The Key To Making Chocolate Ganache Is Finding The Right Ratio

Dark chocolate ganache
Dark chocolate ganache - WS-Studio/Shutterstock

Ganache has a reputation for being finicky and hard to get right. If you've ever struggled with achieving the perfect consistency for your mirror glaze or your drip cake is too, well, drippy, you're not alone. But it doesn't have to be difficult if you keep a few things in mind, namely ratios.

When you're working with different types of chocolate, you need to work with different ratios as well. What's effective for making a white chocolate ganache won't work for a dark chocolate version. This comes down to a few factors, including the amount of cocoa butter and sugar in chocolate. Dark chocolate is at least 26% cocoa butter, while white chocolate is at least 20% cocoa butter. The quantity of cocoa solids affects your final ganache -- a dark chocolate ganache will set firmer than a white chocolate ganache.

The ratios are fairly easy to remember and are the same, whether you're measuring by weight or volume. The rule of thumb for dark chocolate ganache is a ratio of 1-to-1 chocolate to heavy cream. If you need a white chocolate ganache for your mirror glaze cake, 2-to-1 chocolate to cream; and milk chocolate is a bit more tricky, 1.5-to-1, though you can simplify it by using 3-to-2 chocolate to cream. If your ganache is too thick or thin then you can use a simple trick to thicken ganache -- adjust the ratios, especially if you'll be making truffles or using the ganache for a filling.

Read more: The Best Chocolate Desserts You'll Ever Taste

Ingredients And Technique Will Shine In A Ganache

Pastry chef making ganache
Pastry chef making ganache - Studio Peace/Shutterstock

The ratios of cream to chocolate matter so much in a classic chocolate ganache because of the amount of sugar in chocolate, not just the amount of cocoa butter. The sweeter a chocolate is -- like white or milk chocolate -- the more sugar it has. Sugar liquefies at high temperatures (hello, homemade caramel sauce), so a milk chocolate ganache will need less heavy cream than a dark chocolate ganache. Milk chocolate has more sugar than dark, which usually hovers around 30% chocolate. Even chocolate with 80% cocoa versus 60% cocoa will produce different textured ganache. You also want to be mindful of the quality of your chocolate. A ganache made with imported chocolate versus a store-bought chocolate chip will result in wildly different ganaches. Your dark chocolate ganache truffles will be super simple to execute with these ratios in mind.

The kind of cream you use matters, too. You have to use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream -- if you use half and half, whole milk, and some non-dairy alternatives the chocolate won't set properly because of the lower fat content. Try to find the highest fat content you can because it'll produce a more stable, richer ganache. While most professional pastry chefs prefer 40% milk fat, most stores only carry 36% milk fat, but that should be perfect for the home baker. If you need a dairy-free alternative, use full-fat canned coconut milk.

Read the original article on Mashed.