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Instructions Checklist
  • 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.