Does Chocolate Ganache Harden on Cakes?

No, chocolate ganache does not harden to a rock-hard consistency on cakes. It will thicken and become firm as it cools, but it will always retain a slight softness. This allows you to easily spread it on cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts.

However, if you want a harder chocolate topping, you can try using a different recipe or technique. Here are some options:

  • Candy melts: Candy melts are designed to harden and become firm when cooled. You can use them to create a hard chocolate shell on cakes, cookies, and other treats.
  • Tempering chocolate: Tempering chocolate is a process that involves heating and cooling chocolate in a specific way to create a smooth, glossy finish that hardens when cooled.
  • Using a higher ratio of chocolate to cream: Increasing the amount of chocolate in your ganache recipe will make it thicker and firmer. However, it may also become more difficult to spread.

What Can I Use to Harden Chocolate on Cakes?

If you want a hard chocolate topping on your cake, you can use one of the following options:

  • Candy melts: As mentioned above, candy melts are designed to harden and become firm when cooled. You can use them to create a hard chocolate shell on cakes, cookies, and other treats.
  • Tempered chocolate: Tempering chocolate is a process that involves heating and cooling chocolate in a specific way to create a smooth, glossy finish that hardens when cooled.
  • Chocolate ganache with a higher ratio of chocolate to cream: Increasing the amount of chocolate in your ganache recipe will make it thicker and firmer. However, it may also become more difficult to spread.
  • Chocolate fondant: Chocolate fondant is a type of icing that is made with chocolate, butter, sugar, and eggs. It is very thick and firm, and it will harden when cooled.
  • Modeling chocolate: Modeling chocolate is a type of chocolate that is made with chocolate, corn syrup, and water. It is very pliable and can be used to create decorations for cakes and other desserts. It will harden when cooled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does chocolate ganache harden?

No, chocolate ganache does not harden to a rock-hard consistency. It will thicken and become firm as it cools, but it will always retain a slight softness.

How long does it take for chocolate ganache to set?

The time it takes for chocolate ganache to set will depend on the surface you are spreading it on. It will typically take about two hours to set completely.

Can chocolate ganache be left out overnight?

Yes, chocolate ganache can be left out overnight. However, if you are in a particularly warm or humid climate, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator.

Can I use milk instead of heavy cream in ganache?

I would not recommend using milk instead of heavy cream in ganache. The ganache will end up being too thin.

Can I use chocolate chips in ganache?

You can use chocolate chips in ganache, but I recommend using a high-quality brand like Ghirardelli. Chocolate chips will not melt as smoothly as chopped chocolate, and they may result in a slightly grainy texture.

Can I color chocolate ganache?

Yes, you can color chocolate ganache with oil-based food coloring. Do not use water-based food coloring, as this will cause the chocolate to seize.

Can I use ganache to make chocolate-covered strawberries?

Yes, you can use ganache to make chocolate-covered strawberries. However, the ganache will not set and be hard and snappy like is typical with chocolate strawberries.

Can I make whipped ganache ahead of time?

Yes, you can make whipped ganache ahead of time. However, it may not be as fluffy and light as freshly made whipped ganache.

Can I use ganache as a glaze on baked donuts?

Yes, you can use ganache as a glaze on baked donuts. However, it is important to note that the ganache will soften the donuts over time.

Is it okay to leave ganache at room temperature for multiple days?

Yes, it is okay to leave ganache at room temperature for multiple days. The high sugar content in the ganache inhibits bacterial growth.

Can I use ganache to make a drip cake?

Yes, you can use ganache to make a drip cake. Just make sure the ganache is slightly cooled before using it so you don’t melt the frosting.

Can I use ganache as a frosting for cupcakes?

Yes, you can use ganache as a frosting for cupcakes. Just make sure the ganache is completely cooled before using it.

To glaze a cake, cheesecake, or other dessert with ganache:

  • Before covering the cake, let the ganache sit uncovered for about 15 minutes to come to room temperature.
  • Gently begin pouring from the center outward toward the edges.
  • Either apply a single layer or allow the ganache to spill over the edges.
  • Use twice as much chocolate as cream to create a very thick, nearly solid fudge-like ganache that’s ideal for truffles or thick fillings for cookie sandwiches, macarons, or tarts.
  • For example, 8 ounces of chocolate would be equal to 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of cream.
  • As this ganache cools, especially in the refrigerator, it will solidify.
  • To give the cream a glossy look and a firm yet chewy texture, mix in one tablespoon of corn syrup.

See my Ultimate Truffle Guide for a ton of truffle-making advice.

  • Use a 1:2 ratio (one part chocolate to two parts cream) to create a thin, pourable ganache glaze.
  • This works well for pouring over ice cream or dipping fruit into!
  • It’s ideal for creating the whipped ganache seen in the above photo.
  • The flavor of whipped ganache is similar to that of chocolate mousse and chocolate whipped cream.

A few of these flavorings could alter the ganache’s consistency. Add more cream or chocolate as you see fit.

  • Salt: Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the heated mixture to enhance the ganache’s sweet flavor.
  • Liqueurs and Brandies: To make the warm ganache, replace one or two ounces of the cream with a flavored liqueur like Grand Marnier, Bailey’s, or Chambord, or a brandy like Armagnac.
  • Additional flavorings: You can flavor the warm ganache with spices, fruit purees, flavored extracts, or espresso powder.
  • Nutella or peanut butter: To the hot cream, add two tablespoons to a quarter cup of smooth Nutella or peanut butter and the chopped chocolate.
  • Cream infusion: Give the cream flavor as it heats up. After bringing to a boil, add the tea, fresh mint leaves, coffee beans, or citrus zest, and let steep for five to ten minutes. Strain before using. Be aware that before combining the cream with the chocolate, it might need to be warmed again.

How to Make Chocolate Ganache

  • Using a serrated knife, coarsely chop the chocolate and transfer to a heatproof bowl.
  • You can use chocolate chips, but it’s preferable to use a bar of baking chocolate and chop it yourself because chocolate chips have ingredients added to help them maintain their chip shape.
  • Since there are only two ingredients in ganache, use the best ingredients you can find for the greatest flavor.
  • You can use white or milk chocolate, but keep in mind that they can be more prone to heat damage because they contain a lot more milk than bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. This means you must be very careful not to overheat. Reduce the amount of cream used, as the extra milk in these chocolates also results in a softer ganache.
  • Bring the cream to just a boil over medium-high heat. Don’t allow the cream to boil over!.
  • The cream can also be heated in a microwave, but use caution when doing so.
  • After pouring the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, let it stand for five to ten minutes so that the chocolate melts and the temperature drops overall. Emulsions like ganache form better at 90 to 110°F.
  • The ganache will be richer and more stable the higher the fat content of the cream.
  • The conventional option is heavy whipping cream, but you can also use sour cream or crème fraiche. All you have to do is use a double boiler to melt and smooth out the chocolate and crème fraiche/sour cream.
  • Almond or soy milk are good nondairy substitutes that you might be able to use, but the texture won’t be as rich and creamy.
  • Gradually increase the speed of whisking in one direction until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  • This may take a little while, just keeping whisking.
  • The ingredients won’t want to combine at first, but by pressing them together, we can create an emulsion that gives ganache its beloved thick, rich texture.

The final texture is significantly influenced by the ratio of chocolate to cream. The ratio you choose will rely on your needs and tastes. You can adjust the proportions of chocolate to cream to achieve the desired consistency; they don’t have to be exact. Take note that ganache gets thicker and more solid as it cools.

1:1 Ratio ganache on a spoon, showing the texture of this ganache ratio To make ganache for a layer cake filling or to cover with a thick glaze, like with my Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Buttercream, use equal parts chocolate and cream.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe | All My Tips and Tricks!

FAQ

How do I get my ganache to harden?

Put ganache into the fridge to let it set and get thicker. If you have the time, take your ganache, cover it with plastic wrap, and set it in the fridge. Leave it in the fridge for an hour, taking it out every 30 minutes to stir it. Once it gets to the right consistency, proceed with your recipe.

How long does ganache take to go hard?

If using as a glaze, allow to cool for 15 minutes before pouring. If using for truffles, cover and chill for 1 hour, or until solid yet malleable, before scooping balls. If using as a frosting, allow to chill for 4 hours, or until almost solidified, before using.

Will chocolate ganache harden in the fridge?

You can leave the ganache at room temperature for a few days, or store in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks. Refrigerating will harden the ganache significantly, so you will want to let it come back to room temperature or heat it again before using.

Does chocolate ganache firm up?

Does ganache harden? It depends on the method you use to make it. If you use the method where you pour cream milk over chocolate to melt it it will not harden. To make a ganache that will you need to use a double boiler to melt down the chocolate and add cold cream a little at a time.

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