Have you ever heard of ganache? I had. And while I love it, I never would have thought to try to make my own at home. I had no idea just how easy chocolate ganache was to make at home. Trust me though, this needs to be on your go to list if you’re a chocolate lover.
Believe it or not, ganache is nothing more than heated cream and melted chocolate. I think you need the fat that’s in the heavy cream (or whipping cream) because when I’ve tried using milk, for he haws, it just doesn’t come out right. Now the fun part. The chocolate. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, even white chocolate kinda works (although not as well). You can use the solid chocolate blocks and cut it up or simply use chips. Won’t lie, I’m kinda lazy so it’s usually chips for me. Plus we almost always have chips of some sorts on hand. Hint: Stock up during the holidays when there are endless varieties available and sales like crazy.
The other nice thing about using chips is that it’s super easy to combine the different kinds of chips. My favorite combo is 50/50 bittersweet chocolate and butterscotch chips. It gives great flavor and goes awesome with any chocolate desserts. Especially well with a chocolate pumpkin cake.
Making Chocolate Ganache
You can make this using the microwave or the stovetop. While I’m a huge fan of the microwave for most things, this is one thing that I just find easier on the stovetop. Unless I’m making a super small batch, then the microwave is so much easier. Which is another reason why I love chocolate ganache. It’s just to easy to make a large batch or a small batch depending on what you need. (And if there are leftovers you’ll usually find it in our frig so we can eat it with a spoon.
So what do you actually have to do? Get a fairly small to medium pot (wider pots heat up faster), add a cup of cream. You want to warm it, but don’t boil it. I usually stop the heat or add the chocolate just as little bubbles are starting to form along the pot edge. Add 2 cups of chocolate. Usually I leave the heat on low initially when adding the chocolate to help met it faster. However, the recommendation is that you take it off the heat. I’ve only ever had problems once.
Of course the day I was having problems I needed it for my brownie bites for a birthday party. And not once but TWICE my ganache broke. No clue what happened that day. I’ve been doing the same thing for over 8 years. So I guess once in a while things are just not going to work out for you. At least that is a huge minority of the time so I’ll blame it on the crazy weather we were having at a time. (that can totally be a thing by the way)
How to use Ganache
Actually using the ganache is the best part. Here you really are simply limited by your imagination. Our favorite ways to use it are as frosting for cakes. Yellow cake, chocolate cake, chocolate pumpkin cake, chocolate peppermint cake even a peppermint roll cake. It’s fantastic on ice cream as a decadent drizzle. And a personal favorite is on brownie bites. (these can be addictive though) I’ve even used it on tartlet shells, and my latest experiment was a coffee ganache for caramel bars that were demoed at our annual convention. DELICIOUS! Everyway you have it.
Then again who says you need to actually use it on anything. A spoon also works wonderfully for a sweet treat.
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