Chocolate ganache is a combination of chocolate and double cream. It's simple to make, yet one of the richest and most gratifying treats to eat. It's the base for chocolate truffles of all colours, and also makes the very best cake frosting, filling or icing. When cool, ganache frosting develops an outer crust over a velvety centre. Little is better.
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Dark chocolate with a high cocoa-solids ratio gives rich and luxurious results. Milk chocolate and white chocolate versions will be correspondingly blander and sweeter. Alternating either of the latter with dark chocolate ganache, or with one another, opens up endless possibilities...
Basically, make it and eat it. The high fat content of both cream and chocolate means ganache, including truffles, will stay vibrant and fresh for a week or more if kept cool. It will slowly lose shine if kept in a warm atmosphere and the cream content can develop a cheesy taste, a sure warning that you have left it too long. A week or so in the fridge is fine in an airtight container. It will set in the fridge, which means it will be harder to smooth or spread, but good for rolling into truffles.
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For soft icing or a glaze, use one part (by weight) dark chocolate to two of double cream. Using two parts chocolate to three parts double cream will give you a softer set icing with a smoother texture.
For chocolate truffles, use two parts (by weight – more or less according to preference) chocolate to one part double cream. 250g chocolate to 300ml double cream gives an excellent texture. Shaping them like rugged black truffles straight from the soil is easier for the inexperienced, rather than rolling them.
For a cake filling or rich, thick icing, use equal weights of chocolate and double cream.
In all cases, add an extra 25% of cream when using white chocolate.
Break the chocolate into small pieces and heat the cream to below boiling point. Combine away from the heat and stir until even. Cool to room temperature before use, when it can be whisked for a lighter texture.