The Complete Guide to Chocolate Ganache

Disclosure: I may earn a commission from purchases you make through affiliate links in this post at no additional cost to you.

You can easily make amazing ganache for just about any dessert. My recipe uses only chocolate and heavy whipping cream and takes five minutes to make using a range or microwave.

Ganache dripping from a spoon

Depending on the amount of cream used, ganache can be moist (like the filling for chocolate truffles) or stiff (like a cupcake frosting). It’s most commonly used as cake filling, a poured glaze, a spread or piped frosting, a decorative drizzle, as the base for truffles, or as a bonbon filling.

The key to making it the right consistency for your particular dessert is knowing both the ratio of chocolate to cream to use and the temperature the mixture should be at. I delve into all of the details in this post.

Ingredients

Overhead view of a bowl of dark chocolate chips

You’ll need heavy whipping cream and chocolate to make this recipe. That’s it. Because there are only two ingredients, the quality of the chocolate really matters.

Choose the best semisweet, bittersweet, or dark chocolate that you can find. I suggest picking one that you love to eat all on its own (try to not eat it all before it goes into the recipe). Chop it finely so it will melt easily if it isn’t already in chip or disc format.

How It’s Made

Regardless of the ratio of chocolate to cream you use, the process remains the same:

  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.

Tip: The ganache will come together quicker if you use small pieces of chocolate.

Hot cream being poured over dark chocolate discs
  1. Let the cream sit on the chocolate for a minute.
  2. Stir gently with a spoon until the cream and the chocolate are fully combined.

Tip: Avoid using a whisk or stirring vigorously because you will incorporate air and cause the mixture to separate!

Overhead view of stirring chocolate with hot cream to make ganache

Expert Tips and FAQs

Ratios of Chocolate to Cream

The ratio (by weight) of chocolate to cream is very important when making ganache for different desserts. Below are some loose guidelines that will help you as you experiment to find a ratio that works best for what you’re making.

Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cakes

Ganache dripping off of a spoon to show the consistency of ganache made with equal amounts of chocolate and cream

One of the most popular ratios is equal parts chocolate and cream.

  • While still warm, this version is pourable. That makes it perfect for drizzling chocolate ribbons or glazing 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, but it’s also fantastic on peanut butter cupcakes!)
  • 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 it can be rolled into balls for truffles or whipped at high speed to make a light, airy ganache frosting. Eating this straight it up is right up there for me with eating molten chocolate mug cakes.

Truffles, Bonbons, Macarons, and Thick Frosting

Ganache dripping off of a spoon to show the consistency of ganache made with two parts chocolate to one part cream

Increasing the percentage of chocolate makes for a much thicker end product. Truffles typically use a ganache that is two parts chocolate to one part cream. Although you can make truffles with a 1:1 ratio (as shown above), the 2:1 truffles will have a more fudgy 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 macaron filling.

Whipped ganache stuck to a mixer's whisk attachment

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 but will, of course, taste much better. The 2:1 whipped, piped frosting is one of my favorites – it is intensely chocolaty!

Poured Glaze for Cakes, Cupcake Filling, and Light Frosting

Ganache dripping off of a spoon to show the consistency of ganache made with one part chocolate to two parts cream

A ganache with more cream than chocolate is very runny (like a soup) when warm and mousse-like at room temperature. While warm, this 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. If you chill it first, you can whip it to create a light, 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!

Other Desserts

While these are all guidelines, be flexible and try 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

Cooled ganache on three spoons, made with 1:1, 2:1, and 1:2 ratios of chocolate to cream

Here’s how the three different types of ganache look after they have cooled in a bowl for two hours. The two parts cream version looks just like caramel in this photo, but I assure you that it’s made with the same bittersweet chocolate as the others!

Tip: If a warm ganache is poured on a dessert rather than spread or scooped, it will look smooth and shiny when cool. Different ratios yield different thicknesses.

FAQs

How much chocolate do I need for different desserts?

To make 24 truffles, you’ll need 12 ounces of chocolate.

To frost 24 cupcakes with a dipped or spread ganache, you’ll need 16 ounces of chocolate.

To frost 24 cupcakes with a piped ganache, you’ll need 20 ounces of chocolate.

To decorate a two-layer round cake, you’ll need 20 ounces of chocolate.

How can I flavor ganache?

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.

What’s the best way to store ganache?

In general, it 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.

Can I use milk chocolate or white chocolate?

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 making ganache using a 2:1 chocolate to cream ratio, use a 3:1 chocolate to cream ratio.

Overhead view of different desserts prepared using chocolate ganache
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
Ganache dripping from a spoon
Print Pin
4.63 from 32 votes

Chocolate Ganache Recipe

How to make perfect chocolate ganache using cream and chocolate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 222kcal
Author Stefani

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

Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2.8mg
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!

The Complete Guide to Chocolate Ganache