“Forget Love, I’d Rather Fall in Chocolate!”
Now what do I say about this beautiful frosting called Dark Chocolate Ganache. It also goes by the name of Truffle Icing or simply Chocolate Frosting or Chocolate Icing.
It is undoubtedly the world’s most favourite frosting. Its uses are so varied, its difficult to list them all but I’ll try and name as many as I can think of at the moment.
Watch the recipe video here:
You can use this for sandwiching cakes, cupcakes, brownies, fondues, serving with vanilla ice cream, piping chocolate roses, phew! the list goes on. I will come back to all these and more in some detail once you have learned how to make it.
Note: There are just two basic ingredients need to make ganache. It is best to use finely chopped chocolate or chocolate buttons because that makes it easier to melt and mix with the cream.
What You Will Need:
This will give you sufficient ganache to fill (sandwich) and generously frost an 8 inch round or 7 inch square 3-layer cake.
Chopped Chocolate (semisweet/ dark) – 500 gms
Cream (heavy, whipping or double) – 250 mls
Butter (optional) – 3 tbsp
Vanilla extract or other flavour – 1-2 tsp (optional)
Salt (a pinch) – optional
Important to Know: Ganache is really just chocolate and cream melted and mixed in a certain ratio. The standard ratio of chocolate to cream is 2:1. Having said that, because the uses of Ganache are so varied or the weather conditions can be varied, this ratio can be altered to suit the specific purpose and weather/temperaure.
How To Make It:
This is the classic or traditional way of making ganache. Place your finely chopped (room temperature) chocolate or chocolate buttons in a large bowl. Boil the cream and pour this hot cream over the chocolate. Leave this for 1-2 minutes. Stir the chocolate thoroughly and mix so that you have a smooth uniform glossy mixture called ganache. If you see unmelted chunks of chocolate, heat again on a double boiler or in one or two 10-second bursts. Mix well.
I have my own way (detailed in Method 2) that I have mastered over the years!! And I want you to know that Method 2 works as well as Method 1 for me. Melt the Chocolate and cream together in a microwave first for 40 seconds. Leave it covered for a minute or two. Stir it well. If you see unmelted chunks of chocolate, heat again in one or two 10-second bursts. Mix well.
You will have a smooth molten choc0late-cream lava in itself is enough to be called Chocolate Ganache. But you can add butter to it for an added gloss.
You could always add a teaspoon or so of Vanilla extract or other flavour (orange goes so well with this!! and Mint too!)
So here you have it- super easy to make, luscious and sinful- dark chocolate ganache!!!
The Various Uses of Chocolate Ganache
Frost And Sandwich Cakes:
If you are going to use your ganache to frost and sandwich a cake, you can simply cover (with a cling film) it and keep in fridge or a cold room for a few hours (overnight is also good). Take it out 30-40 minutes before you are going to use it. Work your whisk through it to make it uniform and spreadable.
Chilled ganache can easily be chilled and used to pipe designs on the cake and to get smooth sharp edges.
You could actually whip the amount of ganache that you will use for sandwiching between the cake layers for 3-4 minutes to make absolutely luscious and creamy. Frost Cupcakes:
Whip the ganache for a few minutes to make it creamy and even more glossy and use this to frost your cupcakes or sandwich cake layers…. and take my word for it, its just heavenly!!
Use this to frost your Mississipi Mud Pie!
Roll into balls and make Chocolate Truffles
You can do this just plain. You can also add crushed or whole hazelnuts, almonds, raisins or cake crumbs to ganache and then roll it out into balls.
These can further be rolled in cocoa powder to make them even richer. In the picture you see below, I dipped these truffles in the three (dark, milk and white) melted chocolates and placed them on a chocolate cake covered in beautiful Chocolate glaze. Glaze to pour on cakes:
This pourable ganache glaze is my favorite frosting for cakes! To get the right consistency for this glaze, just increase the amount of cream you use from 250 mls to 300 mls. Use it for pouring over cakes or dipping doughnuts into.
Variations of Ganache
Flavoured Ganache : Flavour your ganache with Vanilla extract.
Mint Ganache: A drop of mint extract or a inch of finely chopped fresh mint gives a wonderfully fresh flavour.
Salted Ganache: as the name suggests, add 1/4 tsp of salt to your ganache.
Citrus Ganache: Add a teaspoon of fresh Orange zest or Orange extract to get Orange Extract (its amazing).
Coffee Ganache/Espresso Ganache: Adding coffee (use a quantity as per your liking) to ganache also goes very well.
You must share with me if you like other flavours of ganache. I would love to try them too!!
So what are you waiting for? Grab your prettiest apron and a whisk, put on your favorite song and start creating the magic!! Do share your experience of this post and recipe and your views and opinions! I would love to hear them!!