Ganache Techniques

Three foolproof ratios.

Ganache Techniques

As a chocolatier, I use ganache in many of the recipes and demonstrations I share online so I thought I should produce an easy how to guide covering some of the ratio options for ganache. With this guide, you should be able to create any kind of ganache for any dessert with any flavour combination! These are the three basic ratios every chocolatier uses when making chocolate ganache.

Ganache is a staple in the tool box of many chefs. A good ganache can elevate simple poached pears into a great Escoffier dish like pear belle helene with its rich chocolate flavour and creamy, texture.

Melted chocolate

A few basics

  • Ganache only has two or sometime three ingredients
  • Always use the best quality ingredients
  • Double cream is classic. The higher the fat content of the cream, the richer and more stable the ganache will be, but you can even use crème fraiche or sour cream

Chop the chocolate

If you are using bars, chop the chocolate small with a serrated knife then place to a heatproof bowl.

You can use dark, milk or white chocolate, but both milk and white contain much more milk than dark chocolate making them easier to burn. And the extra milk in these chocolates gives a much softer ganache, so use less cream.

Heat the cream

Heat the cream to the scorch point (just a boil). Don’t let the cream boil over! Pour over the chopped chocolate and leave standing for 5 minutes to allow the cream to start melting the chocolate and to allow the overall temperature to reduce because emulsions like ganache form better at 32 to 43°C.

Mix

Use a silicon spatula and start stirring the mixture slowly then a little more vigorously in one direction until smooth and creamy. The ingredients don’t want to mix at first but by forcing them to do so you are creating an emulsion which gives us a thick, rich textured shiny ganache.

Basic Ratios

The ratio of chocolate to cream significantly impacts the final texture of the ganache. Which ratio you should use depends on what dish you're making and your preferences. These ratios don’t have to be exact, you can increase or decrease the chocolate to cream depending on the consistency you need. Remember as ganache cools it becomes increasingly thicker and more solid.

1:1 Ratio ganache (equal quantities of chocolate and double cream)

Use this ratio for cake fillings for a thick glaze for a cake, tart, cheesecake, or other dessert with ganache.

Let the ganache sit uncovered until it’s at room temperature, about 15 minutes, before pouring over the cake. Start pouring in the middle gently working your way to the edges. You can either do a single coating or let the ganache pour over the sides.

Tart au chocolat

2:1 Ratio ganache (2x chocolate and 1x double cream)

Use this ratio for a very thick, almost solid fudge-like ganache which is perfect for making truffles or thick fillings for whoopee pies, macarons, or tarts, you need to use twice as much chocolate compared to the cream. This ganache will solidify as it cools, especially in the fridge. To make for a solid yet chewy texture and shiny appearance, add a tablespoon of honey along with the cream.

1:2 Ratio Whipped ganache (1x chocolate and 2x double cream)

Use this ratio for thin, pourable ganache. This is great for dipping fruit in or pouring over ice cream! It’s especially perfect for making whipped ganache. Whipped ganache is like a combination of chocolate whipped cream and chocolate mousse.

To make whipped ganache, let a 1:2 ratio ganache chill in the fridge until thickened, about 1 hour. Whip with an electric mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment, slowly increasing the speed to medium-high. Whip until just light in colour and fluffy in texture. Be careful not to overwhip which can lead to a grainy texture.

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David Greenwood-Haigh
David Greenwood-Haigh
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David Greenwood-Haigh

Multi award-winning chocolatier with over forty years experience.fellow of the institute of hospitality, MasterChef member Craft Guild of Chefs Judges International chocolate awards, Academy of chocolate awards & Great taste awards

See all posts by David Greenwood-Haigh