Chocolate Ganache

Here we share our tips and tricks for making chocolate ganache, including a few top tips from our expert in-house baker!
What is Chocolate Ganache?
Picture - Smoothing Ganache v1

Velvety, rich and utterly delicious are the best ways to describe chocolate ganache! Made from a tantalising mix of melted chocolate and double cream, it’s long been a popular sweet treat to spread on top of or inside sponge cakes.

When it comes to what chocolate ganache tastes like, it’s very similar to chocolate mousse. It’s also sometimes compared to chocolate fudge sauce. The flavour will differ, depending on which type of chocolate you use and if you decide to add in any extra flavourings – whether that’s a splash of vanilla extract a handful of toasted nuts.

Ganache isn’t just used to give cakes and cupcakes a more decadent edge. There are plenty of other recipes that call for this chocolatey glaze. Why not have a go at making your own chocolate truffles or a luxurious dipping sauce for churros? Ganache can also be used as a filling for tarts or even as a drip glaze.

This scrumptious and incredibly versatile topping couldn’t be easier to make with the right know-how. Here we share our top tips for making chocolate ganache, including a few handy hints from our expert in-house bakers.

How to Make a Chocolate Ganache
Picture - Chopped Choc in Bowl for ganache

Making a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate ganache couldn’t be easier. This delicious topping features just two ingredients: chocolate and double cream. That’s it!

You can use any type of chocolate you like to make a ganache, whether that’s a rich dark chocolate or a creamy milk chocolate. Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll want to follow these steps:

1. Measure your ingredients, ensuring you have the correct ratios (see the section below).
2. Finely chop your chocolate and put it in a large mixing bowl.

Picture - Pouring Cream into Bowl of ganache

3. Heat up the cream over a low heat, either in the microwave or over the hob, until it’s gently simmering.
4. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate.
5. Leave the mix for one minute.

Picture - Stirring Ganache

6. Stir together gently until you have a lovely smooth ganache.
Once you’ve made a big bowl of ganache, you can either use it straight away to create a drip effect or allow it to cool so it spreads more easily onto a cake. You could even pop your ganache in the fridge for a few hours and then roll it out into truffles.

Top Tip: Leaving the chocolate and cream to sit for a minute before stirring will help prevent it from seizing up with the heat and separating.

Ganache Ratio
Picture - Chocolate Bars Range v1

One thing you’ll want to bear in mind when making a ganache is the ratio of chocolate to double cream.

The ganache ratio will change depending on which type of chocolate you use too. Why? Because different types of chocolate have different fat percentages that can affect both how they melt and how they combine with the cream.

Here are our bakers’ recommended ratios for making ganache out of milk, white or dark chocolate:
· For dark chocolate (at least 54% cocoa solids) – 2:1 ratio chocolate to double cream
· For milk chocolate (at least 35% cocoa solids) – 2.5:1 ratio chocolate to double cream
· For white chocolate (at least 26% cocoa solids) – 3:1 ratio chocolate to double cream
For example, to make 300g dark chocolate ganache, you would use 200g chocolate and 100ml double cream.

Top Tip: Always weigh your ingredients to ensure your ratios are correct.

What Chocolate is Best for Ganache?
Picture - Adding Peppermint Extract to ganache

While you can technically use any chocolate to make a ganache, it’s usually best to use a baking chocolate, such as our 54% Dark Chocolate. That’s because baking chocolate melts much better than regular chocolate, ensuring you get a smooth consistency.

You can use any type of baking chocolate, whether that’s milk, white or dark. To keep the flavour sweet, avoid using any chocolate that contains over 60% cocoa solids. If you do use a richer option, you may want to add a spoonful of sugar to stop it from tasting too bitter.

Top Tip: You can easily flavour your ganache by adding extracts or flavouring to your ganache mixture. We would recommend starting with ½ tsp and adding more flavour to taste.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache
Picture - Spreading Ganache on Cake v1

Want to give your ganache a creamier, lighter consistency? Whipped ganache is the answer! To make it, you’ll need to make sure your ganache mix is completely cool first. You can then use an electric beater to whip it up as you would cream. Once you’ve achieved a nice, fluffy texture, you’ll be able to spread or pipe it onto cakes and cupcakes.

How to Make Chocolate Ganache for a Drip Cake
Picture - Ganache Drip

A drip cake should not only look fantastic, but taste phenomenal too. Ganache is a brilliant option for creating a dramatic drip effect. 
Start by making a regular chocolate ganache using the steps above. Instead of letting it set fully at room temperature or placing it in the fridge, you’ll want to use it as soon as it’s reached a nice consistency. Pour it carefully over a cake/dessert or drip it around the edges using a spoon or piping bag.

Top Tip: To make sure you are happy with the consistency, check your ganache drips on an upturned bowl. If it’s too thick, heat it in the microwave in 10 second bursts and stir until it is runnier. If it is too runny, allow it to sit at room temperature for a little while and ensure you keep stirring it so it cools evenly.

Piped Chocolate Ganache
Picture - Piping Ganache1-1 and 4-5

Thanks to its silky and shiny appearance, chocolate ganache is ideal for creating wonderful piped detailing on cakes, cupcakes, pies and muffins.
You’ll want to cool down your ganache before you pop it in an piping bag, otherwise it won’t hold its shape when piped. Cover it and leave it to stand at room temperature overnight. Alternatively, place it in the fridge and then take it out 30 minutes to an hour before you plan on using it.

Can you Freeze Chocolate Ganache?

Made a little bit too much ganache? Or maybe you just like to prep stuff in advance? While most ganache will keep for a week or so in the fridge, it’s also entirely possible to stash a box of pre-made ganache in the freezer for future use.
Make sure your ganache has cooled completely outside the fridge before dolloping it into a box. Pop the lid on and then put it in the freezer. You can leave it in there for up to a few months. When you want to use it for some delicious homemade goodies, simply remove it from the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge overnight.

Frequently Asked Questions for Chocolate Ganache

How do you make a white chocolate ganache?
Thanks to its higher fat content, white chocolate ganache requires slightly different ingredient ratios. You’ll want to use a ratio of 3:1 for a white chocolate ganache – for example, 300g white chocolate to 100g double cream.
How can I thicken chocolate ganache?
If your ganache is too thin, you may have got your ratios slightly wrong. To thicken the ganache, melt a little bit of chocolate in the microwave or over the hob. Separately, melt the ganache in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it is warm and runny. You can then stir in the additional melted chocolate and leave it to cool.

Picture - Adding Liquid Glucose to ganache

How can you make chocolate ganache shiny?
There are two ways you can give your ganache some extra shine. Try adding some liquid glucose to your cream (approximately 2-3tbsps per 100ml) before you heat it through. Alternatively, add a small amount of softened butter to your ganache once your cream and chocolate have already been combined. Note that these methods only work if you want to use your ganache for pouring or as a drip.

Picture - Split Ganache

How to fix split ganache?
A split ganache may seem like the end of the world at the time, but it’s actually very easy to fix. Try adding a little bit of double cream directly to the mix and stirring it slowly until the mix becomes smooth.

Picture - Lumpy Ganache

Why is my ganache grainy?
If your ganache has a grainy texture, it’s probably because your cream was too hot when you poured it over the chocolate. To fix this, warm it through in the microwave for 20 seconds and then stir. Repeat if needed.

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