Ganache is a combination of cream and chocolate, often used as a filling for pastries and cakes or to make sweet dishes such as truffles or chocolate candy.
Chocolate ganache is most commonly known for having variable consistencies that work well in a variety of sweets. For example, you can make a lighter and fluffier ganache cream for cakes, or a thicker one to make truffles with.
Here’s what you need to know about ganache and how you can use it.
What is ganache?
Ganache frosting is usually made by simmering the cream and then mixing it with diced chocolate when it is still hot.
The hot cream, when whisked properly, will melt the chocolate and combine to make a ganache. In some cases, if you want more airy ganache, you can add butter and oil to alter the texture.
Ganache is typically used as a glaze, icing, or filling. The main ingredients consist of dark or semi-dark chocolate and cream.
When finished, ganache features a shiny and smooth outer texture. People often change the ratio of cream-to-chocolate depending on what they are using it for, but the usual ratio is 2:1 of chocolate to cream.
Does ganache harden?
If you leave the ganache to chill in the fridge, it will eventually become more firm.
Depending on the ratio of chocolate to cream, the thickness and firmness of the ganache vary. If you have twice as much chocolate as cream, the mixture is more likely to thicken to a fudge-like consistency.
If you keep a 1 part chocolate ratio to 1.5 parts cream, the mixture will not harden. However, once it cools, it will become slightly firmer.
The cooling process, paired with chocolate to cream ratio, typically determines how hard the ganache will be.
Can you freeze ganache?
Yes, you can freeze ganache. If kept in the freezer, ganache can last up to a month.
Transfer it to the fridge and let it thaw when you’re ready to use it. Don’t take it directly out of the freezer and leave it at room temperature, or it will become soggy, and moisture will build up.
Is ganache hard or soft?
Ganache can be either hard or soft, depending on the ratios of cream to chocolate.
If you want a thinner, runnier ganache, having almost equal parts of cream and chocolate should do the trick. The more the cream, the softer the ganache.
You can also use heavy cream, whipping cream, or double cream to vary the final product's texture.
How long does ganache last?
Ganache can last for about one week in the refrigerator.
You have to make sure you cover it up properly because the cold does harden it.
Once you have taken it out of the fridge to use again, you’ll have to soften it by letting it settle down to room temperature or heating it gently until it resumes the previous consistency.
How to store ganache
When storing ganache, make sure that you cover it with a plastic wrap that sits just on top of the surface. This ensures that no crust develops at the top during the time that it is stored away.
Certain types of ganache recipes claim that it can be left outside at room temperature for up to two days. But to be on the safe side, you should refrigerate it.
How to use ganache
When making ganache, it’s preferable to use semi-sweet chocolate. The semi-sweet chocolate ensures that the ganache isn’t too sweet because you’re already using it over a sweet dish such as cake or pastries.
You can even opt for bittersweet; but pure dark chocolate mixed with cream is not a good idea. If you’re willing to experiment, you can try making white chocolate ganache as well.
You can use ganache for tarts, cakes, truffles, donuts, brownies, and cupcakes, as both a filling and glaze on top. If you make a very thin ganache, you can even use it as a makeshift chocolate drink.
Some general rules when using ganache are:
- 1:1 chocolate to cream ratio if you want a thick glaze
- 2:1 chocolate to cream ratio for a consistency similar to fudge
- 1:2 chocolate to cream ratio for a runny, thin ganache
- 5 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ c heavy cream
- Add the chocolate chips to a heatproof glass bowl.
- Heat up the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer but don’t allow it to get to a boil. You are just heating it up.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips in the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Allow it to sit for 3 minutes.
- Stir with a spatula to completely combine the mixture.
- Serve warm.
The bottom line
The tips we've revealed should now help you get started as you prepare your own batch of ganache.
At first, it can be tricky to get used to the ratios and figure out which one is best for you. However, with a bit of trial and error, you’ll find the indulgent taste and texture for your dessert.