Although no one does chocolate ganache quite like a French patisserie, it is also quite simple to make at home.
Ganache, which looks and tastes as elegant as it sounds, is made by the simple process of introducing finely chopped chocolate to very warm cream, waiting a few minutes for the chocolate to melt, and then stirring until it blends together and you can no longer resist licking the spoon.
Whether you want to make a thick ganache (think: the filling for a truffle) or thin and silky (think: drizzled over a pound cake) — you’ll need to understand two things: proportion and temperature.
Chocolate Ganache Proportions
The chocolate ganache that you roll into truffles calls for the same ingredients — and almost the same process — as the ganache you use to glaze your cakes.
The important difference between the two is the proportion of cream to chocolate.
Glazes and icings will require a thinner consistency, or a higher percentage of cream. A thicker glaze for frosting or for rolling into truffles needs to be stiffer, so the chocolate percentage is higher.
Based on weight and a 1:1 ratio (or four ounces chocolate to four ounces cream), these are the proportions for various types of chocolate ganache:
- Layer cake filling and thick glaze: 1:1, equal parts chocolate and cream.
- Chocolate truffles: 2:1, two parts chocolate to one part cream.
- Soft icing and pourable glaze: 1:2, one part chocolate to two parts cream.
Chocolate Ganache Temperature and Timing
When you heat the cream on the stovetop, you don’t need to let it reach a boil, but you want it to become hot enough to melt the chocolate (or in this case, Nutella).
Chop your chocolate, or in the case of Nutella, add it a spoonful at a time so that it melts easily.
It’s important too, that you use your ganache while it’s at the right temperature for whatever you’re making.
A still-warm ganache will pour easily over a cake and form a glaze. If it’s too warm, though, it may be too loose and if it’s too cool, it will be too stiff to pour.
At the end of the day, this one requires some judgment call.
Keep an eye on your ganache and be ready to use it in the appropriate window.
If it has cooled and stiffened too much, you can always reheat it over a double-boiler or in a bowl atop a pot of simmering water until it reaches the proper consistency.
This ganache is the perfect consistency for glazing a cake, drizzling over your favorite chocolate brownie recipe or for taking your vanilla ice cream to the next level.
If you’ve never made ganache before, aim for the glaze consistency. You can always heat it back up if it becomes too thick, but if it’s too runny it’s harder to fix.
- ¾ cup Nutella Hazelnut Spread (about half a jar)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
- Place the nutella into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil and pour over the nutella. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the sea salt and brandy, if desired.
- Let the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake, cupcakes or ice cream. If you're using it to top a cake, start at the center and work outward.
Shop the Recipe!
If you are planning to make chocolate Nutella ganache, you may need the following supplies:
A great sauce pan
I like this All-Clad D3 Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel Saucepan. It’s oven-safe, dishwasher-safe, super versatile for cooking, baking and chocolate Nutella ganache making.
A double boiler
Sticking with the All-Clad theme, the All-Clad Copper Core Double Boiler is not inexpensive, but it will become a staple in your kitchen forever. It’s the ultimate double-boiler trifecta with the heat-conducting properties of copper, the beauty and easy care of stainless steel, and a porcelain insert that transfers heat slowly and gently.