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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.

2 images of chopped chocolate and cream in a glass measuring cup

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.

chopped white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate on a cutting board

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 in a glass bowl
chocolate ganache in a glass bowl

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 in a stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment

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

whipped chocolate ganache frosting on top of chocolate cupcakes

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 in a glass bowl

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 1x
  • 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

Scale
  • two 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bars (113g each), finely chopped (see note about using white chocolate)*
  • 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. To rewarm or thin out again, stir constantly over low heat on the stove in either (1) a double boiler or (2) in a heatproof bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the simmering water.

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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi, I’ve tried this recipe before and it came out absolutely perfect! However, today I only have unsweetened chocolate bars on hand so I wanted to ask if the ganache might still work with that. I was wondering if it would be possible to incorporate powdered sugar to the heavy cream before combining them (and how much) or if I could incorporate it after the chocolate and cream have been combined or if I simply need to go to the store and buy semisweet chocolate.

    Any advice from any of you lovelies would be greatly appreciated! <3

    1. Hi Ellie! I’m glad you enjoy this ganache. If using unsweetened chocolate, you really don’t want a dry sugar. Instead, use light corn syrup or even honey. You don’t need much, 1 Tablespoon would be plenty or use less/more depending on your desired level of sweetness.

      1. I want to make this Ganache, but I’m using Half & Half. Will that work?

      2. Hi Alice, we don’t recommend it as the ganache won’t be as rich and thick.

      1. Hi LB, It really depends on the type of cake and the size/shape you baked. In general you’ll want to chill it for at least a few hours if you are trying to carve a shape.

  2. hi sally!can yo please tell if this recipe is good to whipped ganache to fill a cake?i want also to use fresh banana slices over ganache between layers…will it be good or i should use chocolate mousse for the cake if i want to use bananas?i never could see the combinations!!!!i also want to fill with ganache a three layer 8inch cake and an 6inch 3layers…how much chocolate and whipped cream will i need?thank you!!

    1. Hi Demi, Whipped ganache is perfect for between cake layers – it acts just like frosting does.

  3. Probably a silly question. But I have a 4 oz bar of Ghirardelli baking chocolate and Ghirardelli dark melting wafers. I can’t mix them, can I?

  4. Hey Sally, is it okay to use fresh cream instead of heavy cream? Would I have to change the ratio? Thanks!

    1. Hi Zoe, heavy cream usually contains around 36% fat while fresh cream is only 25%. Your ganache may not set up properly if using fresh cream, and might turn out a bit runny.

    2. Hi Sally, I tried this recipe and tried whipping the ganache once cooled, it turned out great, until I whisked a tiny bit more at the end and it turned into a runny mess I put it to the frigde for about 2 hours and it solidified, still pipeable tho, but the consistency is a bit odd. Do you think there is a way to fix it? I’m thinking reheating the mixture but I’m not sure I don’t want to waste good chocolate!

      1. It sounds like it could have separated. Lightly warming it again, perhaps in a double boiler, and then chilling again could definitely help but I’m not sure about its exact consistency at this point. Have you tried it yet?

    1. Hi Avita, this recipe 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.

    1. Hi Angie, 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.

  5. Hello Sally! Firstly, thank you so much for sharing such an easy, yet absolutely delicious recipe with us! My question is: Is there a way to keep your ganache recipe in a liquid state? I noticed recently during a trip to Cold Stone Creamery (an ice cream shop) that they keep their ganache in a squirt bottle, the same as they do their plain chocolate syrup. But theirs doesn’t thicken as it sits… It somehow stays in that liquid, just freshly made, form. So what I’m wondering is if you know of an additional ingredient that they might be adding to theirs that keeps it from thickening as it sits out at room temperature? Or do you think that maybe they just store their bottles in some kind of warmer, to keep it in it’s liquid form? IF that would even be possible long term, of course… If you’re able to find the time to respond to this, I would so GREATLY appreciate it! Thank you so very much!

    1. Hi Liz, We don’t know exactly what they use for their ganache, but if it’s thinner they may simply use a different ratio of more cream to sugar, or perhaps a cream or milk with a lower fat content (as heavy cream or heavy whipping cream is what helps this ganache set properly). Also not allowing it to cool down probably helps!

  6. This ganache tastes great! Just wondering, if I wanted to add an orange flavour (like Terry’s chocolate oranges), could I use orange extract? And if so, when should I add the extract?

    1. Hi Elena, that would be delicious. I would add it right after you pour the warm heavy cream on top. Let it all sit as directed to soften the chocolate, then stir.

  7. Hi! How much ganache should I make to use as a topping for your flourless chocolate cake recipe? Thank you! 🙂 I love your recipes so much!

  8. Hi Sally. I put ganache into the fridge overnight and it is now very hard. I’m not sure what to do as I am wanting to use it as an icing (I’m doing your cream filled chocolate cupcakes recipe). The recipe says the chocolate needs to be chilled to thicken so if I do the double boiler method I’m afraid that the consistency will not turn out right. What do I do?
    Help would be very much appreciated. 🙂
    Lily

    1. Hi Lily, To rewarm or thin out again, stir constantly over low heat on the stove in either (1) a double boiler or (2) in a heatproof bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the simmering water. Then, let the ganache cool at room temperature until it has reached your desired spreading consistency.

  9. Love this. I’m not a baker, but I’m trying to make a wonderful birthday cake for my 16 year old son. This ganache came out perfectly!! Can I do the same thing with white chocolate? Same recipe?

    Thanx so much for sharing your recipe and wonderful instructions!!

    Nadia

    1. Hi Nadia! See recipe notes for white chocolate details. If using white chocolate, reduce the cream to 2/3 cup (160ml). White chocolate is softer, so you need less cream.

  10. I just made this for your filled cupcakes and I’m waiting for it to chill. I’m kind of nervous to see how this works out, but I trust your recipes. I’ll let you know how the cupcakes turn out!

  11. Hi!
    I’ve made this ganche multiple times! And it’s fabulous! (The whipped version is TO DIE FOR!)
    However, I just have a question (probably silly) but I usually make this ganche using dark chocolate bars, but all I have on hand is milk chocolate bars,
    (and extra dark chocolate bars that are 72% cocoa!!) . Can I use straight milk chocolate and it still turn out okay? Or should I mix the two chocolates?
    For example, 113 grams of milk and 113 grams of extra dark? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jamie! You can do either — use all milk chocolate bars for a sweeter ganache, or mix the milk chocolate bars with the extra dark chocolate bars.

  12. I put ganache on a flourless chocolate cake. Refrigerated it over night, and the ganache turned dull and hard and had white areas on it. What went wrong?

    1. Hi Deb, did you use less cream OR did you use chocolate chips as the chocolate? Both could be the reasons for the dull and hard ganache. Over time, chilled ganache will lose its shine. If you want it to maintain that shine, a little corn syrup helps. (You could even use a little softened butter, too.) Put either in the bowl with the chopped chocolate and pour the warm cream on top of it all.

  13. Can I mix half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet chocolate. Do I have to adjust the amount of heavy cream?

    1. Hi Angie, you can mix the chocolates with no other changes to the recipe. Enjoy!

  14. Hi Sally,
    I’ve recipe for chocolate cake with a fudge frosting. The last few times I’ve made this recipe, the frosting has been very grainy, dull color, and not the same glaze I remember. Recipe uses I cup sugar, 1/3 cup milk, 1 stick butter, & 6 0z. chocolate chips. Combine in saucepan, bring to boil and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips, when chips are melted, pour slowly over the cake.
    This may not be the place to ask this question, but can’t seem to find a place to just ask questions. Thank you in advance for any help you can give me with this problem.

    1. Hi Susan, We strongly recommend using pure baking bars for the best results. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers that prevent them from melting properly. If you do use chips, you want to make sure they’re high quality chocolate chips.

    1. Hi Toni! You can use chocolate ganache as a glaze, you’ll want to let it slightly cool first.

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