Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Ganache Brownie Hearts by Cakewalker

The versatility of chocolate ganache earns a go-to status for pastry arts. Whether as a sauce, topping, or filling, it’s used for multiple things like ice cream, profiteroles and cakes. It’s easy to make, adaptable and oh so tasty. Two ingredients are all that’s required for a basic ganache: chocolate and heavy cream. What’s not to like about that?

 

Basic Chocolate Ganache Ingredients

 

There’s one critical element to successfully making a ganache—heavy cream. The fat content of heavy cream allows for the melding of the chocolate’s cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar crystals with the cream into something glorious. I won’t go all science on you, but think of it as the cream butterfat molecules hugging the cocoa component molecules. A group hug, if you will! When you shop for cream intended for ganache, be sure to look for “heavy” on the label. Don’t be misconstrued by just “whipping cream” which has a lower butterfat content. Heavy is the qualifier for the ideal butterfat content.

 

Watch how quickly the ganache comes together. You’re a little more than a minute away from deliciousness!

 

Frosting Brownie Heart Cut-out HalvesDessert idea: Make a batch of your favorite brownies; cover and chill in the refrigerator until firm. Use a heart-shaped cutter to cut an even number of brownies. Fill half with a buttercream of your choice. In this case I used a vanilla Italian meringue.

Filling a Sandwiched Brownie with Buttercream  Top each with a non-frosted half and sandwich. Pipe additional frosting along the sides to fill any voids if needed; smooth with a spatula and return to the refrigerator, covered. When the ganache is ready, place brownie hearts on a wire rack over a clean, rimmed sheet pan. Pour the ganache over each brownie; a second pass may be necessary for good coverage—reheat and reuse the ganache collected in the pan if more is needed. Decorate with candied hearts or jimmies if desired; let set until the ganache firms before serving.

The cream is typically heated to the point it melts the chocolate when added. When the chocolate softens, it is gently stirred until the mixture is uniform in color, dark and glossy. This is where the adaptability part comes into play. Depending upon how you wish to use the ganache will determine the viscosity you want (thicker for dipping, thinner for pouring). The two things which apply to the viscosity of ganache are: temperature and the ratio of cream to chocolate. Generally speaking, the more cream, the thinner the ganache. In some cases, however, simply raising the temperature slightly, or re-warming a cooled ganache can render it to a desired consistency.

Pouring the Chocolate Ganache over the Brownie Hearts

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Approximately 1 1/4 cups.

Whether as a sauce, topping, or filling, this chocolate ganache recipe is versatile, adaptable and and oh so tasty! Try it on fresh berries, ice cream, profiteroles or cakes.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (may use 1 cup good quality chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • Place the chocolate in a small heatproof mixing bowl; set aside. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan bring the cream to a slow boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for about 3 minutes. Using a whisk, gently stir until smooth, uniform in color and glossy. Cool slightly, or use right away. Store leftover refrigerated in a covered container for up to 3 days. Reheat depending upon how you wish to use it.

Notes

The cream may be heated in a microwave in short blasts until steaming and bubbly. An alternate heating method is over a double-boiler with the water actively simmering. The double-boiler is a great re-heat method too.

Fully refrigerated ganache scooped into small balls makes an excellent base for chocolate truffles coated in cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

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Linked here are other recipes where chocolate ganache was used and adapted for the particular application needed:

Lemon Chocolate Cake

Lemon Chocolate Cake (Poured & flavored)

Creepy Cakes

Creepy Cakes (Poured & flavored)

meyer lemon snowflake cake

Meyer Lemon Snowflake Cake (White chocolate ganache)

 

We’ll discuss additional preparation methods in future posts. In the interim, I encourage you to try your hand at making and working with ganache. A simple dessert with sophisticated appeal is as close as your kitchen!

 

Chocolate Ganache BrownieHearts by Cakewalker

Comments

  1. No better way to say Happy Valentine’s Day than with these gorgeous cakes!

  2. So Lovely!!

    • Brooks Walker says:

      Try making them for your fiancé, Raven. You can make nut-free brownies since he’s not nuts about them. ;) Have a lovely Valentine’s holiday!

  3. I love your lessons. It is so nice to get instruction on things that I feel I should already know (but obviously don’t). Of course, you make it look a lot easier than it really is. :)

    • Brooks Walker says:

      Christiane, I know your work…your skillset exceeds what’s needed. You can do this! Thank you for the lovely comment my friend.

  4. they look amazing!

  5. Ganache is such good stuff! It’s beautiful, as is your description for how to make it. Really good job with this — thanks.

  6. Heavy? Not a problem. I can remember that. These brownie sandwiches look so good, I uttered an excited expletive and everyone in the house came running to ooooo and aaaaah at what we are all craving now. :-) Now excuse me while I go whip up some ganache and find something to pour it on…

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