Ganache is so much easier to make than you'd think. I always feel like people think about ganache and start imagining a French chef slaving over a double boiler forever to make sure it's just right.
But it does not have to be that way!
I like to do my ganache in the microwave. That way you're only making one dish dirty, and you can pop the measuring cup right in the fridge to cool the ganache down. :D
Step 1: What You'll Need:
- 8 oz chocolate (bittersweet or semi sweet is best - but you can even do milk or white chocolate!)
- 8 oz heavy cream
Step 2: Microwave the Cream and Add the Chocolate
Depending on the amount of cream you're using, microwave it for 3-5 minutes. I'm using 12 oz and I'm setting the microwave for three minutes.
Once the cream is nice and hot (you should see tiny bubbles on the surface) start adding in chocolate. Make sure that it's in small pieces - no bigger than a chocolate chip is best.
An important point: there are two types of ganache. The glossy, dark kind - and the slightly fluffier and lighter in color kind. To achieve the glossy ganache, never ever whisk. This will add air into the mix. Use a spatula instead. Because I wanted a lighter chocolate color and to make it into frosting, I whisked.
Add the chocolate little by little, mixing furiously in between. Keep adding and mixing until all the chocolate is melted and there are no clumps. It will be pretty runny right now because it's so warm - that's normal!
At this point, you can let it come down in temp a little bit (just until it starts to get thick) and use it as a glaze.
Otherwise, follow the steps beyond this to make it into a frosting! :D
Step 3: Cool Down the Ganache
For most ganache uses, you'll want it to be a little cooler. If you want to do this at room temp, it'll take hours. But you can speed it up significantly by popping it in the fridge.
I normally let it sit for 1 1/2 hours or so. At that point it's really glossy and thick and looks beautiful.
Step 4: Make Frosting!
This is really what I love to do with ganache. After it's cooled, you can pop it in a bowl and beat it with a hand mixer until it gets nice and fluffy. It will also lighten in color. :D
Step 5: Frost a Cake!
If you're using your ganache as frosting, make sure your cakes are cooled.
Full disclosure: I can never wait the whole time, but I recommend it if you'll be transporting it. :D
Here's a recipe for chocolate cake in case you think you might need to make some right away. (good idea!)