Need I say it again? I love dark chocolate. So of course given a chance, I would make my ganache dark chocolate as well. It’s ok, I know how to work in moderation. When the cake is already dark chocolate, or more like extra dark, I do use regular chocolate chips to make the ganache.
1 part whipping cream
1 part chocolate chips
- Double-boil or microwave the cream until it’s slightly boiling.
- Add to bowl containing chocolate chips. Let sit for a minute then stir until all the chocolate is melted.*
*A lot of recipes tell you to let the chocolate sit in the cream for longer than a minute and then to stir a little to smooth it out completely. I’ve often found that this isn’t sufficient. The first two times I made ganache the temperature of the cream reduced significantly after I let it sit for a while that when it was time to continue stirring the chocolate it wasn’t hot enough to dissolve. I did get a good amount of smooth ganache but also with a good amount of lumpy ganache that you can’t really do anything with. You could use the smooth part for some drips and probably salvage the lumpy part as the crumb coat underneath fondant. (I managed to pass it off as some kind of delicious, textured part of the cake.)
I’ve since corrected the temperature of my cream as well as the ratio of my ingredients. I still find you need to thoroughly stir the chocolate into the cream until you get a smooth texture. It takes practice and patience. For the third time, I did manage to get completely smooth ganache. Only problem is now, I need to work on smoothing it over the cake.
As for the ratio of ingredients, when I say the cream and chocolate should be in equal parts it doesn’t mean 1 cup cream :1 cup chocolate. It should be equal in terms of weight. So 200 ml of cream should be mixed in with 200 g of chocolate chips.
Again, I don’t have a scale so I do almost everything in approximation. The box of cream I use is 200 ml and 1 cup of chocolate chips is approximately 175 g. The ratio I’ve provided here is adjustable according to the consistency you want. If you want something thinner, let’s say for it to drip all the way down the cake, add more cream. If you want something thicker to ice cakes reduce the amount of cream.
Let me explain exactly how I do this. Double-boil a whole box of cream (200 ml) while measuring out 1 cup of chocolate chips in a bowl. Once the cream is ready, pour 2/3 to 3/4 of the cream onto the chocolate chips. Don’t use all your cream and chips at one go. I explain the consequence of this on my White Chocolate Ganache page. What happens if it gets too cool to melt further? Put it back on the double-boiler and heat up a little more.
Tip: Do not expect to store ganache for more than a week. Only because it contains cream and even cream can only be refrigerated for 3 days after being opened. If the cream in the ganache happens to expire, you’ll have yourself some quite tangy smelling and tasting ganache.
Types of Cream
A lot of recipes online call for heavy cream. In Malaysia, you really can’t find that easily even in the “fancy” ingredients supermarkets. But you can find whipping or cooking cream. I didn’t really know how different these two creams were from each other at first. Heavy cream usually contains a fat content of 36% or more. If you compare the ingredients section of these two types of creams you’ll find that whipping cream has a fat content of 35.1% while cooking cream only has a fat content of 20%. Naturally, whipping cream is the way to go. I also like to use Emborg’s whipping cream as it’s the closest to 36%. A lot of whipping cream by other brands have a fat content of less than 35%.
Now why is fat content in cream so important? It makes for extremely delicious ganache. Just like an eggless or a dairy-free cake, no matter how good, will never come close to a real cake with all its egg-y and butter-y goodness. All these types of fat just make for really drool-worthy desserts.