Wondering how to make chocolate ganache with cocoa powder? Then this recipe is for you! Made with just 4 ingredients, this ganache can be used as a glaze, filling, frosting and more!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Minimal time and ingredients: Just 4 ingredients (or 3 without butter) and 20 minutes of your time.
- Versatile: Chocolate ganache can be used in so many ways. If you look at the featured image above, you’ll see I used it in 3 different ways: tart filling, piped stars (using chilled ganache) and rosettes (using whipped ganache).
- Delicious: I’m biased when it comes to chocolate but it’s hard to resist a chocolate ganache!
In its most basic form, a ganache is composed of two ingredients: heavy cream and chocolate. Today we’re going to use cocoa powder for the chocolate flavor and add some sugar for sweetness. I also like to add a little bit of butter but it’s optional. Let’s take a look at the ingredients more closely.
- Heavy cream: It’s best to use heavy cream with 35% fat (or at least 30%) so the ganache sets properly.
- Butter: The butter makes the ganache more fluid and pourable when warm. It also adds shine and richness to the ganache and softens the chocolate flavor. But if you’d rather not use butter, you can skip it.
- Cocoa powder: I use unsweetened, Dutch process cocoa powder. Make sure you like the flavor of the cocoa powder used as it can make or break your ganache! How much cocoa to add is up to you. The more you add, the more chocolate flavor your ganache will have and the more bitter it will be. You might need to adjust the amount of sugar to get the desired sweetness. Cocoa powder, which contains starch, will also act as a thickener in the ganache. The more you use, the thicker the ganache will be. Adding too much cocoa powder however might yield a grainy texture.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar to sweeten the ganache. You can use as much as you like, depending on your preference. This recipe yields a moderately sweet ganache. If you like your desserts sweet, you might want to add more sugar.
- In a small pot, heat together the heavy cream and butter, stirring occasionally, until the butter has completely melted.
- In the meantime, sift the cocoa powder through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a medium-sized pot.
- Pour the sugar over the sifted cocoa powder and whisk to combine.
- Pour a small amount of the hot liquids (heavy cream/butter) over the cocoa mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until a paste forms.
- Gradually add the remaining liquid, stirring until fully combined.
- Heat (over medium heat) until small bubbles start to form on the surface of the ganache (about 10 minutes), stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
The longer you heat the ganache, the more water will evaporate and the thicker it will become.
- Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a measuring cup (or desired container). Use warm for a pourable consistency. Alternatively, pour into a wide container (to cool down faster). Cool down completely at room temperature then cover with cling film (or parchment paper) placed on the surface (to prevent a film from forming). Chill until needed or until firm enough to pipe. Refer to the next section for ideas.
Chocolate ganache can be used in practically anything! You can use it as a tart filling, glaze, cake frosting etc.
Chocolate glaze, dip or tart filling
For a pourable consistency: Use it when it’s still a bit warm. Use for dipping or drizzle over ice cream, cakes etc. The ganache will thicken as it cools down.
To fill a tart shell: Let the ganache cool down slightly at room temperature then fill a baked (and cooled) tart shell. Cool down completely at room temperature before chilling the tart.
To reheat the ganache: If you already chilled the ganache, you can reheat it over very low heat. The best way to do this is over a pan of simmering water (not touching). But if you are in a rush, you can heat it in the microwave in very short increments (about 5 seconds), stirring in-between.
Pipeable chocolate ganache
The ganache will firm up in the refrigerator. Once it has cooled down completely, you can have fun decorating your dessert!
To fill the piping bag: I find it best to partially chill the ganache. Before it gets too firm, fill your piping bag and return to the refrigerator until firm enough to pipe.
Whipped chocolate ganache frosting
Whip your chilled ganache for about 2 minutes until fluffy and use it for your cakes, cupcakes etc.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes! Cocoa powder contains starch and will thicken the ganache. The more you add, the thicker the ganache will be (and the more bitter it will become).
Yes, you can. The butter makes the ganache more fluid and pourable when warm. It also adds shine and richness to the ganache and softens the chocolate flavor. But you can skip it if you’d like.