Chocolate Ganache Recipe
For Icing, Frosting and Truffles
In French cooking, this chocolate ganache recipe is used to fill and frost cakes as well as to make chocolate truffles. Ganache is made by mixing chocolate with hot cream. The proportion of chocolate to cream determines the consistency of the ganache, and whether it will be used to make frosting, icing or truffles.
Always use a high quality chocolate for your ganaches. The flavor and smoothness of the chocolate will play a big role in the success of your recipe. Since no other sugar is normally added to a ganache, select a chocolate with the right amount of sweetness for the effect you want. In addition to the more traditional dark chocolate, you can make this recipe with white and milk chocolates.
In France, chocolate ganache recipes are frequently made with crème fraîche. Crème fraîche does add a slight tang that can be quite welcome in a frosting or truffle, where sometimes sweetness can overwhelm. The chocolate ganache recipe given here calls for regular cream, but you may substitute crème fraîche if you wish. Note that crème fraîche does not break down with heating the way sour cream does.
Ganache can be made with just chocolate and cream. Sometimes a small amount of butter is added, which helps to give the ganache a shine. Alcohols such as Grand Marnier, whiskey, raspberry liqueur, and others can be added (one tablespoon for 1 cup of cream). Cinnamon or coffee flavoring is also frequently added to French ganaches (1/2 teaspoon per 1 cup of cream).
The more chocolate you use in proportion to cream, the stiffer the final ganache will be.
To make frosting from ganache you should use an equal weight of cream and chocolate. After mixing the hot cream and chocolate allow the recipe to cool to room temperature - about an hour. When it is cooled, you can then whip the mixture with an electric whisk until it is light and fluffy. Fill and frost your cake before placing in refrigerator. The ganache frosting firms considerably once it is chilled.
Ganache Icing or Glaze
Use up to three times as much (by weight) of chocolate to cream. Once the chocolate and hot cream have been blended and cooled a little, you can pour the icing on top of your cake. It will harden as it cools.
You can make truffles from ganache by making a mix of about 2 parts chocolate to one part cream. After mixing, the ganache is placed in the refrigerator to thoroughly chill. You can then form balls from the ganache and roll in unsweetened chocolate. For more details, see this chocolate truffle recipe.