How often do you want to make dessert but don’t have time? With this, you can make incredible desserts and save time. And do it cooking with kids – listening to music – what could be better!
If you have time to whip up a cake mix but not enough time to frost the cupcakes or cake, ganache to the rescue. If you have ice cream but nothing to top it with, ganache to the rescue. If guests are coming and you don’t know what to fix, ganache to the rescue.
Ganache (pronounced “gah nahsh”) is a simple combination of chocolate, butter, and cream. It’s incredibly good. And you can make it in the microwave.
Ganache is no better than the chocolate you use. Chocolate wafers—intended for candy making—are better than chocolate chips. Wafers are finer, smoother, and taste better than chocolate chips. They have to. Candy makers demand great chocolate. Chip producers know that chips are buried in flour where they don’t have to be finely ground and smooth and that most buyers—especially in grocery stores—care most about price.
If you want great ganache, use wafers. Can you make good ganache with chocolate chips? Yes, but it’s not quite as good.
How to Make Traditional Ganache
This will make a ganache that is thick and paste-like when it cools like that in the picture to the right. It has the traditional ratio of equal parts chocolate and cream and is the right consistency for piping or filling a pastry. You may thin your ganache with more cream or make a thin ganache thicker with melted chocolate.
Use up to 1 1/2 cups cream for a thinner, more sauce-like ganache.
1 cup heavy cream 8 ounces quality chocolate, cut into pieces 4 tablespoons butter
Bring the cream to a boil. In a medium bowl, pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the butter. Let the ganache cool until it reaches the desired consistency.
Vanilla is often added to ganache. I don’t bother. Good chocolate doesn’t need additives.
Can you make ganache in the microwave? We usually do. Traditionally the cream is scalded with the idea that it has a longer shelf life but it’s hard to scald in the microwave and very hot is good enough.
Ganache does not need to be refrigerated. It has enough sugar and chocolate that it will not spoil. Use it within seven days.
Can you make ganache with cocoa?
You can make ganache with cocoa if it’s very good cocoa. It needs to have a high cocoa butter content and taste very good. We use Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa with up to three times the cocoa butter and the resulting ganache is very close to that made with fine wafers.
Ganache made with cocoa costs less and you’re more likely to have cocoa on hand than chocolate wafers.
The following recipe will yield a thinner ganache that thickens as it cools.
3/4 cup Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa or equal 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup butter 1 cup cream 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix the cocoa and sugar together in a small bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave.
- Add the cocoa and sugar mixture to a small saucepan. Add the melted butter and cream. Heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until the ganache starts to bubble. Remove from the heat.
- Let the ganache cool until it reaches the desired consistency. Thin with additional cream if necessary.
Have great fun with this – everyone will think you are a master baker!