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Chocolate ganache is nothing more than a smooth emulsion of dark chocolate and heavy cream with a small amount of butter. It's not only easy and quick to make but can be used for filling, dipping, topping or a layer in a cake.
Classic chocolate ganache is made from only chocolate and cream. Additions can be made, such as oil or a shiny glaze, butter for shine and creamier consistency, or alcohol or spices for flavour.
For chocolate ganache, you can use any kind of chocolate starting from 35-45% cocoa or darker. To get rich chocolate ganache we recommend to use chocolate with 60-70% cocoa.
You can use chocolate chips but since they have ingredients added to help them keep their shape, you're best off using a bar of baking chocolate. Since the ganache has only two ingredients, be sure to use the highest quality ingredients possible.
In ganache recipes, you can swap dark chocolate for milk or white chocolate but in this case you need to reduce the amount of cream used.
The ratio of chocolate and cream in ganache recipe impacts the final texture. The more thick you want the ganache to be, the more chocolate you should use.
For layering the cakes, cupcakes, macarons and tarts, it's the best to use the same amount of chocolate and cream. This ganache is quite thick at room temperature.
For making truffles it's the best to use 2:1 ratio in favour of chocolate. This ganache will become solidified as it cools, especially in the fridge. To make it shiny and creamy, add some butter to the mixture.
Chocolate ganache can be flavoured with liqueurs and spices. Substitute 1-2 tablespoons of the cream with your favourite liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Bailey's or brandy like Armagnac.
You can also infuse the flavour into cream. Bring the cream to the boil then add fresh mint leaves, tea, herbs (such as lavender), coffee beans or citrus zest and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain before using. You may to rewarm the cream before adding it to the chocolate.
Chocolate ganache should be stored pressed with a piece of cling film to prevent any crust from forming. Ganache should be stored in the fridge and can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge ten let come to room temperature before using.
Chocolate ganache is ideal for using in desserts making them extra delicious. Use it as a layer of a cake, topping for brownies, filling for tarts, dip for strawberries and other fruits, topping for homemade eclairs etc.
As it cools, the ganache will harden and can be shaped into chocolate truffles or to fill sandwich cookies. We use chocolate ganache as a base for our homemade truffles - see our recipes for Amaretto flavoured truffles, creamy chestnut truffles, chocolate pistachio truffles and Easter egg truffles.