January 21, 2019
Sweets/Baked Goods

Chocolate Ganache 101

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Here’s the foolproof way to make perfect ganache. A ganache is a supple chocolate glaze, and this one is a beauty – glossy and silky soft, but not too drippy. Ganache is the workhorse of the dessert world. Everyone should know how to make it. Don’t worry – it’s easy. You can use your ganache as a sauce, drizzle or spread, or as a base for whipped frosting, sandwich cookie filling and makeshift modern truffles. The main recipe here is for the most popular type of ganache, the sort you pour over a cake. The chocolate to cream ratio (by weight) is about 1:1. Simply change the ratio for thicker or thinner ganaches, to suit your purposes. (See below.)

1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream (35%)
2 tbsp (30 mL) corn syrup
4 oz (125 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
Pinch table salt
1 to 2 tbsp
(30 mL) unsalted butter, quartered (optional)

In small pan, heat cream and corn syrup on medium until steamy, with tiny bubbles appearing at edges. Remove from heat. Add chocolate, vanilla and salt. Let sit 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is molten and mixture is smooth and shiny. Stir in some or all of butter (if desired).

Before using, let sit 15 minutes, or until still pourable but not overly drippy, and barely lukewarm. (Ideal temperature range is 90F to 100F/32C to 37C.)

Makes 1 cup (250 mL).

  • This recipe makes enough to cover a small cake. For a drip cake, halve it. 

Shopping Cart: For best results, use high-quality chocolate. 

Tool Time: Chop the chocolate with a serrated knife. The “teeth” help the chocolate shatter.

Kitchen Secrets: Corn syrup adds gloss to ganache. I rarely make ganache with the optional butter, however. Adding butter results in a satiny (rather than silky) ganache, and reduces the shine. For covering cakes, I prefer ganache at a lower temperature, closer to 90F (32C), when it is pourable enough to slowly fall down the sides of a cake, but not so loose that it drips off onto the platter. For a decorative drip on top of a cake, let the temperature drop lower than 80F (27C).

Bright Ideas: Match ganache to the dessert you are making. Finish it with espresso powder or liqueur to taste; infuse the cream with flavourings before using; substitute other extracts or liqueur for the vanilla; or use maple syrup instead of corn syrup. You may substitute bittersweet chocolate for the semisweet kind.

Oh No: Do not substitute milk chocolate or white chocolate in this recipe, or the ganache will end up too flowy. Instead, switch to my recipes for Milk Chocolate Ganache or White Chocolate Ganache.


Thin Ganache
Need a fondue dipping sauce or a runny glaze for ice cream? Double the amount of cream.

Thick Ganache
For thicker, firmer ganache, use 50% more chocolate – that is 6 oz (175 g). This is an in-between ganache that I use to make Chocolate Ganache Frosting. I also use it on any dacquoise, cake or dessert that I want to glaze without having the ganache run down the sides, but also without having the ganache turn into a hard shell in the fridge. 

Fudgy Ganache
Double the amount of chocolate. This type of ganache is used for truffles, tarts, sandwich cookies and macarons. In the cold, it sets like a thick chocolate shell.