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How to Make Chocolate Ganache without Heavy Cream

Learning how to make chocolate ganache without heavy cream is possible! You can make a delicious chocolate ganache with milk. Watch our how-to video tutorial and grab the recipe below.

bowl of chocolate ganache without cream

 

Can you make 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.

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 your very own chocolate ganache without cream.

bowl of chocolate ganache with no heavy cream

 

Making a chocolate ganache with milk

The price of cream is expensive, 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 just milk with a higher percentage of butterfat in it. By using whole milk with butter added to it, a homemade version of heavy cream is created.

After I make homemade cream, I add it to melted chocolate to make chocolate ganache without heavy cream!

My culinary education is paying off!  Woot woot!

 

making chocolate ganache with milk

How to make a chocolate ganache without heavy cream

Learning how to make chocolate ganache with milk is really simple. There are just two little things that are important to remember for the process:

  1. 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.

If that happens, don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll have to re-heat everything over a double boiler.  To avoid that problem, chop or grate the chocolate as finely as you can so it’ll melt quickly and smoothly for you.

bar of Ghirardelli extra bittersweet chocolate

  1. For the smoothest chocolate ganache, use high-quality chocolate.

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.

Strauss organic high butterfat butter

  1. Splurge on the purchase of the butter, buying a brand with a high percentage of butterfat.

At roughly 3 bucks a pound, it’s not inexpensive, but spending an extra dollar per pound will get you 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. Look for a brand with at least 83 percent butterfat, and buy organic butter if you can afford it. The cows feed on grass instead of corn by-products.

Oh, and let’s not forget about how amazing real organic butter tastes in the creamy mashed potatoes!

Does chocolate ganache have to be made with dark chocolate?

No, not at all!

Ganache can be made using:

  • milk chocolate
  • semi-sweet chocolate
  • bittersweet chocolate
  • white chocolate

The important thing is to use real chocolate and not hydrogenated, oily, pretend chocolate.  I found the best deal on chocolate here on Amazon.

However, the lighter the chocolate, the more butterfat it has in it, so you may need to add more milk to achieve a perfect chocolate ganache without heavy cream.

Finished chocolate ganache is very glossy in appearance and completely liquid. The higher the butterfat content, the less glossy the chocolate ganache will appear.

titled image (and shown): chocolate ganache with milk (chocolate ganache without cream)

How to Make Chocolate Ganache without Cream (VIDEO)

Watch this quick, one-minute video tutorial to see just how easy it is to make chocolate ganache without heavy cream. Scroll down below the video to get a printable recipe and instructions.

Can I use chocolate ganache with milk to make frosting?

To thicken ganache enough to use it as chocolate ganache icing, place it into a refrigerator to chill and set more quickly. Or, simply leave it to sit at room temperature for an hour or so.

Either way, stir it every 10 minutes or so, until it thickens to the consistency that you want it to be.  After it cools completely, the ganache should be thick and almost solid on the top, but soft in the center.

At that point, you will use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with a whip attachment to beat air into the chocolate ganache.

It may take up to 10 minutes before you see the mixture changing, but then it will become light and fluffy chocolate ganache frosting!

chocolate ganache frosting

Ways to use Chocolate Ganache

You can use chocolate ganache to top cakes, candies, cookies, or even use it as a fruit dip or drizzle it over ice cream.

Now that you know how to make chocolate ganache without heavy cream, it’s time to whip up a batch!

dark chocolate ganache in a glass bowl

How to Make Chocolate Ganache without Heavy Cream

Learn how to make chocolate ganache without cream! Make your chocolate ganache with milk instead. 3 simple ingredients! Learn how to make frosting with ganache, too! 
This recipe yields 1/2 cup of chocolate ganache.
3.78 from 102 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 894 kcal

RECIPE VIDEO

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup whole milk 2% and sweetened condensed milk will also work
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped or grated

Instructions
 

  • 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 the 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 glossy and smooth.
  • Use as is for a simple dessert topping over cake, ice cream, or cookies. For a thicker chocolate ganache, allow it to set room temperature for about an hour, stirring every 10 minutes. It will set up more quickly if it is refrigerated.

Video

Notes

  • This recipe yields 1/2 cup of chocolate ganache without cream.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 894kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 9gFat: 68gSaturated Fat: 40gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 40mgPotassium: 723mgFiber: 9gSugar: 44gVitamin A: 855IUCalcium: 139mgIron: 7.2mg
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

 

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151 Comments

  1. Thanks for the reply Bec! But, I think the type of butter you’re talking about is Foremost Farm butter. But the butter that I was talking about was Foremost Dairies Unsalted butter, which is way different than Foremost Farm butter that is 82% fat. I found the nutrition of Foremost Dairies Unsalted butter. I hope this nutrition chart helps because I’ve been wanting to do this recipe for a long time. ?

    NUTRITION FACTS
    (14 G) ; Serving Per Container Not Availa ; Calories 100 cal; Calories from Fat 100.40

    Amount Per Serving % DV
    Total Fat 11 g 17 %
    Saturated Fat 7 g
    Trans. Fat 0.6 g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
    Omega 3 40 mg
    Monounsaturated Fat 3.0 g

    1. Hey Chole,
      Again, what you’ve posted here is nutritional information, so it’s not going to help determine what percentage of butterfat the butter has. I believe the only place you’re going to be able to find the information you are looking for is on the company’s website. I’m sorry that I’m unable to help you. At this point, you may just want to buy a pound of the butter and try it. As I mention in this recipe post, trial and error is how I ended up finding a brand of butter that works for me.
      I hope you have a chance to make the recipe and that’s a success for you!

      1. Thank you very much Bec. You have helped me with all the questions that I have been asking myself lately. Thanks!

  2. Thanks! I looked at the website too. But, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I think it was another kind of butter that you were looking at. I found this website on the internet and it tells me how much fats there is in the Foremost Unsalted Butter. It says that there are 8 grams of fat. Would it be fine if I use this kind for this recipe? Thanks.

    The website for Foremost Unsalted Butter:
    https://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/foremost-unsalted-butter-663964477

  3. Thank you very much for your help Bec. Another quick question that I would like to ask is: Would Foremost unsalted butter be good for this recipe? Other kinds of butter are really expensive like the European style and even the Organic ones so do you think it would be a good idea using Foremost butter?

    1. Chole, I completely understand the desire not to use European butter… it really is expensive!
      I’ve never used butter from Foremost Farms, but I just visited their website and learned that they have two different varieties of unsalted butter. One is the minimum required 80 percent butterfat, but they also sell an 82% butterfat unsalted butter. While that is still lower than the 86% that European butter has, it’s worth trying! I’m sure it must be labeled as 82% butterfat on the package.

      1. Thanks! I looked at the website too. But, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I think it was another kind of butter that you were looking at. I found this website on the internet and it tells me how much fats there is in the Foremost Unsalted Butter. It says that there are 8 grams of fat. Would it be fine if I use this kind for this recipe? Thanks.

        The website for Foremost Unsalted Butter:
        https://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/foremost-unsalted-butter-663964477

      2. Hey Chloe, the site you were looking at is called My Fitness Pal. It’s a nutrition website. The reference to “8 grams of fat” is nutritional fat grams, not the amount of butterfat in the butter. It’s a little difficult to understand the difference between the two, so don’t worry if you don’t understand what I’m talking about. 😉
        The site I was referring to is the Foremost Farms website, where you can learn about the actual ingredient percentages. CLICK HERE to see that information.

  4. I finally tried this recipe but it didn`t work out. I did everything the recipe told me, but it turned out runny. I put the ganache in the fridge for like about 2 hours, because I was planning to do a ganache frosting, but it still turned out to be runny. I don’t know what I did wrong.

    1. Oh no, Chloe! I’m so sorry to hear that the recipe didn’t turn out for you. Not being there with you when you made it, I can’t say for sure what the problem was, but there are two possible reasons. The first is that the butter you used has a lot of water in it. All butter has a small amount of water, but it can be really high in American butter, especially the less expensive brands. I’m not certain if you read the notes in my blog post, but I do suggest using European butter.

      If you used low fat (1% or skim) milk or nut milk, there would be a high percentage of water. In order for the ganache to set up, you do need a certain amount of fat to help it thicken.

      1. Thanks for the reply. How would you know I there is less water in the butter or not? Also, What type of butter did you use?

      2. Chloe, unfortunately, unless you’re a scientist, it’s impossible to know how much water content the butter you’re using has. The only way I can tell that there’s too much water in butter is by trial and error. If you melt butter in a pan and it sputters a lot, that’s usually a sign of high water content.
        That being said, it’s a known fact that all non-organic American brands of butter have less butterfat and more water than European butter does.
        Some brands (like Plugra) have the butterfat content listed on their package. The FDA standards say that American butter must have a MINIMUM of 80% butterfat, while European butter is required to be a minimum of 86% butterfat. That’s a huge difference!

        In the recipe post, I mention that I like to use KerryGold brand, but I recently learned that most organic brands of American produced butter also have a higher fat content. So if you don’t want to purchase European butter, I would suggest buying organic butter from a local dairy farm or use a nationally known organic brand like Organic Valley.

    1. Absolutely, Chloe. As long as the ratio of chocolate to butter/milk stays the same, you can use the recipe to make any quantity of chocolate ganache you need.

  5. So if I did this recipe and maybe added a little bit of corn syrup would it be okay to use on the outside of cream puffs I made?

    1. You don’t even need to add corn syrup to the ganache, Jen. The ganache will thicken as it cools and sets up. Just leave it at room temperature and stir every 15 minutes or so until it’s the consistency you want to drizzle with.

  6. Can you use this ganache recipe for frosting or for spreading on a cake using 2% milk instead of using a higher fat milk. If not, is there another way to make ganache frosting?

    1. Hi Chloe,
      Absolutely! Look just underneath the video in my post. That’s where I explain how to use chocolate ganache without heavy cream to make chocolate ganache frosting. 🙂

    1. Hi Janette,
      I’m sorry to say, you cannot use ganache for the exterior of truffles. However, chocolate ganache is very often used in the center of chocolate truffles. The exterior of chocolate truffles is usually a combination of melted chocolate and shortening.

  7. Hi, I would like to use the ganache to fill moulded chocolates. Would this recipe work? Would I need to change any ratio? Hoping to use evaporated milk. Thanks

    1. Hi Naz,
      To make chocolate candies, you will need to use melted chocolate that has been tempered. Unfortunately, this ganache recipe won’t work for that purpose.

  8. Dear Chef,
    Thank you for your recipe. I checked the evaporated I have on hand. It says:
    FAT 8.5 per 100ml / 2.6 (4% RI) 30ml per serving
    of which saturated 5.8 per 100 ml/ 1.7 per 30 ml

    * can I use this evaporated milk?
    * I intend to use this ganache for stiff thick coating under fondant. it is summer time here in the middle east.

    Thank you very much! 🙂

    1. Hello Dyoren!
      Personally, I have never used evaporated milk to make ganache, but based on the information you have provided, I think it is safe to say that you can use your evaporated milk as a replacement for the whole milk called for in my chocolate ganache recipe. The more fat content there is in the finished ganache, the thicker and more stable it will become after resting. If it is going to be used under fondant, I think you might have better results if you allow the ganache to cool/set and then determine if it is thick enough for use on the cake. If not, you could whip it into frosting, apply it to the cake, then refrigerate it until the frosting sets up.
      I wish you success and great results!

    1. Hi Halima,
      You will want to use full fat milk from a cow, goat, or sheep to make this recipe. You can use powdered milk if it is first mixed with water according to the directions on the box. Unsweetened evaporated milk might work, but I have not personally tried it, so I’m unable to guarantee success with it. Good luck!

    1. Evaporated milk is simply cow’s milk with about 60% of the water removed from it. I’ve never attempted to make chocolate ganache using evaporated milk, but if you are successful in doing so, please let me know! You’ll certainly still need to add butter to the milk per my recipe. Good luck!

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