- 3 3/4 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) finely chopped dark chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof mixing bowl and set aside.
Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it is just about to boil. Pour it evenly over the chopped chocolate and let the chocolate begin to melt. Let it sit for 2 minutes. (It is important to let it sit, because if you begin stirring right away, the air you incorporate will cool the chocolate faster, making it harder for the chocolate to melt smoothly.)
Mix the cream and chocolate together with a rubber spatula or a whisk, working out any lumps of chocolate so that they are fully melted. Add the butter and vanilla and continue to stir.
If the chocolate or butter stops melting before all the lumps have dispersed, place the bowl over a pan with simmering water and continue to stir constantly until it is fully melted.
Set the ganache aside and let it cool before using. The ganache should be about the consistency of smooth peanut butter when its ready to ice a cake.
For truffles: While it is still warm, pour the ganache into a prepared 8-inch square baking pan as directed.
The ganache can be kept in a heatproof airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 8 weeks. To reheat, place the container in a pan of simmering water, so that the water comes about halfway to three- quarters of the way up the sides of the container. Heat it until the sides have melted, then transfer it to a bowl and melt it fully over a double boiler.