6 Gourmet Chocolate Ganache Desserts to Bake Tonight

The perfect combination of chocolate and cream, ganache can be used in everything from tarts and truffles to cookies and cakes. To successfully make ganache, Joy of Baking says you must pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and then stir until the mixture is smooth and velvety. From there, you can use warm ganache to make glazes, or let it cool to room temperature for a spreadable filling or frosting. Refrigerated ganache is also versatile and can be whipped into rich fillings and frostings or formed into truffles, notes Joy of Baking. No matter which way you choose to prepare your ganache, it is guaranteed to result in a decadent dessert. Here are 6 chocolate ganache recipes you’ll want gracing your dessert table!

Source: iStock

1. Dark-Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting

Chocolate cake is made even more indulgent with the help of a thick, fudgy ganache frosting. Interestingly, Martha Stewart strays from the typical ganache recipe a tad by adding 2 extra ingredients — salt and confectioners’ sugar — to the cream and chocolate combination, creating a frosting that’s richer and creamier than most.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa, spooned and leveled, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Ganache:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Directions: To make the ganache, in a large saucepan, bring 2 cups heavy cream, ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, and ⅛ teaspoon salt to a boil. Remove from heat; add 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped, and let stand, without stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk just until combined. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until spreadable, about 1 hour. To make the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans; dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. Line bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in chocolate and vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in three parts and buttermilk in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

Cool in pans 15 minutes; run a knife around edge of each pan and invert cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely. Set a rimmed baking sheet upside down on a work surface. Place one cake on sheet and spread top with ⅓ of ganache. Place second cake on top and spread remaining ganache over top and sides of cake. Using two wide metal spatulas, carefully transfer frosted cake to a serving platter.

Source: iStock

2. Chocolate Ganache Tart

Chow delivers an easy-to-prepare dessert that is both stunning and simple. While your no-bake filling refrigerates, prepare the cherry vodka sauce, which pairs wonderfully with the ganache’s bitterweet flavors. You can make this Chocolate Ganache Tart up to two days in advance; just store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to slice and serve.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved, seeds scraped, bean reserved
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour

Filling

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick), cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt

Cherry-vodka sauce

  • 2 (10-ounce) bags frozen cherries (about 4 cups)
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar

Directions: For the crust, heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine butter, sugar, vanilla seeds, and salt in a large bowl and stir until evenly incorporated. Add flour and stir until just combined and a soft dough forms. Sprinkle dough over the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Using a measuring cup or your fingers, evenly press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Cover the tart shell with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Once chilled, prick it all over with a fork and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. For the filling, place chocolate and butter in a medium bowl; set aside. Combine cream, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves and liquid is just at a simmer, about 4 minutes. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and butter and let sit until melted, about 4 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Pour ganache into the cooled tart shell and transfer to the refrigerator.

Chill until set, about 1½ to 2 hours. For the cherry-vodka sauce, place cherries, vodka, sugar, and reserved vanilla bean from the crust in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cherries start to break down and syrup has thickened, about 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Serve with slices of tart.

Source: iStock

3. Vanilla Bean Cake With White Chocolate Ganache

No other dessert comes close to comparing to Taste of Home’s cake, which is filled with apricot preserves and fresh strawberries, and topped with a white chocolate ganache frosting. If you’d like to add your own touch to this signature sweet, use your favorite type of jam in place of the apricot preserves. Don’t forget to serve each slice with a scoop of Southern Living’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream!

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk

White chocolate ganache

  • 12 ounces white baking chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Swiss buttercream

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 7 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

  • ⅓ cup apricot preserves
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Garnish

  • Additional sliced fresh strawberries

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Separate eggs; let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line 2 greased 9-inch round baking pans with parchment paper and grease the paper; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into creamed mixture; discard bean. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of egg whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites.

Transfer to prepared baking pans. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Beat with an electric mixer until ganache is double in volume, about 2 minutes. For the buttercream, in a small bowl, combine sugar and cream of tartar. Place egg whites in a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water; stir in the sugar mixture. Constantly whisk egg mixture until mixture reaches 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Stirring gently, keep the egg white mixture at 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a mixing bowl. With a whisk attachment, beat egg white mixture on high speed for 5 minutes.

Reduce speed; beat 5 minutes longer or until cool and stiff. Transfer to a large bowl. In the same mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat butter, shortening, and vanilla until light and fluffy. With a spatula, stir a fourth of the egg white mixture into creamed mixture until no white streaks remain. Fold in remaining egg white mixture until combined. If frosting is not completely smooth, attach paddle beater to mixer and beat on low speed for about 1 minute. Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with half of ganache. Top with another cake layer. Spread with apricot preserves; top with sliced strawberries. Place third cake layer on top; spread with remaining ganache. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread buttercream over top and sides of cake. Top with additional sliced strawberries.

Source: iStock

4. Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Chocolate and coffee flavors blend wonderfully in Food Network’s Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes. To ensure your ganache turns out perfectly, make sure you use high-quality ingredients whenever possible. This is especially true with the chocolate you use, which The Kitchn says plays a huge role in the ganache’s flavor and consistency.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 16 fluid ounces chocolate syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Ganache

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • Candied violets, for decoration, optional

Directions: Line muffin pans with 12 paper liners. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Don’t overbeat, or the cupcakes will be tough. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly in the pan. For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Dip the top of each cupcake in the ganache. Decorate with candied violets, if desired. Do not refrigerate.

Source: Thinkstock

5. Ganache-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Silky smooth ganache gives chocolate chip cookies an elegant makeover. Food & Wine’s recipe, which yields 18 cookies, is surprisingly simple to prepare. Bake your cookies, make your ganache, and combine.

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Ganache

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2½ tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the nuts in a pie plate and toast for 8 minutes; let cool, then chop. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter with the sugars and vanilla at medium speed, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg. With the mixer at low speed, beat in the dry ingredients. Beat in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Spoon level tablespoons of the dough onto 2 ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm.

Put the chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil; pour over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the crème fraîche. Refrigerate the ganache, stirring occasionally, until thick and spreadable, for 1 hour. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, until golden; let cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Sandwich the chocolate chip cookies with the ganache and serve.

Source: iStock

6. Chocolate Ganache Truffles

Patience is the key to mastering Serious Eats’ Chocolate Ganache Truffles. After mixing your ganache, which should have a thick, smooth, and glossy texture, you’ll want to leave it in a cool spot to firm up overnight. Then it’s time to shape your truffles, chill them for a bit longer, and finally, roll them in cocoa powder or the toppings of your choice. Nuts, sprinkles, and tempered chocolate are all excellent choices!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ cup of cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter, optional
  • 1 tablespoon rum, or other liquor, optional
  • ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder for coating the truffle

Directions: Chop the chocolate into fairly even, small pieces; a heavy serrated knife works well. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate to the cream. For an extra smooth truffle, add butter. Add any liquor here, too. Wait a minute or two until most of the chocolate and butter is melted. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Once the chocolate is mostly melted, quickly but gently transfer the mixture to a bowl so that you can form your emulsion in a cooler environment. Whisk the mixture vigorously until it’s thick and smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl and incorporating all the cream and chocolate.

If you have one, an immersion blender helps make sure the emulsion is stable. If the ganache shows signs of breaking at this point, you can add a few drops of cream to help re-emulsify it. A well-emulsified ganache should look like chocolate pudding: thick, smooth, and glossy. Leave it in a cool spot to firm up for at least four hours, ideally overnight. Once the ganache has set into a uniformly firm mass, scoop out small balls with a melon baller or spoon. Roll each one briefly in the palms of your very clean hands. It helps if you have cold hands or are in a cool room. Chill the truffles briefly, for about 15 minutes, while you prepare whatever you’d like to roll or enrobe them in.

If your ganache isn’t firm enough to scoop into balls, you can chill it in the fridge to harden. Or, whip it very briefly until the color just begins to lighten, about 30 seconds on medium-low with a hand mixer. Let it set again and it will firm up. Roll the truffles in cocoa powder, shaking off any excess cocoa. You can also roll them in chopped nuts or enrobe them in melted and tempered chocolate. Store them at room temperature for up to a week, in the fridge for two to three weeks, or in the freezer for two months. They taste best eaten at room temperature.

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