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How to Make Chocolate Ganache

To make chocolate ganache, you need just two ingredients: chocolate and heavy whipping cream. That’s it.

The complexity lies in knowing the ratio of chocolate to cream to use in the recipe and the temperature the mixture should be at for your particular application.

Overhead view of Stef preparing a bowl of chocolate ganache
Chocolate ganache can be used for cake filling, a poured glaze, a spread or piped frosting, a decorative drizzle, as the base for truffles, or as a bonbon filling.

To develop this complete guide to making ganache, I used nearly $50 of chocolate and a half gallon of heavy whipping cream – so read up and save yourself some time and money as you learn how to make chocolate ganache like a pro.

What is Chocolate Ganache?

Chocolate ganache is chocolate that is mixed with cream to make it softer at room temperature. Depending on how much cream you use, it can be moist (like the filling for chocolate truffles) or stiff (like a cupcake frosting).

What are the Ingredients?

bowl of chocolate chips

You’ll need heavy whipping cream and chocolate to make a recipe of chocolate ganache.

Because there are only two ingredients, the quality of the chocolate really matters.

Choose the best semisweet, bittersweet, or dark chocolate that you can get your hands on. I suggest picking a chocolate that you love to eat all on its own (try to not eat it all before it goes into the recipe). If the chocolate isn’t already chips or thin discs, chop it finely so it will melt easily.

How to Make Chocolate Ganache

No matter what ratio of chocolate to cream you are using, the basic procedure for making ganache is consistent across most recipes:

  1. Bring heavy whipping cream just to boil either in the microwave or on the stove (I prefer the microwave).
  2. Pour it over a bowl of small pieces of chocolate.
  3. Let the cream sit on the chocolate for a minute.
  4. Stir the ganache until the cream and the chocolate are fully combined.

Cream being poured over chocolate discs

What is the Correct Chocolate to Cream Ratio in Chocolate Ganache?

As I mentioned above, the ratio (by weight) of chocolate to cream is very important. I present three options below, but you can use these as loose guidelines and experiment to find a ratio that works best for you.

Equal Parts Chocolate and Cream

One of the most popular ways to make ganache is to use equal parts chocolate and cream.

  • While still warm, this ganache is pourable and can be used to drizzle chocolate ribbons or to glaze cookies, cupcakes, or cakes. It can even be used as a filling between layers of a cake. (I always love pouring this glaze on my favorite chocolate cupcakes when I make them for true chocolate lovers!)
  • As it starts to cool, it thickens and takes on more of a spreadable consistency.
  • At room temperature (after it sits in a covered bowl on the counter for 1-2 hours), the texture is like brownie batter and the ganache can be rolled into balls for truffles or whipped at high speed to make a light, airy chocolate frosting.

Ganache

Two Parts Chocolate to One Part Cream

Ganache

Increasing the percentage of chocolate makes for a much thicker end result. Ganache that is two parts chocolate to one part cream is a typical ratio for truffles. Although you can make truffles with a 1:1 ratio (as shown above), the 2:1 truffles will have a more fudgey consistency. Take a look at Cookie Rookie’s truffles for an example.

I also use the 2:1 chocolate to cream ratio for bonbon fillings. The 2:1 ratio is also perfect for a chocolate ganache for macarons.

Ganache Frosting

This formulation can also be used as a glaze or piped frosting, as shown above. The glaze will have the consistency of the top of a Hostess cupcake (of course, it will taste much better!). The 2:1 piped frosting is one of my favorites – it is intensely chocolaty!

Two Parts Cream to One Part Chocolate

Ganache

A ganache with more cream than chocolate is very runny (like a soup) when warm and mousse-like at room temperature. While warm, this type of ganache can be poured over a cake to give it a beautiful chocolate glaze. Be sure to put something under the cake while you pour because the ganache will drip. It’s too thin for a truffle, but if you chill it first, you can whip it to create a pipeable frosting that tastes like chocolate whipped cream.

Handle the Heat uses this ratio to fill her chocolate blackout cupcakes. It’s the perfect gooey cupcake filling!

While these are all guidelines, you can also be flexible and use something in between. For example, That Skinny Chick Can Bake uses 12 ounces of chocolate to 16 ounces of cream (a 3:4 ratio) for the topping on her amazing looking Chocolate Caramel Twix Cheesecake.

Cooled Ganache

Here’s how the three different types of ganache look after they have cooled in a bowl for two hours. The two parts cream ganache looks just like caramel in this photo, but I assure you that it’s made with the same bittersweet chocolate as the other ganaches! If any of the warm ganache varieties are poured on cupcakes, cakes, or cookies, they will look smooth and shiny when they cool – the difference will just be in the thickness of the chocolate.

Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate Ganache

Because there is a higher fat content in milk and white chocolate than in semisweet, bittersweet, or dark chocolate, use a higher percentage of chocolate to cream than you otherwise would for the thickness of ganache that you would like. For example, instead of a 2:1 chocolate to cream ratio, I suggest a 3:1 chocolate to cream ratio.

How Much Ganache Do I Need?

Here are some general guidelines on how much chocolate to use in different applications:

  • To make 24 truffles: 12 ounces chocolate
  • To frost 24 cupcakes with a dipped or spread ganache: 16 ounces chocolate
  • To frost 24 cupcakes with a piped ganache: 20 ounces chocolate
  • To use to decorate a two-layer 9″ round cake: 20 ounces chocolate

Flavored Ganache

Red wine ganache on a cupcake
If you want to add other flavors to your ganache, you can mix in extracts, flavoring oils, or alcohol to the warm ganache. I’m a huge fan of red wine ganache. You can also add flavor by steeping the cream in tea or herbs and straining before heating and pouring over the chopped chocolate. Melting a little butter with the heavy whipping cream can give a richer flavor and add a little more shine to the finished product (if you want to get a little crazy, you can even make ganache with cheese).

How to Store Ganache

In general, ganache can be kept at room temperature for two days; the sugar in chocolate keeps bacteria from growing.

However, storage suggestions vary based on the percentage of cream you are using. I tend to refrigerate my ganache that’s made with twice as much cream to chocolate just to be on the safe side. I’ve been told that ganache can last in the refrigerator for a month, but it’s never lasted that long at my house.

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Cream being poured over chocolate discs
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4.77 from 21 votes

Chocolate Ganache

How to make perfect chocolate ganache
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword ganache recipe, vegan chocolate ganache recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 222kcal
Author Stef

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 20 ounces dark chocolate chips, discs, or any chocolate chopped into small pieces

Instructions

  • Bring heavy whipping cream just to boil either in the microwave or on the stove (I prefer the microwave).
  • Pour it over a bowl of small pieces of chocolate.
  • Let the cream sit on the chocolate for a minute.
  • Stir the ganache until the cream and the chocolate are fully combined.

Notes

  • While still warm, this ganache is pourable and can be used to drizzle chocolate ribbons or to glaze cookies, cupcakes, or cakes. It can even be used as a filling between cake layers.
  • As it starts to cool, it thickens and takes on more of a spreadable consistency.
  • At room temperature (after it sits in a covered bowl on the counter for 1-2 hours), the texture is like brownie batter and the ganache can be rolled into balls for truffles or whipped at high speed to make a light, airy chocolate frosting.
 
Double the cream in this recipe for a ganache that can be poured over a cake to give it a beautiful chocolate glaze. Be sure to put something under the cake while you pour because the ganache will drip. It's too thin for a truffle, but if you chill it first, you can whip it to create a pipeable frosting that tastes like chocolate whipped cream.
Double the chocolate in this recipe for very fudgey truffles. This ganache can also be used as a glaze or piped frosting. The glaze will have the consistency of the top of a Hostess cupcake.
If you use milk chocolate or white chocolate, increase the amount of chocolate used for your particular application. You'll want to experiment to learn the ratio that works with your favorite chocolate. I'd start with 1.5:1 for the base 1:1 ratio.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Ganache
Amount Per Serving
Calories 222 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 11g55%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 13mg1%
Potassium 186mg5%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 355IU7%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Learn how to make this incredibly versatile chocolate ganache for a cake filling, glaze, a spread or piped frosting, a decorative drizzle, or the base for truffles! It is so easy, you only need chocolate and heavy whipping cream for this recipe! Try this on your next dessert adventure!
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