Ganache sounds like such a fancy complicated thing, but it’s actually nothing more than chocolate and cream and so easy to make! It is the base for some of the most decadent chocolate treats like truffles and whipped chocolate ganache frosting. Once you try this easy and delicious recipe you’ll be hooked and will never look at truffles the same way again! Click here to see the how to video to make the ganache. Click here to see video on how to turn that ganache into truffles!
Makes: Approximately 2 cups ganache (40-50 small truffles)
Active Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Time: Approximately 2-3 hours to set
- 2 cups good quality semisweet or dark chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate (I like Ghiradelli chips and baking bars or Trader Joe’s Large Chocolate Bars)
- 3/4-1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla or other preferred extract or 1 tablespoon liqueur of your choice (I like to use Kahlua!)
(For the vegan version of this recipes make sure the chocolate is vegan and swap the heavy cream for full fat canned coconut milk. Then follow the exact same instructions below.)
*Since non-dairy chocolate is of a darker variety it will naturally be less sweet unless it has added sugar. If more sweetness is desired you can add a little sugar to the milk when heating. Just make sure it is a type of sugar that melts easily.
1. Place chocolate chips or chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
2. Measure cream and pour into a small sauce pot.
3. Heat cream over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan and below the surface milk. You want to scald the milk but do not let it come to a boil or it will burn the chocolate.
4. Pour hot milk over the chocolate in the bowl making sure the chocolate is evenly covered.
5. Let stand about a minute, placing a lid over the top of the bowl of desired. You want to make sure the chocolate melts sufficiently before you start stirring so that you don’t end up with tiny unmelted pieces in your ganache.
6. Once chocolate has had a chance to sit under the cream and get melty, start stirring with wisk and continue stirring until mixture is smooth, dark, and shiny. Be gentle and don’t stir longer than you need to bring it together. This usually takes just a couple of minutes.
7. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place the ganache in the fridge to firm up approximately 2-3 hours.
8. Once fully set the mixture should be completely firm and set and not move even when turning the bowl upside down. Place a spoon in it to test. You should be able to scoop up spoonfuls of chocolate with slight resistance. The chocolate is now ready to scoop into truffles or whip into ganache frosting.
To use the ganache for truffles, simply scoop the firm ganache, about 1/2 tablespoon in size, and roll to form smooth balls. (If you leave your ganache in the fridge longer than 2-3 hours you may wish to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften slightly and make it a little easier to scoop, as it will be quite firm the longer it sits in the fridge.) Place the truffles on a wax or parchment lined sheet pan. Then coat with melted chocolate by placing the truffle on a fork and spooning the melted chocolate over the truffle then tapping the fork lightly to release the extra chocolate so it doesn’t pool and harden under the truffle once it’s place on the baking sheet. Alternative you can dip the truffles as is without coating in melted chocolate in the toppings of your choice.
Below I have some coated in chocolate sprinkled with a little finishing salt, others coated in chocolate shavings, some rolled in powdered sugar or shredded coconut and a few coated in crushed freeze dried raspberries giving them a pretty pink hue and delicious pop of berry flavor. If you’d like your truffles to have added depth of flavor reflecting their topping, simply add 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of extract or liqueur to the ganache when making it. (i.e. Framboise is a beautiful liqueur to add to the ganache for a raspberry flavored truffle!)
Storage: Truffles can last in the fridge easily when well covered for about a week or so. They can even last at room temperature for a few days. You can also freeze truffles for a couple months when double sealed in freezer bags and/or a freezer safe container.
Whipped Ganache Frosting Instructions:
To turn your firm chocolate ganache into a decadant whipped chocolate frosting, let firm at room temperature for a few hours, if you have time. I like doing this because I find the texture is the perfect balance between set and semi-firm without becoming too firm so that is the perfect texture to start whipping and yield the desired beautiful silky result. When placing in the fridge it becomes firmer faster making it a little too firm to whip up immediately from the fridge, especially after it’s been in there a few hours. You will usually want to let it sit at room temperature before whipping so that it softens up a bit first. If using the fridge to speed up the process slightly, try placing the ganache in the fridge for 10-15 minutes at a time and then removing it to sit out in between to get the right balance of firmness.
Once ready to whip, whip on high speed using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or a handheld mixer. (I love the amount of air the handheld whips into it.) Whip for a few minutes until the ganache doubles in volume and lightens in color. Once that happens your mixture should be light and fluffy and ready to frost! If you can keep from eating it straight out of the bowl, that is.
Storage: Ganache can be kept covered tightly in the fridge for a few days or stored in freezer for a couple months.
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