How to Make Chocolate Ganache

Use this as your complete guide for making homemade chocolate ganache. Chocolate ganache is a 2 ingredient recipe with virtually endless uses. For the best tasting ganache, I recommend using semi-sweet chocolate.

chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache

Chocolate ganache is a 1:1 mixture of chocolate and warm cream. Stirred until smooth, silky, and shiny, ganache is a staple in any baker’s kitchen. It’s not only easy and quick, it’s uniquely versatile. Chocolate ganache can be a filling, dip, spread, frosting, topping, or layer in a cake. The uses are virtually endless!

Uses for Chocolate Ganache

Let’s dive into an in-depth chocolate ganache tutorial. If you don’t care to read through the tutorial, feel free to jump straight to the recipe below.

strawberry dipped in chocolate ganache


Chocolate Ganache Video Tutorial


2 Ingredients in Chocolate Ganache

  1. Heavy Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream: Do not use half-and-half, whole milk, or any other liquid because the ganache won’t set up properly. For a non-dairy alternative, use canned coconut milk. See recipe note.
  2. Pure Chocolate: You can use semi-sweet chocolate (recommended), bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate. See recipe note.

When making homemade ganache, you need a 1:1 ratio of cream to chocolate.

Did you know that chocolate ganache is the base for chocolate truffles? I actually use less cream when I make chocolate truffles because the 1:1 ratio is too thin and sticky. Instead of a 1:1 ratio, use 8 ounces of chocolate and 2/3 cup (160ml) cream for truffles.

chocolate and cream

Best Chocolate to Use in Chocolate Ganache

The best chocolate for chocolate ganache is a pure chocolate baking bar, such as Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. Pure chocolate is sold in 4 ounce bars in the baking aisle near the chocolate chips. Do not use chocolate chips because they will not melt into the best ganache consistency. If you absolutely must use chocolate chips, make sure they are higher quality chocolate such as Ghirardelli brand semi-sweet chocolate chips.

For traditional chocolate ganache, I recommend using semi-sweet chocolate. This is the most commonly found chocolate in the baking aisle. Semi-sweet chocolate contains 35 – 45% cacao and is usually sweeter than bittersweet or dark varieties and darker than milk chocolate and white chocolate.

I almost always use Bakers brand semi-sweet chocolate bars. (Not sponsored, just a genuine loyal customer!)

TIP: The best tool for chopping chocolate is a large serrated knife. The grooves help chip away the hard chocolate bar texture.

How to Make Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place finely chopped chocolate into a heat-proof glass or metal bowl.
  2. Heat cream on the stovetop until just simmering. If it’s boiling, the cream is too hot and could separate or even burn the chocolate. Once you see little simmers around the edges, turn off the heat and immediately pour the warm cream over the chocolate.
  3. Let the two sit for a few minutes before stirring.
  4. Stir until smooth.

After you stir the chocolate and warm cream together, use the ganache right away as a fruit dip or drizzle on top of cakes, cupcakes, pound cakes, ice cream, and more. But if you wait about 2 hours and let it cool completely, the ganache can be scooped with a spoon, spread onto desserts, or piped with piping tips.

warm cream and chopped chocolate

chocolate ganache

Piped Chocolate Ganache

If you’re craving a pure chocolate topping for your desserts, choose chocolate ganache. Once it cools and sets, you can pipe it onto your favorites including chocolate cupcakes. Super intricate piping tips aren’t ideal. Wilton 1M piping tip or Ateco 844 piping tip are my favorites for piped chocolate ganache. I used Ateco 844 in these photos.

chocolate cupcakes with piped chocolate ganache

Whipped Ganache

Let’s take chocolate ganache 1 step further. Did you know that you can beat ganache into a whipped frosting consistency? Think whipped buttercream, but not as sweet or heavy. Once the chocolate ganache cools completely, whip it on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy in texture, about 4 minutes. Now you have a decadent mousse-like frosting without an onslaught of extra sugar. It’s REALLY good!

whipped chocolate ganache

You can pipe the whipped ganache, too. I used  Ateco 844 piping tip in this next photo.

whipped chocolate ganache frosting

These 2 Tricks Make Chocolate Ganache Even Easier

Here are my 2 super simple tricks that make ganache even easier to make.

  1. Chop the chocolate as fine as possible. The finer you chop the chocolate, the quicker it melts with the cream. If the chocolate is in large large chunks, it won’t fully melt. And if the chocolate is not melting, reference Troubleshooting Chocolate Ganache below.
  2. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit before stirring. After you pour the warm heavy cream over the chopped chocolate, let it sit for a few minutes. During this time, the chocolate will soften and begin to melt which means that you won’t need to over-stir it. I’d rather spend extra minutes doing nothing than extra minutes stirring chocolate that won’t melt. Wouldn’t you?!

thickened chocolate ganache on spoon

Troubleshooting Chocolate Ganache

After writing an entire cookbook (Sally’s Candy Addiction) on chocolate and candy, I’ve seen it all when it comes to making chocolate ganache. Seized chocolate? Yep. Grainy ganache. Yep, that too. Here are 3 problems you could encounter and how to fix each.

  1. Chocolate Isn’t Melting: If the chocolate isn’t melting, it wasn’t chopped fine enough or the cream wasn’t warm enough. Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and warm the cream until it’s just simmering. The microwave doesn’t evenly warm cream like the stove does, so I always recommend the stove. If you’re left with chocolate chunks swimming in cream, do not microwave it. Instead, place the mixture into a double boiler OR place the glass bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the surface of the simmering water touch the bottom of the glass bowl. Stir the ganache constantly over the indirect heat until it’s smooth.
  2. Chocolate Seized: When chocolate seizes, it creates a gritty and solid mass of chocolate. Simply put, seized chocolate will not melt. Chocolate seizes when it comes into contact with water. Don’t let even a drop of water into the bowl! Here is a wonderful article on overheated and seized chocolate.
  3. Greasy or Grainy: Use a glass or metal bowl. A plastic bowl could melt or leave you with a dull or grainy ganache. Use real chocolate; cheap chocolate chips result in a grainy ganache. Use a spoon or small rubber spatula to stir the chocolate and warm cream together. Do not use a whisk. The whisk incorporates too much air into the delicate melting chocolate, which could cause the fat to separate and turn greasy.
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chocolate ganache

How to Make Chocolate Ganache

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stirring
  • Cuisine: American

Description

You only need 2 ingredients and a few minutes to make pure chocolate ganache. For ganache success, I encourage you to read the troubleshooting tips above and recipe notes below before beginning.


Ingredients

  • two 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bars (113g each), finely chopped*
  • 1 cup (8 ounces; 240ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to gently simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil– that’s too hot!) Pour over chocolate, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate.
  2. With a metal spoon or small rubber spatula, very slowly stir until completely combined and chocolate has melted. The finer you chopped the chocolate, the quicker it will melt with the cream. If it’s not melting, do not microwave it. See Troubleshooting Chocolate Ganache in blog post above.
  3. Ganache can be ready to use as a drizzle or you can let it sit at room temperature to cool and thicken. It will fully cool within 2 hours. Refrigerating speeds this up, but the ganache will not cool evenly. Stir it a few times as it sets in the refrigerator so it remains even and smooth.
  4. Once completely cool and thick, the ganache can be piped with a piping tip or scooped with a spoon. You can also beat the cooled thickened ganache with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until light in color and texture, about 4 minutes on medium-high speed.
  5. Cover tightly and store ganache in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Once ganache cools completely, you can cover it tightly and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Chocolate: Ganache will only set if the correct chocolate is used. You can use high quality chocolate chips if needed (I prefer Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips), but I recommend using pure chocolate baking bars. You can find them right next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle. They are sold in 4 ounce bars. I like Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. You can use other varieties of chocolate too, such as milk chocolate (aka German Chocolate) or Dark Chocolate. If using white chocolate, reduce the cream to 2/3 cup (160ml). White chocolate is softer, so you need less cream.
  2. Halve or Double: You can easily halve or double this recipe. No matter how much ganache you are making, you always need equal parts chocolate and cream.
  3. Dairy-Free Alternative for Heavy Cream: Use full-fat canned coconut milk. Shake it up before opening. Whisk on the stove as it heats and bring to a simmer. Measure 1 cup (8 ounces; 240ml). Use instead of warm heavy cream.
  4. Yields 1 and 1/2 cups liquid/drizzle/scoop-able ganache. This is enough to cover 1 dozen cupcakes. For piped cupcakes, you may want to double the ganache to ensure there is plenty for piping. If whipping the ganache, you’ll have close to 3 cups. This is enough for 1 dozen cupcakes.

Keywords: chocolate, sauce, frosting

90 Comments

  1. The two ingredient ganache was a bit flat. Adding a pinch of salt, espresso granules and splash of vanilla tuned it up. Love the tips on whipped ganache, thank you for them!

  2. Hi Sally,
    can I use the whipped ganache in your chocolate layer cake recipe? and then use it to cover it as frosting? will this ganache recipe be enough for layering and frosting the 9 inch 2 layer cake ?

  3. thank you for your recommendation. My ganache for some reason did not thicken even after cooling, it also did not attain the shiny chocolate brown shade when i melted the chocolate. Not sure what i did wrong, i did use a metallic bowl, only thing i can think is maybe i over heated the cream?

    1. I wonder if you used 8 ounces of chocolate? If you use two SQUARES instead of 2 BARS, then it will not be enough. It’s an easy mistake to make if you are used to the individually wrapped 1 oz squares. To make up the equivalent in the old style packaging, you’d need all 8 of the individual squares in a box.

    1. Hi Susan! You can stir the liquor into the warm ganache right after you stir in the heavy cream until it’s smooth. Start small, such as 2 Tablespoons, and leave out 2 Tablespoons of cream.

    2. I am making lavender ganache to put on my brownies. This will be my first time making it. After I put the ganache on the brownies and it cools. Will it be easy to cut into small pieces? Entering a contest and want it to look nice

      1. It will be easy to cut (see my mint chocolate brownies for an example) but the trick is to use a very sharp knife and wipe it clean between each cut. Good luck!

  4. Hello!
    Can I let it cool/set and instead of piping it, just spread it over my cake (without whipping it)? Will one batch be enough to frost a 9×13?
    Thank you!
    Sara

    1. Hi Sara! Yes, you can use this cooled and thickened ganache to spread on a 9×13 inch cake. There is enough for that size cake.

  5. Amazing!!!! I made this for the first time and it came out perfectly. I used 250 gms. of dark chocolate and whipped it after cooling. The taste was incredible. I then piped it over vanilla-cinnamon cupcakes, and topped it with rainbow sprinkles and a maraschino cherry. All the guys at my work loved them. Some were even getting pictures and videos (Instagram/Snapchat?).

    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  6. Hi Sally,
    I love all your recipe. They always turn out amazing. I double up recipe fo4 ganache and have lots of extra left over. Is it possible to freeze the ganache to keep longer than 10 days in fridge. If yes, whats the best way to thaw ? Thanks Again Salky,

  7. What if you’re using chocolate without sugar in it, can you add a sweetener and if so what would you recommend? I’d like to make a keto friendly ganache. Thanks

  8. I want to use chocolate ganache between layers of a white half sheet cake. Should it be cooled or whipped or…..??? Thank you!

  9. Hi, can I combine to different brands of chocolate. I have Ghirardelli Milk chocolate and Bakers semisweet chocolate, 8oz of each. Thanks

    1. Hi Lydia, yes, you can combine two types of chocolate for ganache. Milk and semisweet chocolates would make a delicious combination.

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