Learning how to make chocolate ganache without heavy cream is possible! Traditional chocolate ganache is made with equal parts melted chocolate and heavy cream, but it doesn’t have to be made that way.
If you ever want to jazz up a dessert with a layer of decadent chocolate ganache, but you don’t have heavy whipping cream in the fridge, don’t panic! With just 3 simple ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen at this very moment, you can make this chocolate ganache without cream.
A few days ago, I was putting together a cake roll and I wanted to drizzle chocolate ganache over the top of it. I gathered my go-to brand of bittersweet chocolate, walked over to the fridge to grab the butter and cream, and my dream of a smooth, velvety chocolate waterfall was dashed. I was completely out of heavy whipping cream.
The price of cream is expensive right now, so I didn’t want to spend the money to buy it. I was feeling discouraged, until I used my brain and realized that heavy cream is simply milk with a higher percentage of butterfat in it. By taking whole milk and adding butter to it, a homemade version of heavy cream is created. Then, I use the homemade cream and melted chocolate to make chocolate ganache without heavy cream!
My culinary education is paying off! Woot woot!
CHEF’S TIPS for making chocolate ganache without heavy cream:
Learning how to make chocolate ganache with milk is really quick and easy. There are just two little things that are important to remember for the process:
- Chop or grate your chocolate into very small pieces.
If you skip this step, your chocolate will take too long to melt and/or your butter and milk solution will get too cold, causing the chocolate to stop melting completely. It’s not the end of the world if that happens, but it’ll take you more time because you’ll have to reheat everything over a double boiler, and who wants that mess? Just chop or grate the chocolate as finely as you can and it’ll melt quickly and smoothly for you.
- For the smoothest chocolate ganache, use high quality chocolate and the best butter you can afford.
I’m on a tight grocery budget, but when it comes to the taste and texture of chocolate, I spare no expense. You definitely get what you pay for. I use bittersweet chocolate in most of my baked goods, mainly to keep the sugar content down, but also because I prefer the deeper flavor that dark chocolate brings.
I also recommend splurging on the purchase of the butter. At roughly 3 bucks a pound, it’s not inexpensive, but spending an extra dollar per pound will get you a great quality, high fat butter. American butter has more water in it than European butter does, so I spend my money on the European stuff. It makes baked goods tastier and frosting creamier. Oh, and let’s not forget about how amazing it tastes in the world’s most delicious mashed potatoes!)
Ganache can be made using milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or bittersweet. The important thing is to use real chocolate and not hydrogenated, oily, pretend chocolate. I found the best deal on chocolate here on Amazon.
Finished chocolate ganache will be very glossy in appearance and completely liquid. To thicken it, place the ganache into a refrigerator so it will chill and set more quickly. You can also leave it sit on the counter top. Either way, stir it every 10 minutes, until it thickens to the consistency that you want it to be. After it cools completely, ganache should be thick and almost solid on the top and soft in the center.
At that point, you can also use an electric hand or stand mixer with a whip attachment to beat air into the ganache. After a few minutes of mixing, it will become a light and fluffy frosting!
Now that you know how to make chocolate ganache without heavy cream, it’s time to whip up a batch!
How to Make Chocolate Ganache without Heavy Cream
With 3 simple ingredients, you can make chocolate ganache without heavy whipping cream!
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup cow's milk (2% or greater milk fat)
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped or grated
- Place chopped or grated chocolate into a medium sized, heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Place milk and butter into a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted completely. Increase heat to medium high and allow mixture to cook another couple of minutes, until you see tiny bubbles around the edge of the saucepan. Do not allow the milk to boil or it will burn.
- Pour hot milk into the bowl of chocolate and allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then stir until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is shiny and smooth.
- Use as is for a simple dessert topping over cake, ice cream, or cookies. Ganache will thicken and set up in 30-45 minutes at room temperature, but it will set up much faster if refrigerated.
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