In its simplest form, ganache is an emulsion of equal parts of chocolate and heavy cream.
Small amounts of corn syrup or butter are sometimes called for in some recipes.
By varying the proportion of chocolate to cream, or the temperature, you can vary the texture of the finished product.
Increase the cream to make a ganache that, when chilled, you can whip like cream.
Increase the chocolate and you get a truffle filling.
Pour it warm over a cake and you have a thin glaze, or pour it over ice cream, and voilà: a simple chocolate sauce.
Use it to sandwich cookies together. Or cakes. Or meringue discs. Possibilities are nearly limitless.
Ganache can be made with dark, milk or white chocolate, but make sure that you use high quality chocolate. With only two basic ingredients, inferior chocolate can't be camouflaged.
- 1 part cream to 3 parts chocolate=glaze (ex: 8 oz cream to 24 oz chocolate)
- 1 part cream to 2 parts chocolate=truffle center (ex: 8 oz cream to 16 oz. chocolate)
- 1 part cream to 1 part chocolate=filling (ex: 8 oz cream to 8 oz. chocolate)
- ***Proportions will be different for white and milk chocolates, and because they contain milk solids, they can be a bit temperamental and more susceptible to breaking.
- Chop your chocolate fine and put it in a big stainless steel bowl.
- Heat cream (and corn syrup/butter if the recipe calls for it) just to a boil.
- Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate.
- Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes (this, in effect, tempers the two ingredients: the temperature of the chocolate rises while the cream's temperature lowers. It's easier to make them combine when the temperatures are similar).
- Then, stir the mixture with a whisk slowly to combine into a rich, shiny emulsion. Don't whisk quickly; you don't want to create air bubbles.