Ganache is simply an emulsion of chocolate and cream. It can be made with varying ratios of cream to chocolate for different consistencies of glaze. Chocolate ganache makes a wonderful frosting, or glaze, for chocolate cake or cupcakes. It is the center of a truffle or it can be whipped into a frosting or cake filling. Liqueurs, coffee and flavorings may be added or ganache may be made with butter instead of cream.
Alice Medrich and Rose Levy Berenbaum are the authors I turn to for making ganache. Each have several recipes and techniques but ganache is also simple and recipes may be found in numerous cookbooks.
The first recipe is the simple ganache recipe that I use for glazing cheesecake or brownies or plain chocolate cake. Ganache can become more complicated but it does not need to if you are just getting started or want to keep it easy and quick. I use Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips or Trader Joe’s dark chocolate. There is no need to chop the chocolate chips.
The second recipe is for chocolate glaze made with butter instead of cream. It is a rich glaze and has a satiny look. Use it for room temperature cakes.
The third ganache is one I use to glaze cold chocolate cake with mousse filling that needs refrigeration. It is rich and bittersweet and has a beautiful dark shine. The recipe is from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet cookbook.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee, optional
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
Have the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Mix the instant coffee into the cream. Bring the cream just to a simmer, either on the stovetop or in a microwave. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate and gently stir until mixture is smooth.
Let sit at room temperature without stirring until ganache has cooled to 90° – 100°F. At this temperature it is ready to pour as a glaze. Or, if using as a frosting, allow to cool until it looks thick enough to spread.
Makes about 1 3/4 cups.
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE GLAZE
- 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup or 2 tablespoons honey
Put the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a small heatproof bowl set in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir gently until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove the bowl from the water and keep stirring until the glaze is completely smooth. Let glaze cool until nearly set (without stirring) and is the consistency of spreadable frosting.
Makes about 1 cup.
NOTE: Ganache may be made ahead of time. After it has cooled to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a week or two. Or, freeze for up to two months. If frozen, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, set a bowl of ganache in a pan of hot water or barely simmering water and allow ganache to warm to desired consistency, stirring gently.
Ganache may be left at room temperature up to three days.
CHOCOLATE GLAZE FOR REFRIGERATED CAKES
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 5 teaspoons water
Put all the ingredients in a heatproof bowl set in a wide skillet of barely simmering water and stir often until the chocolate is almost melted. Do not overheat. Remove the glaze from the water bath and set aside to finish melting, stirring until completely smooth. For the most shine, pour the glaze over the cold cake when it has cooled to 88° to 90° F.
Excess glaze may be refrigerated up to one week or frozen. Reheat in a pan of barely simmering water or defrost in the microwave.