Chocolate ganache pairs beautifully with a TON of different desserts. It's also super versatile: you can use it as a glaze, thick (spreadable) frosting, or whipped (fluffy) frosting!
* This post was updated with new photos and clearer instructions 🙂
Chocolate ganache is a chocolate lover's dream come true! It's silky, with a strong chocolaty flavor, and it goes well with a TON of different desserts.
There are a number of different types of chocolate ganache and even more uses for it! This recipe focuses on chocolate ganache that's used mainly for frosting and glazes that set firm.
And fun fact, this exact same recipe is used to make chocolate truffles. The proportions are just slightly tweaked!
Chocolate ganache ingredients:
You only need 2 ingredients to make chocolate ganache: heavy cream and chocolate. To get a ganache that's best for frosting and whipping, you need a 1:1 ratio of cream to chocolate.
This gives you a ganache that you can use as a glaze when warm, or a spreadable frosting when cooled.
When it comes to the liquid, it's important to use either heavy or whipping cream with at least 35% fat. This not only makes for a richer and creamier ganache, but the fat is what helps it mix in more smoothly with the chocolate. A waterier dairy like half-and-half or milk will cause the chocolate to seize up.
For the chocolate, make sure you pick out a good quality chocolate. I use Baker's chocolate bars, but you can use any chocolate that's labeled as Baker's or couverture. This chocolate is made for melting and will give you a much smoother and flavorful final ganache!
How to make chocolate ganache:
There are 2 methods you can use to make chocolate ganache: heating cream or in a bain-marie.
For this method, start by chopping up your chocolate into very small pieces and place in a heat-safe bowl. Set aside.
Pour your cream into a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and warm the cream until you juuust start to see bubbles along the edges of the pot. Do not boil! Take care not to overheat the cream because this can cause your chocolate to seize up. If your cream boils, set it aside to cool down slightly before using.
Pour your cream over your chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes. Whisk everything together until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
This usually does the trick to melt the chocolate, but if you have chocolate that's not melting, you can place your bowl over a bain-marie to finish off the cooking.
I personally don't love this method just because it can be pretty fussy and inconsistent. Plus, there's a lot of ways it can go south. I prefer the bain-marie method:
This technique is my favorite, mainly because I've never had trouble with overheated chocolate or chocolate that just won't melt. The cream method takes a lot of attention!
For this method, fill a pot with about 1 inch of water and place over medium heat. Let the water come to just under a simmer and lower heat to low (you shouldn't have any bubbles breaking the surface of the water, just steam).
Combine finely chopped chocolate and cream in a heat safe bowl. Place the bowl over the pot of steaming water. Make sure the bowl sits comfortably over the pot without the bottom touching the water. Heat the cream and chocolate, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is fully melted. Move the bowl off the pot when done.
Chocolate ganache uses:
This 1:1 ratio chocolate ganache recipe can be used as a glaze, dense frosting, or whipped frosting.
To use as a glaze, work with the ganache while it's still warm. If you find your ganache has cooled too much to use as a glaze, you can always heat it over a bain-marie to loosen again!
To use this ganache to make a dense frosting, let it cool completely to room temperature. I absolutely love to use the dense frosting on sugar cookies!
To make whipped ganache frosting, let your frosting cool completely to room temperature. Pour into a large mixing bowl, and whip on high speed using a mixer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it turns a paler color and about doubles in volume.
How to store chocolate ganache:
After your ganache cools slightly to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, making sure to press the plastic wrap onto the surface of the ganache to prevent a skin or crust from forming on top. Keep ganache stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Your chocolate ganache will harden significantly in the fridge. If you find it's too firm to work with, leave the ganache out at room temperature to warm up. This will get it to a frostable consistency. Not sure if "frostable" is a word. If you want to use it as a glaze, add a splash of cream and heat over a bain-marie until loosened.
Check out these other recipes!
Chocolate Ganache for Frosting Recipe
- 8 ounces chopped semi-sweet Baker's or couverture chocolate, about 1 cup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Method #1: Bain-marie (my personal preference): Place a pot filled with about 1 inch of water over a stove burner set to high heat. Heat until it starts steaming, but not boiling, then reduce heat to low.
- In a heat safe bowl, combine chocolate and heavy cream. Place the bowl over your pot of hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the surface of the water.
- Heat the chocolate and cream, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat once done.
- Method #2: Heated cream: Place your chopped chocolate in a heat safe bowl, and set aside.
- Pour your cream into a medium sized saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it just starts to bubble along the sides. If it starts to boil, let it cool down slightly before adding it to the chocolate.
- Pour your warm cream over your chocolate, and let sit for 5 minutes to melt. Whisk until your ganache is smooth and the chocolate is melted. If you have pieces of stubborn chocolate that aren't melting, place bowl over a bain-marie to melt the chocolate.