What is ganache?

Ganache is an emulsion of  Cream and Chocolate, it is rich, smooth and very luxurious.  It simply melts in your mouth. Ganache can be used to fill chocolates, as a filling between layers of cake or to cover a cake for an ultra smooth finish under your fondant. 

Ratio of Chocolate to Cream

Depending on how you will be using your ganache and the type of chocolate being used the ratio of chocolate to cream varies . The lower the percentage of  cocoa mass the more chocolate you will need to use.  Double cream has a higher fat content and my choice for ganache.

For a ganache that sets hard, suitable for filling &  coating your cake and  for use on structure cakes. These are the typical ratios:

Dark Chocolate: 2 part chocolate : 1 part Double Cream

Milk chocolate :  2.5 parts Chocolate : 1 part Double Cream

White chocolate: 3 parts Chocolate : 1 part Double Cream

For a pour-able milk chocolate ganache for a chocolate fudge cake for example use 1 part chocolate to 2 parts cream.

Making your Ganache

Before you make your ganache make sure all your bowls and utensils are clean and totally moisture free as any trace of water will seize you ganache and make it unusable!

If you wish to flavour your ganache please read the sections on flavouring before you begin.

  1. Weigh and measure out the correct ratios of cream and chocolate for the type of ganache you wish to make.
  2. Melt your chocolate slowly in 15 sec bursts in the micowave or in a bowl over simmering water in a double boiler.
  3. Bring your cream to a gentle boil in the microwave or in a saucepan on the cooker.
  4. Rest the cream for 1 minute(this is to prevent the cream splashing up when added to the chocolate) then pour into the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly with a spatula, the more you mix the better it will combine.  If it looks like it will separate, keep mixing or use an electric mixer to bring it back together. If your ganache does not come together when mixed by hand or an electric mixer then boil a tablespoon of cream and adding it to your mix and use your electric mixer to bring it together.
  5. Seal the gananche in the bowl or storage container using cling film, pressing the film down to the surface of the ganache excluding the air.  Put a second layer of cling film over the top of the bowl. Allow to set at room temperature (approx 12 hours). If you ganache splits when cooling use the methods in point 4 to bring it back together.

You can then use your ganache or store it for later use.

Storing your ganache, once cooled remove the top layer of cling film but not the airtight one and place a lid on your bowl or container, store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 weeks.  It is important not to contaminate the ganache with crumbs, water or odours.

If you have frozen your ganache you will need to defrost it without unwrapping it by leaving it in the fridge overnight before warming it for use.  From room temperature or refrigerated ganache: To warm your ganache for using, heat on the defrost setting in short 15 second bursts mixing each time until your ganache is the consistency of peanut butter.

Flavouring your Ganache

Adding flavouring to the cream before combining

Oil based flavourings are the best to use as they don’t change the consistency of your ganache and are particularly good when making ganache for use on the outside of you cake and for structure cakes. These can be added to the cream before combining. A little goes a long way,

Water based flavourings need to used with caution and can only be added to the cream before heating. Alcohol based flavouring should also be added to the cream, the alcohol will burn off during heating.  Substitute 30ml of the cream with a flavoured liqueur such as Bailey’s, Chambord (Raspberry), Grand Marnier, or Brandy for a grown up Ganache!

Infusing the cream with flavours

Bring the cream to a boil then add, herbs such as lavender, coffee beans, or citrus zest, allow the cream to infuse for 10 minutes. Then strain through a fine muslin cloth. You will need to reheat the cream before combining with the chocolate.

Adding flavouring to prepared ganache

You can also use chocolate spread or caramel to flavour your ganache. These should be added in small amounts at a time and no more than one tablespoon for every 100mls of prepared ganache. Ganache flavoured with spreads is suited to be used as a filling for cakes as  the consistency will change

Concentrated Oil based flavourings can also be added carefully to your prepared ganache. They will not change the consistency and your ganache will remain suitable for coating the outside of a cake.