Temperatures and Ratios for Mathtastic Ganache

I guess your teacher was right; you will use math in everyday situations! Good thing ganache ratios are super easy to calculate.

Ratios of cream to chocolate for different ganache thicknesses and what to do with each typeSo you know that you need the rich, fudgy taste of ganache, like, now, but depending on how you’ll be using the ganache, you’re gonna need to use different ratios of cream and chocolate. Don’t sweat it if you weren’t the star pupil of your algebra class, though. This math is a piece of cake. Chocolate cake, that is.

With ganache, we like to use ounces as our unit of measurement for both the chocolate and the cream. So a 2:1 ratio might be 8 ounces of chocolate to 4 ounces of cream. It may seem to be a bit strange to measure cream in terms of weight, but uising the same units keeps things simple, and you can measure it all using your handy-dandy kitchen scale (that means fewer dishes to clean, too!)

Keep in mind that each ganache will thicken as it cools. If it is too thick to work with, heat it gently over a double-boiler (or in the microwave on a low heat setting), stirring frequently. If the ganache is too runny, cool it at room temperature or refrigerate it, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until it’s the right consistency. Start with the ratios below, and after you work with the ganache a little bit, you’ll be a pro!

Three thicknesses of ganache in bowls What You’re Making:

  • Truffles
  • Very stiff piped cake decorations

Ratio To Use:

  • 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream

How To Use It:

Once the ganache is mixed and warm, it will be quite thick, but still soft. At this consistency, you can pipe decorations. It will set up to be very firm, and you’ll need to work quickly so it doesn’t cool so much you can’t pipe it.

To make truffles, pop the ganache into the refrigerator and stir it every 5 minutes until it’s thick and cool, but not completely hardened. You still need to be able to scoop it! The ganache should hold its shape when you roll it into a ball in your hands. Then you can dunk your truffles in cocoa powder or whatever else you want to coat them in!

Three thicknesses of ganache on spoons

What You’re Making:

  • Thick glaze
  • Filling for a layer cake
  • Whipped ganache frosting
  • Dipping

Ratio To Use:

  • 1 part chocolate to 1 part cream

How To Use It:

The consistency of this ganache when it’s still warm will be kind of like chocolate pudding. In this stage, you can use it as a dip or as a glaze. Hellooo, donuts!

Once the ganache thickens ever-so-slightly, you can spread the ganache between cake layers.

To make whipped ganache frosting, cool the ganache so that it’s thick but soft, transfer it to a mixing bowl, and beat it until it’s fluffy and light in color. This is a great frosting for cupcakes.

Ganache as a glaze and as a frosting on cupcakes

What You’re Making:

  • Pourable ganache
  • Soft icing
  • Light whipped ganache

Ratio To Use:

  • 1 part chocolate to 2 parts cream

How To Use It:

Fresh from the stove, this ganache is very thin. While it’s still liquid, you can get a smooth, thin coverage of ganache over an entire dessert by pouring the ganache over the top.

If you let it cool and thicken a bit, you can make those awesome drips down the side of your layer cake by pouring a small amount ganache on the top and guiding it to the edges so it runs down. If the ganache is too warm, the drips will run all the way to the bottom of your cake, so do a test drip first!

When it has cooled to thicker consistencies, you can whip this ganache in the mixer to be very light and fluffy with almost a milk chocolate flavor. Or you can leave it unwhipped for a rich, soft frosting.

Whipped Ganache Frosting

Yield: 2 Cups

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 5 Minutes plus time for cooling

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave in 30 second intervals and stirring in-between. The cream is ready when it reaches 200°F, right below the boiling point. You can tell the cream is warm when it begins to bubble and is hot to the touch.
  2. Remove the cream from the microwave and pour the chocolate chips in. Stir gently until smooth and no chunks of chocolate remain.
  3. Place in the fridge for 1 hour for the ganache to set.
  4. Using an electric mixer whip ganache until light and fluffy. Decorate.

Maria Siriano

Somewhere among the towers of batter-smeared mixing bowls, you'll find a flour-covered Maria making unique seasonal desserts for her blog, Sift and Whisk. Although she never quite got the hang of the clean-as-you-go technique, she has still managed to elevate her baking skills far beyond “add oil, water, and eggs.” She makes a killer pie, if she does say so herself.