Ganache is incredible when you think about how simple it is. At its core, it’s made of two basic ingredients – chocolate and cream.
Not only is it easy to make, but that basic formula can be extended with almost any flavorings you desire, making ganache incredibly versatile.
You can use ganache for dips, glazes, fillings, frosting, truffles and more. All of this is made possible simply by altering the ratios of cream to chocolate while controlling the temperature of the ganache to meet your needs.
Oh, and did I mention how absolutely delicious ganache is?
Well, it is!
There’s something about that decadent combo of chocolate and cream that adds an air of sophistication and lip smacking creaminess to almost any dessert.
What Are the Three Types of Ganache?
The three types of ganache are dark chocolate ganache, milk chocolate ganache and white chocolate ganache. Each type is made using slightly different methods, cream to chocolate ratios and types of chocolate.
At this point, it should be mentioned that no matter what kind of ganache you’re making, the quality of it will be determined by the chocolate you’re using. For this reason, always try to use the highest quality chocolate you can and if possible, opt for couverture chocolate if you have experience working with it.
Couverture chocolates are known for their higher concentrations of cocoa butter, which translates into a creamy smooth ganache. If couverture chocolate isn’t an option, the next best option will be block chocolate. This is pretty easy to work with since you’re chopping up what you need prior to melting it.
The last option would be chocolate chips or melts. These can be tricky to work with, so if that’s all you have available, be sure to find recipes that specialize using them in ganache.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Dark chocolate is the firmest of the three types and because of this will require more cream to achieve the same consistency than you’d use for milk or white chocolate.
Dark chocolate contains very little milk solids, cocoa butter, sugar, and cocoa solids. Cocoa solids are anywhere from forty to sixty percent in dark (or semi-sweet) chocolate.
Milk Chocolate Ganache
After dark chocolate is the second type of ganache, milk chocolate ganache. Milk chocolate has the same ingredients as dark chocolate. However, it contains higher levels of milk solids than dark chocolate does.
Because of this, milk chocolate will require less cream than dark chocolate to achieve the same consistency needed for ganache made with dark (or semi-sweet) but not as much as would be needed for white chocolate.
White Chocolate Ganache
If you’re not already aware, what makes white chocolate different from milk chocolate or dark chocolate is the lack of cocoa solids. Instead, it has higher amounts of milk solids and sugar but less cocoa butter.
When all of these factors are combined, it can mean that making white chocolate ganache is more challenging since it has a tendency to burn more easily.
However, just like with dark or milk chocolates, you can avoid a lot of these problems by using the highest quality white chocolate you can find. Otherwise, you could easily find yourself with a chalky mess, so it’s important not to skimp.
Beyond that, using proper heating and mixing techniques can help you produce the best ganache possible.
The whiteness of your ganache will mostly be determined by the chocolate you’re using, but one way to brighten it after the fact is by using candy melts or even white gel coloring.
|Ganache Type||Chocolate Type||Cream to Chocolate Ratio||Consistency|
|Dark Chocolate||High quality couverture or block chocolate||More cream than milk or white chocolate||Firm|
|Milk Chocolate||High quality couverture or block chocolate||Less cream than dark chocolate, more than white chocolate||Creamy|
|White Chocolate||High quality couverture or block chocolate||Least amount of cream compared to dark or milk chocolate||Can be challenging to achieve consistency without burning|
What Is the Chocolate Ganache Ratio?
When making ganache, understanding ratios is very important because it’s the ratio of cream to chocolate that determines the thickness of your ganache.
The ratios below describe the amount of chocolate you’ll use relative to cream that will help you achieve a certain consistency based on your needs. The ratios for dark, milk and white chocolate will be a little different, so be sure and refer to the recipe you’re using to get the correct ones.
The first number shown in the ratio is for chocolate, the second number shown is for cream.
Thin Ganache (Chocolate : Cream)
- Dark Chocolate Ratio (1:2 ratio)
- Milk Chocolate Ratio (1:3 ratio)
- White Chocolate Ratio (1:4 ratio)
Ganache that’s made with these ratios is going to work best for thin glazes, dips, fondue, drip cakes, chocolate fountains or ice cream toppings.
Thicker Ganache (Chocolate : Cream)
- Dark Chocolate Ratio (1:1 ratio)
- Milk Chocolate Ratio (2:1 ratio)
- White Chocolate Ratio (3.5:1 ratio)
Ganache that’s made with these ratios is going to work best for frostings, thick glazes or fillings. Ganache made with these ratios are commonly whipped (for frosting) or as a thickened filling for cakes or cupcakes.
Thickest Ganache (Chocolate : Cream)
- Dark Chocolate Ratio (2:1 ratio)
- Milk Chocolate Ratio (3:1 ratio)
- White Chocolate Ratio (4:1 ratio)
Ganache that’s made with these ratios is going to work best for truffles, very hard glazes or frosting. A good consistency to imagine for ganache made with this ratio is fudge like when warm and nut butter consistency when it sets. As for making truffles, it’s best when ganache of this ratio is chilled.
|Ganache Type||Chocolate : Cream Ratio||Consistency||Use|
|Dark Chocolate||1:2||Thin||Glazes, dips, fondue, drip cakes, chocolate fountains, ice cream toppings|
|Dark Chocolate||1:1||Thicker||Frostings, thick glazes or fillings|
|Dark Chocolate||2:1||Thickest||Truffles, very hard glazes or frosting|
|Milk Chocolate||1:3||Thin||Glazes, dips, fondue, drip cakes, chocolate fountains, ice cream toppings|
|Milk Chocolate||2:1||Thicker||Frostings, thick glazes or fillings|
|Milk Chocolate||3:1||Thickest||Truffles, very hard glazes or frosting|
|White Chocolate||1:4||Thin||Glazes, dips, fondue, drip cakes, chocolate fountains, ice cream toppings|
|White Chocolate||3.5:1||Thicker||Frostings, thick glazes or fillings|
|White Chocolate||4:1||Thickest||Truffles, very hard glazes or frosting|
Ganache Calculators You Can Try
If you’re finding that calculating the correct ratios is too difficult or are just looking to save a little time, head on over to Sugar Cake School and use their handy ganache ratio calculator.
Although it’s designed for cakes, you can still get a good idea of ratios by adjusting the settings based on your needs!
If that one doesn’t quite meet your needs, check out this one over at CakeFlix. Unlike Sugar Cake School, they will require you to submit your email address to use it.
I’m Griffin and I make my living as a freelance writer and wannabe sci fi author. Besides my obsession with words, I have a few others which may or may not include craft beer, backcountry hikes and spending time with loved ones – preferably in that order. Thanks for checking out my work and I hope you enjoy it!