A silky smooth chocolate frosting, chocolate ganache gives every dessert that extra kick with its decadent and indulgent taste.
This simple and versatile chocolate based icing needs only 2 main ingredients, i.e. chocolate and cream, and works wonders on all kinds of desserts, either as a simple drizzle, dipping for cupcakes, base coat on cakes for fondant covering or even as piped decoration on cakes.
The key to making chocolate ganache lies in understanding the proportion of chocolate to cream. The proportions used determine the consistency of the ganache and therefore is the single most important factor to understand in making ganache.
Generally, fondant covered cakes are given a base coat of chocolate ganache. The main reason for using ganache is because ganache, once set, is able to hold its shape very well underneath the fondant, giving the cakes a sharp and smooth covering. Typically, the ratio of chocolate to cream when making ganache as a base coat for fondant covering is 2:1. I have tried with consistency for my cakes, and since I live in a very warm climate, the proportion totally did not work for me. It works fine in an air conditioned room, but once the cake is out in normal room temperature, the ganache softens. I have also tried increasing the proportion of chocolate to cream but it was still not good enough as a base coat for fondant and therefore prefer use a thin layer of crumb coat for my fondant cakes. If you wish to try ganache as a base coat for your fondant cakes, you would need to play around with the proportion of chocolate to cream to see which combination works best for your cakes. The lesser cream you use, the stiffer your ganache will be.
The recipe I have on this page is chocolate ganache with a 1:1 ratio of chocolate to cream. The ganache in this consistency is soft but able to hold its shape, making it absolutely suitable for piping work. If you live in colder climate, you might find the ganache hardening at room temperature. If that happens, simple heat the ganache up slightly in a microwave or a double boiler until it is softer.
Another important aspect of chocolate ganache is the type and quality of chocolate used. Dark chocolate is my favorite, but this can always be substituted with milk chocolate and white chocolate. And if you do substitute, do take note that proportion of cream to chocolate would need to be reduced slightly.
Temperature is another factor. Since chocolate is one of the main ingredients, surrounding temperature plays an important role in ensuring that the consistency of the ganache remains as it is intended to.
Here is the full printable version of my ganache recipe:
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