The first thing you learn about making the perfect ganache is that the two most important factors you need to have on point are temperature and proportions. If you’re not planning on using your ganache immediately, putting it in the fridge or even freezing it for future use is a handy way to keep it fresh.
So how do you reheat ganache? The first step to reheating ganache is thawing it in your fridge or on the countertop. Then the best way to reheat it is by using a double boiler that will allow the ganache to melt slowly.
There are other methods of reheating ganache that might work better for your particular dessert though, so understanding how delicate ganache is and why will help make sure your dessert turns out perfect each and every time.
3 Ways To Reheat Cold or Frozen Chocolate Ganache
Technically speaking, ganache is an emulsion, which means one liquid (heated cream) is mixed into another (liquid chocolate) until it’s smooth, even though those liquids are not necessarily soluble. This is very similar to mixing water and oil.
Because the 2 ingredients tend to separate when they’re cooled, it’s not uncommon for a sugar crust to form or for the ganache to split. This is why the most important part of reheating your ganache actually begins before you cool it: make sure you cover it carefully with plastic wrap fully covering the surface so that air can’t reach your mixture.
If you’ve frozen your ganache, there are 3 simple ways to bring it back to life as the center of everyone’s attention.
1. Let it thaw
For a thicker, fudge-like consistency to used for thick fillings, a cooled ganache works best. If you’re working from frozen, simply thaw your ganache in the fridge and it should be ready to go.
If you want to whip your ganache, you have two options.
- First, you can freeze or cool the ganache as you made it, in its original liquid chocolate gold state. When you’re ready to whip it, simply unthaw in the fridge and whip as you would normally.
- Alternatively, you can whip the ganache before freezing, unthaw in the fridge and give it another quick whip to smooth out the texture. Don’t over whip, because ganache can turn grainy.
If you have made a ganache designed to be a glaze, you’ll need it reheated to room temperature, so that it’s liquid but not so runny that it won’t stick. I’ve saved this variety for last, as it’s slightly more complicated than the others.
2. Use a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set inside a pot of simmering water
A double boiler is your best option, as it’s slow and steady and you have the most control over the results. Just as if you were melting chocolate, put about an inch or two of water in the pot and let your ganache slowly melt.
3. Try the microwave
If you’re really pressed for time and need your ganache yesterday, you can put it in the microwave. Patience is crucial if you don’t want to cook your ganache into a crunchy fudge, so use with 10- to 30-second intervals and fold your ganache with a spatula between each burst to evenly distribute the heat. Stop when there are still a few lumps because the residual heat will melt the rest.
Use Cold Ganache
The option of using your ganache cold is also available to you. Instead of reheating it for filling or icing, you can consider making truffles. This works really well with flavored ganache, but plain chocolate and cream have been known to hit the spot perfectly as well.
To give this a try, simply grab an ice cream or cookie scoop or even just a spoon and scoop out a portion of cold ganache. Roll it around in your hands so that it forms a lovely little bite-sized ball and then dip it in melted chocolate or roll in cocoa powder, coconut shreds, icing sugar or even crushed nuts or candy over the balls.
You can also simply eat it like a soft, melt-in-your-mouth fudge. If you like this idea and you’re thinking ahead, you can mix chopped up nuts or fruit into your ganache before you chill it, and then simply cut it into little squares to eat as is.
Ganache Variations And How They Reheat
A basic ganache is simply heated cream poured over the chopped chocolate and mixed until smooth. Consistencies can vary, depending on whether you want to use your ganache for glazing or filling.
The type of chocolate you used will make a difference to your ganache, both fresh and reheated. Dark, milk and white chocolate all have different melting points, with dark chocolate being able to withstand slightly higher temperatures. This applies to the original recipe as well as the cooled or frozen leftovers.
Dark chocolate is the easiest to work with and usually considered the highest quality of chocolate. It’s perfect for fillings.
White chocolate, which isn’t really chocolate at all but makes for a great ganache, has more oil than it’s darker varieties and requires a higher chocolate-to-cream ratio when making your ganache.
Milk chocolate is the most common chocolate in most markets and is readily available and relatively inexpensive, so it’s probably the most popular chocolate to use. Since it already has milk in it, the amount of cream you add when you first make your ganache will be less.
The type of cream you use will also impact how it cools and reheats. Most ganache is made with heavy cream, which has a high-fat content and makes a rich, creamy and stable ganache.
If you have dietary restrictions, however, you might be interested in making your ganache with coconut cream or other dairy-free alternatives. If you search, you can find recipes that use everything from coffee to applesauce.
Every slight variation you make will result in a different ganache consistency and may reheat either thicker or looser than the original recipe intended. It’s impossible to predict how each individual recipe is going to reheat, but once you understand the best practices for reheating ganache, you should have no trouble figuring out the best option for your recipe.
Freezing Deluxe Ganache
If you’ve chosen the deluxe recipe and added liqueurs, fruits, nuts or other delicacies to your ganache, that will impact how it freezes and how it reheats.
Liqueur requires a much lower temperature to freeze than chocolate or cream and will reheat much quicker. Keep this in mind if you are trying to heat in a microwave from frozen, as it will warm up much more quickly than a plain ganache might.
Fresh fruit has a high-water content and may throw off the consistency of your ganache as it unthaws, as the frozen water will melt into your mixture. If you’re planning on making extra fruit-filled ganache to freeze, you’ll be safer using dried fruits.
If you’re planning on salting your ganache, do this as the last step. If you salt and then freeze or cool your chocolate, it will blend and enrich the flavor, but it won’t stand out in the same way a burst of solid salt will.
Can you freeze ganache?
Yes! If you make more ganache than you’re ready to use, you can freeze it for 3 to 9 months, maximum. If you’ve made your ganache quite firm, you can simply wrap it in plastic wrap. If you’ve made a softer consistency, put it in a freezer-safe container.
You want to be sure absolutely no air or moisture makes contact with the ganache to protect it from freezer burn and discoloration, so even if you put it in a container, it’s a good idea to cover it with plastic wrap as well.
How do you loosen ganache?
If you’ve made a ganache that is too thick for your purposes, you can loosen it by adding more cream, very slowly, until it’s the right consistency for your recipe.
How do you thicken ganache?
If you want a thick liquid ganache, you can add more chocolate to the cream while it’s still hot. Ganache thickens naturally as it cools. Depending on what you’re using it for, you can simply put your ganache in the fridge to cool, and it will turn more fudge-like. You can also whip it once it’s cooled to create a thick, stable texture.
Can you fix split ganache?
Yes. Split ganache happens when the fat starts to separate from the cream and your beautiful chocolate glaze becomes grainy. This can happen whether your ganache is fresh or reheated. To prevent it from happening, work with simmering and not boiling the cream.
If it’s too hot, the fat in the chocolate will overheat and this is what causes the separation. If/when that happens, if your ganache is still hot, try adding a small amount of additional chocolate to balance the fat. If it’s cooled already, just reheat and remix and it should come together again nicely.