Chocolate ganache is delicious drizzled on cakes in its runny, freshly-made state. Thicken the mixture for spreading or piping using one of these methods.
The simplest recipe for ganache is equal parts of chocolate and cream or butter, melted together. When freshly melted the ganache is very runny; some recipes involve pouring it over a cake on a wire rack so that the ganache soaks into the cake and forms a thin glaze on top. For other purposes such as piping or spreading the ganache on a cake-like regular frosting, the ganache must be thicker.
Do not add icing sugar to ganache in order to thicken it: the texture will change, and the ganache will become what is effectively a very rich chocolate icing. Cooling the mixture, whipping the ganache, or changing the recipe’s proportions will all help create a thick, spreadable ganache.
Thicken Chocolate Ganache By Cooling
Left to its own devices chocolate ganache will thicken as it cools. For speedier cooling put the bowl in the fridge and stir frequently. The mixture will harden around the edges of the bowl first. The ganache is easiest to spread before it has completely hardened.
Thicken Chocolate Ganache by Changing the Proportions
Chocolate ganache is typically made with half chocolate and half cream or butter. One simple way to thicken up the mixture is to use a higher proportion of chocolate. A mixture that is three parts chocolate to one part butter or cream will be stiffer and harder. Even a small proportion of cream or butter should prevent the chocolate from hardening to the point of cracking.
Thicken Chocolate Ganache by Whipping
Whipping chocolate ganache with a hand-held beater turns it into a pale, fluffy buttercream-like mixture with a moussey texture. It is important not to overwhip ganache, especially if you used cream in the mixture; it may form a dryish, separated mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl repeatedly while beating to prevent a streaky mixture.
Whipped chocolate ganache can be piped or spread with a palette knife.
Tips for Using Ganache
- Piping chocolate ganache is easy as it tends to have a smooth, velvety consistency. However, due to the high-fat content ganache may melt if the piping bag is squeezed for too long in a hot hand. Rinse your hands under cool water occasionally as you pipe.
- Leftover chocolate ganache, kept in the fridge, will harden to a fudgelike consistency. Shape this ganache into balls, adding chopped nuts or liqueur if desired, and coat with dark chocolate to make simple truffles.
- Keep a cake iced with ganache in a cool place such as the fridge.
- White chocolate ganache is more sensitive to temperatures and humidity than milk or dark chocolate ganache. Always use cream, not butter, to avoid giving the mixture a yellow tinge; for whipped white chocolate ganache, be especially careful not to over beat.