Here's what you need to know:
- Use quality chocolate. I recommend using a semi-sweet chocolate baking bar for your ganache. Do not use chocolate chips, as they will not melt to the smooth consistency we're aiming for.
- Finely chop the chocolate. The more finely you chop the chocolate, the more quickly and easily it will melt when the warm cream is added.
- Heat the cream and pour it over the chocolate, letting it sit before stirring. Warm the cream in a saucepan just until it begins to simmer. (Cream that is fully simmering or boiling will be too hot.) Pour the warmed cream over the chocolate, and let the heat from the cream melt the chocolate for 2 minutes. Then stir until smooth.
Whipped chocolate ganache
Once the ganache cools for a few minutes, you can use a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to whip it until it becomes light and fluffy in texture and lighter in color. This whipped ganache will be much more light and airy than classic ganache and is perfect for piping on top of desserts, as I did with these brownie bites.
Love these tips for making chocolate ganache? Leave a review and be sure to check out these other recipes made with ganache!
- Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars
- Brown Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Ganache
- Brownie Bites with Whipped Chocolate Ganache
- Irish Cream Chocolate Truffles
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
- 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate baking bar finely chopped*
- 4 oz. heavy whipping cream (or heavy cream)
- Place finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Add the cream to a small saucepan and heat just until simmering. (The cream should be just beginning to bubble and should not yet be fully simmering or boiling.)
- Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and shiny. Use as desired.
- For whipped chocolate ganache, after step 3, let the ganache cool for 3 to 5 minutes**.
- Once the ganache has cooled slightly, use a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to whip the ganache on medium-high speed for about one minute, until it becomes light and fluffy in texture and lighter in color.
- Use the whipped ganache immediately**.