What is Ganache?

Ganache 3

I’d rather ask what ISN’T Ganache???
Oh let me count the ways we can use this rich chocolate delicacy!

Truffles are the first thing that come to MY mind when I think of ganache.

Next I think of that  Shiny Glaze on a rich decadent torte!

Then there is Whipped Ganache for a light as air filling for cakes.

But lets talk about what is ganache really?

Basically it is a combination of Heavy Cream and Chocolate.
That’s It.

Of course we add flavors or nuts or fruit pastes and purees; and we can change the ratios of chocolate to cream and get different consistencies based on the specific application we are going for.

As simple as it may seem Chocolate as we already know, is very complex.

The addition of liquids to this delicate ingredient can sometimes create complications.

Chocolate is very temperature sensitive.
Anyone who has ever over heated chocolate during the melting process has learned this first hand when the lovely chocolate has seized into a solid grainy mass right before their eyes!

I’ll never forget my first experience with making ganaches for truffles and tortes in Culinary School.

I was feeling so confident in my pastry skills. I was on top of the world, and then as quickly as I got to the top of Mount St. Ganache, I was tumbling down to a sea of broken curdled grainy chocolate mess.

You see, the idea of mixing 2 ingredients while simple as it sounds is not always so easy.

Most often we are having success by chance. So it is those times that we have failure and cannot understand WHY, since it has worked out so many times before right??

Well it’s time to understand the science of emulsification when applying it to a simple recipe called:

GANACHE

Mixing Chocolate and Cream together is similar to mixing oil and water. This is not something that is naturally occurring. So the process of mixing Two other wise UN-Mixable ingredients is called EMULSIFICATION. Think Oil and Vinegar. These two ingredients will just float on top of the other unless we shake it up and then pour it on our salad, right?

With a little help from HEAT and AGITATION we can achieve a beautiful emulsion.

A Basic “master” recipe for Ganache is simply equal parts (by weight) chocolate and cream.
So for example if you have 8 ounces (224g) of Chocolate, you will use 8 fluid ounces of heavy cream (237ml)
This will give you a medium ganache.

For a softer setting ganache you will use more cream and for a firmer ganache you will use more chocolate.

The most common ganache recipes are made from Dark Chocolates. You can make White Chocolate Ganaches and Milk Chocolate too,

but it is necessary to reduce the cream amounts to compensate for the added fat content in both of those types of chocolate.

For a recipe as listed about for the “master ganache” ~ to change it for milk or white chocolate remove 2 ounces of cream

The traditional method for making ganache is to start with chocolate that is chopped to the same sized pieces.
If you have larger chunks and smaller chunks, once you pour the hot cream, you will have uneven melting and risk a lumpy ganache.
Once the cream has come to a boil you pour the entire amount over the chopped chocolate in the bowl.
Allow it to sit for about half a minute to 1 minute to allow the heat to penetrate the entire surface area of all the chocolate.
Next you will stir to create the emulsion (this is the agitation)

Alternatively you can melt the chocolate separately and combine with the warm cream.

Too much agitation will cause rapid cooling to below 90 degrees F which will produce an GRAINY ganache.

Temperature is an important factor in emulsification of ganache. The optimal temperature is 90 degrees F to 110 degrees F.
If the temperature rises above 110 degrees F, the cocoa butter in the chocolate gets too hot and the fats will pool together and separate. This is what causes a “broken” ganache.

 

Repairing a Broken Ganache:
Divide the entire portion of broken ganache into 2 parts.
Warm 1 part over a double boiler to about 130 degrees F. This will cause the fats to re-melt making the mixture thinner.
Take the other portion of ganache and cool it to 60 degrees F over an Ice Bath causing the fats to solidify making the mixture thicker.
Once you have reached desired temperature with both portions, remove the 1 portion from the ice water bath (to avoid any water splashing) and slowly begin streaming the hot ganache mixture into the cold mixture while stirring gently.

 

 

Consistency of Ganaches:

MEDIUM- 1 part chocolate : 1 part cream
For Truffles, Glazing Cakes, adding to Whipped Cream or Buttercream, using for a thick filling in cakes or spreadable icings

FIRM- 2 parts chocolate : 1 part cream
For Truffles, Firm layers inside of cakes, also great when adding fruit pastes, nuts and other ingredients since it is very firm to start off with.

SOFT- 1 part chocolate : 2 parts cream
For Whipped Ganache, use as chocolate sauce, drinking chocolate, or pour into tart shells and let set for a creamy tart filling

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54 Comments

  1. Hi Gretchen
    Your recipes are so good n you explain each and every thing very well.
    As you have mentioned 2parts cream and 1part chocolate make Whipped ganache (soft ganache) , can be used for making swirls on cupcakes?

    1. Hi Thanks! yes that is true I have a soft whipped ganache recipe right here

      Whipped Ganache
      yield 1 quart liquid ganache

      Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream 2 cups (474ml) (476g)
      Chocolate (I use 56%) 8 ounces (226g)

      MIX METHOD:

      Once the cream has come to a boil you pour the entire amount over the chopped chocolate in the bowl.
      Allow it to sit for about half a minute to 1 minute to allow the heat to penetrate the entire surface area of all the chocolate.
      Next you will stir the ganache to create the emulsion (this is the agitation)

      Pour the liquid ganache into a clean container and then refrigerate it overnight.
      It should be the consistency of creamy peanut butter by the next day.
      At this point you can transfer it to a mixing bowl with whip attachment or with a hand whisk, beat it until it reaches Soft Peaks. Do not over whip or you will separate the fats and have a grainy mixture!

      Whipped Ganache can be stored for 3 days inside cakes and pastries always refrigerated OR you can save the liquid (un-whipped) ganache in the refrigerator for up to 7 days and whip as you need it.

      1. Hi Gretchen,
        If possible please make a video to show all d three consistencies n which can b used where..
        1.Right after making it
        2. After setting it overnite at room temperature or fridge n den whipping it
        It is soo confusing..
        I used 2 parts of choc n 1 part of cream n dis let it sit at r.t. For half a day n den whipped it..Dat was soft n pipeable too
        U getting Y it’s confusing since ur reply to one of d post us different measurements ..now m more confused whether m doing it rite or wrong.
        N loads of ty to Joseph palamar to ans most of d posts in ur absence.
        TIA

        1. Hey there, I know isn’t Joe P the BEST!??
          Right now I just got moved to Florida, and I have to get settled and set up to start filming again, I have a mountain of work ahead of me! gaaaaah!
          I plan to rebuild the blog with the most popular and most requested vids/recipes first, and then I can start to make exclusive content from requests! I am so thrilled to have so much support so thankyou so much and I will note this request!

      2. Hi Gretchen,
        If possible please make a video to show all d three consistencies n which can b used where..
        1.Right after making it
        2. After setting it overnite at room temperature or fridge n den whipping it
        It is soo confusing..
        I used 2 parts of choc n 1 part of cream n dis let it sit at r.t. For half a day n den whipped it..Dat was soft n pipeable too
        . it’s confusing since ur reply to one of d post is different measurements ..now m more confused whether m doing it rite or wrong.
        N loads of ty to Joseph palamar to ans most of d posts in ur absence.
        TIA

  2. Hi Gretchen,

    I am a newbie baker and never made ganache before. Can I use chocolate chips instead of chopping the chocolate? If I need to chop chocolate, is there a particular brand you recommend?

    Thank you and I am planning on making your yellow sponge cake recipe this weekend.

    With best regards,
    Lynda

    1. Hi there! Welcome newbie! this is the best place for you to start! Check out this video for more info on chocolate also read this blog post so the short answer- yes- but its not really what you SHOULD be doing, will it work,,,eh yeah. But as a newbie I love for you to LEARN the correct ways of doing things, so that you dont get discouraged with bad results and never bake again! LOL

  3. Hi Gretchen,
    What would b the qty of cream in grams for medium consistency. Pls correct me if am wrong.
    Medium consistency choc:cream is 1:1 so if I take 224 gms of choc, cream would b 224 gms rite?
    Firm consistency choc:cream is 2:1 so if I take 224 gms of Choc, cream would b 112 gms rite?
    Soft consistency choc :cream is 1:2 so if take 224 gms of choc, cream would b 448 gms rite?
    Pls correct me.it’s really easy to measure cream in gms instead of cups or ml.
    Thanks,
    Tc.

  4. Hi Gretchen, do we really need to store ganache cake in refrigerator? I am so confused because some of them said ganache can be placed in the room temperature for 3 days and some said NO

  5. Hi Gretchen for your Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake which consistency do you use for the filling and the rosettes?

    1. Hmm, hard to describe really, but well…let’s just say you’ll know! It’s not drippy or even close to being pourable, firm enough to go through the pastry bag. (the spreading for the glue not as important)

  6. Dear SWEET Gretchen,
    I follow you like a trustfull dog!!!!!
    just LOVE you!!
    How about soft ganache made with milk chocolate,for filling and making swirls on a 3layers 9-inch cake?
    How much from each ingredient should i use to make a perfect ganache?
    Thanks a lot!
    YOU rock girl!!
    Ana from Holland

  7. Hi Gretchen and Welcome Back
    Can I make the Firm Ganache use it for in between layers then with the left overs somehow thin it down to cover the cake?
    Thanks

      1. Thanks
        Would I use a little cream to the firm ganache to make it thin enough to pour? Should I reheat the firm ganache before adding the cream?

  8. Thanks sooo much for sharing all abt what ganache actually is ,, just a little something, how to I add colour if I want coloured ganache ? And which type of colour?

    1. You can only color white chocolate ganache and it will not be easy to do so, but you can try as long as you have an oil based color specific for coloring chocolate

  9. Hi Gretchen I love your recipes and videos. My request to you is please please showsus how to make chocolate chiffon cake. I live in the UK and I couldn’t find a good chocolate chiffon cake recipe anywhere.
    Thank you
    kausar

  10. Hi Gretchen . Your Baking style is amazing I love your recepies . Kindly tell me how to make a sugar syrup which is used on the top of the fruits on the cakes for shining and give them a glacy touch.

  11. Hi Gretchen,

    For the whipped ganache (2 parts cream to 1 part chocolate) how long after we make it do we begin to whip? I’ve been looking at other recipes and they use a (2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream) melt it and then wait until it looks like a pudding consistency, whip it and let it set again for a couple hours until it’s piping consistency?

    Will yours be less “firm” i.e. can it pipe flowers on a cupcake, and why are there combinations so different?

    Just a general question, but thank you sincerely for all the great recipes you post and for sharing them.
    🙂

  12. Great blogpost! 😀
    i still have a question though – when i colour my ganache with a water based food colouring, is it best to add the food colouring while the mixture is still hot? and – will this ganache still be fondant save?
    yeah i know *eew fondant* 😀

    1. I am assuming you mean White Ganache since dark ganache wont take color, but at any rate, you should use an OIL BASED color for that since ganache is mostly fat. I dont ever use ganache under fondant CLICK HERE FOR MORE, but some people do, it is your option and risk

    2. thanks for your reply!
      i think i wasnt clear enough with what i want to do with the ganache, i’d like to colour dark chocolate ganache black so i don’t have to cover my whole cake in black fondant. i just want to put on some decorations that are made out of fondant & was worried if they’d melt with the food colouring. but on the other hand i colour my fondant with the same exact food colouring so i don’t think.. or i hope that nothing too bad will happen. (:

      1. Oh I see, hmm I don;t really trust ganache enough to be that cooperative with me, so I stay away from it. Not to say others do not do that (and with success I might add) I just prefer to stick with less messy, less volatile mediums when it comes to fondant decor work

    3. haha yeah that’d be a good solution to just use buttercream. 😀
      but the cake was supposed to be extra chocolaty – thats mainly why i decided to use the ganache. but maaan this stuff uses up a lot of chocolate!
      so i finished the cake today (made all from Start to finish in one sitting – took me 6hrs lol) & i felt like a gangstar & just added water based food colouring while the mixture was still quite warm. & hell yes it turned out good haha 😀
      so is there a way i can show you my cake except for instagram or facebook?
      btw thanks for your time reading all of that. really appreciate it. (:

  13. Hi Gretchen

    Will it work if l want make milk and white chocolate ganaches then whip them up to make into a mousse,? What ratio should l use for both?

    Thanks.

  14. Hi gretchen. Can i use this ganache for drinks such as frappes.. Iced mocha? I use this for my desserts and they are perfect. Just wondering if I could use this on drinks as dark choco sauce. Thanks again.

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