Ganache 101

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Ganache that’s shiny, creamy and the perfect consistency. Learn how to make the best dark, milk and white chocolate ganache

Ganache is a baking staple! It’s used for everything from making drips for cakes, creamy frostings for cupcakes, frostings, fillings and chocolate glazes. 

ganache frosting ratio

How do you make chocolate ganache

  1. Measure out your chocolate and chop it finely if it’s in big pieces so it melts evenly
  2. Heat your cream on the stovetop until steam just begins to rise from the surface. Whisk occasionally to prevent burning which tastes really bad. Don’t walk away or your cream could boil over. 
  3. Pour your hot cream over the chocolate and push the chocolate down so it’s all under the surface of the cream. Let it sit for 5 minutes. 
  4. Whisk the cream and chocolate together until it’s smooth. Start with small circles in the center until the chocolate and cream start creating an emulsion.
  5. If you have lumps or un-melted chocolate you can use an immersion blender to make your ganache super creamy and lump-free. 

Does chocolate ganache harden?

Chocolate contains cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is like wax, it’s firm at room temperature and liquid when warm. Adding liquids like cream to melted chocolate will inhibit the chocolate’s ability to set firmly. The more liquid you add the softer your ganache will be at room temperature. 

When testing a new ganache ratio, let the ganache stand at room temperature for 24 hours. The consistency of the ganache after 24 hours will give you an indication of how hard it will get. You can then add or reduce the amount of cream you add to the chocolate to get the desired consistency of ganache. 

What ratio is best for chocolate ganache?

A perfect ganache all depends on the ratio of chocolate to cream that you use. 

Ratio is a scary word for the baking newbie. I remember I totally did not understand what that meant at all. Basically, it just means how much chocolate to cream are you using. The first number represents chocolate, the second cream.

I always work in oz because I’m bad at math. So for instance, if I’m making my go-to ganache recipe and I use 32 of chocolate, I’m going to use 16 oz of cream (2:1). In this ratio, there’s always twice as much chocolate as cream so if you up the cream to 12 oz, then you’d use 24 oz of chocolate to keep the ratio the same.

ganache

Ganache ratios change depending on how you’re going to use it. I have listed below the ratios I use for my ganache. I only use semi-sweet dark chocolate or white chocolate (both from Guittard).

If you’re using a different brand and it’s not as thick or thin as you want it, just keep in mind, the darker the chocolate and the more cocoa %, the firmer it will set.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Drip Ratio – 1:1

  • 8 oz semi-sweet or dark chocolate
  • 8 oz heavy whipping cream

This ganache uses equal parts of chocolate and heavy cream always stays a bit soft. It’s great to use for pouring over ice cream when it’s warm, using as a glaze for cakes or for a super creamy and soft frosting for filling your cakes and cupcakes. 

This soft ganache can also be whipped to make a whipped ganache frosting. 

ganache drip ratio

Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting Ratio – 2:1

  • 16 oz semi-sweet or dark chocolate
  • 8 oz heavy whipping cream 

This ratio is most commonly used in the cake decorating world. It set’s a bit more firmly than the 1:1 ratio. When you let the ganache cool a couple of hours to room temperature (peanut butter consistency) it’s perfect for frosting wedding cakes or sculpted cakes.

I also like using this consistency for my sculpted cakes because when the frosting sets fully, it keeps a cake very stable. When the ganache is at room temperature it’s also the perfect consistency for rolling into truffles.

*pro-tip: you can flavor your ganache by steeping herbs or spices in the cream. Tea makes for some excellent flavors in ganache. 

how to make firm chocolate ganache

Milk Chocolate Ganache Frosting Ratio – 2.5:1

  • 20 oz white chocolate
  • 8 oz heavy whipping cream

Milk chocolate is great for making ganache but because it contains more sugar and milk solids, it is not as stable as dark chocolate. You will need to use a bit more chocolate for this ganache to set firm.

White Chocolate Ganache Frosting Ratio – 3:1

White chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa to help it set, only cocoa butter so you need to use a lot more chocolate to get it to set properly. I use a 3:1 ratio but I know some people go as high as 4:1.

Did you know that white chocolate ganache doesn’t sweat and is ideal to use in really hot environments like Florida, the Caribbean and Texas?

Cynthia White from CAKED By Cynthia White uses white chocolate ganache exclusively for her high-end clients and never has issues with cakes melted or shifting in the super hot weather.caked by cynthia white ganache

Water Ganache 6:1 (for drip cakes)

  • 6 oz white chocolate or colored candy melts
  • 1 oz warm water

Water ganache is ganache made with water instead of cream. The taste is still just as good but with no added dairy. Water ganache makes the most perfect little drips for drip cakes. 

Melt your white chocolate in a glass bowl over a double boiler or in the microwave. Do not over-heat

water ganache

Stir in your water until combined and smooth. Add in colorings as desired. 

Let cool to 90 degrees before piping onto the cake or if using to frost your cake, let thicken to peanut butter consistency before using. 

What Kind Of Chocolate Is Best For Ganache?

The basics of making ganache are actually very simple. Heat your cream, pour it on the chocolate and mix. So why do people have so many problems with ganache?

Chances are, it’s probably the chocolate you’re using. I know that when I first started baking I did not know that chocolate actually came in many many MANY different forms. But don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Basically, the higher the quality of chocolate you use, the better your ganache is going to taste.

the best chocolate to use for ganache

What does that mean?

It means leave the Hershey’s kisses and toll house chocolate chips in the cupboard and get yourself some real chocolate. Chocolate candies often have other ingredients like stabilizers that STOP them from melting so they hold up in packaging or don’t lose their shape during baking.

Really cheap chocolates like chocolate bark don’t taste very good because they have a lot of fillers like vegetable shortening instead of cocoa butter. If the chocolate doesn’t taste good, the ganache isn’t going to taste good.

You can buy chocolates in bars at the grocery store but that can get expensive. Your best bet is to look for good quality chocolate either from a restaurant supply store or cake decorating store near you or you can buy on Amazon. Look for a chocolate that’s at least 53% cocoa like Callebaut Chocolate (it should list it on the label).

callebaut chocolate 54

I use Guittard semi-sweet dark chocolate wafers because I can buy them at my local Winco in bulk and they are a good price. If you can find a place near you to buy in bulk or in large bars, that’s the best for your money because chocolate is heavy and can be expensive to ship.

what chocolate should you use to make ganache

Plus I always seem to be out of chocolate when I need it and I never have time to order!

How To Fix Lumpy Ganache

  1. If you have any lumps you can re-heat the whole thing in the microwave for 30-second increments until it’s smooth or you can use an immersion blender to make it super creamy.
    lumpy ganache

How to fix broken ganache

  1. If your ganache is breaking (oil separating from the chocolate) you can whisk in a tablespoon of warm water or milk. Keep adding warm water a tablespoon at a time until it comes together.
    split ganache

How to fix grainy ganache

Ganache can get grainy from whisking when the milk is too hot. Always let your chocolate/cream stand for 5 minutes before whisking. 

  1. If your ganache is grainy, just re-melt the whole thing over a double boiler and let it re-set. If you don’t re-melt it, the ganache will have a very bad mouthfeel.
    grainy ganache

How to fix runny ganache

  1. If your ganache is too thin and isn’t setting, add more melted chocolate and whisk to combine. I would start with 2oz and see where you’re at before adding more to avoid making the ganache too stiff.
  2. If your ganache is too stiff you can add 1oz of warm cream to loosen it up.

ganache

Is it safe to leave ganache out overnight?

Ganache can be left at room temperature for 48 hours, refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 6 months. Warm ganache up in the microwave in 15 second bursts or let it come to room temperature naturally. 

Be sure to watch the video below on how to make chocolate ganache and I hope this post has helped you have the confidence to go forth and make some ganache! I swear it’s not scary and if you have any questions at all, just leave them for me down in the comments and if you’re looking for a community of cake decorators to help you at any time of the day, join our facebook group!

 

ganache
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Ganache

How to make a great ganache recipe and how to use it in it's various forms for a ganache drip, piped ganache and ganache for icing a cake. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate ganache
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Calories 1140 kcal

Ingredients

Firm Setting Ganache 2:1

  • 16 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate guittard a'peels - about $3/lb
  • 8 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting Ganache 1:1

  • 8 oz 60% high quality chocolate Such as callebaut - about $8/lb
  • 8 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

White chocolate Ganache

  • 18 oz white chocolate
  • 6 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Weigh out your chocolate in a heat proof bowl

  2. Heat cream in a sauce pan until steam starts to rise from the surface but isn't boiling yet. 

  3. Pour hot cream over the chocolate, push the chocolate down so that it's all under the surface of the cream and let it set for 2 minutes. 

    Whisk ganache starting from the center in small circles ganache recipe cake tutorial
  4. Whisk the cream and chocolate together. Add salt and vanilla and whisk. Sometimes it all won't mix together and you'll be able to see a couple lumps. If you have lumps, put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds to completely melt all your chocolate, otherwise this can ruin the ganache later when the chocolate re-crystalizes. 

    If you have an immersion blender you can use it to remove any remaining lumps as well for a super cream ganache

    Allow ganache to firm up ganache recipe cake tutorial
  5. Freshly made ganache is great for piping a drip around a cake. For piping ganache or frosting a cake, let the mixture sit at room temperature until it's thickened to peanut butter consistency. For truffles, let your ganache sit overnight at room temperature. 

  6. Ganache can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 week for frozen for up to 6 months. 

Recipe Notes

Don't put your ganache in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts
Ganache
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 1140 Calories from Fat 765
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 85g 131%
Saturated Fat 50g 250%
Cholesterol 112mg 37%
Sodium 1129mg 47%
Potassium 913mg 26%
Total Carbohydrates 81g 27%
Dietary Fiber 12g 48%
Sugars 55g
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 23.7%
Vitamin C 0.5%
Calcium 14.3%
Iron 53.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

ganache

how to make ganache recipe

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