MAKES: About 11/2 cups

TIME: 15 minutes

Ganache, one of the most useful of all dessert sauces, sounds far more difficult than it is, thanks to its French name. But it’s a snap to make and can take on a number of different guises.

You can use milk or white chocolate in place of bittersweet chocolate; just decrease the cream to 3/4 cup.

1 cup cream

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Put the cream in a pot and heat it until it’s steaming. Put the chocolate in a bowl, pour on the hot cream, and whisk until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream.

Use immediately as a sauce or coating or let cool to room temperature and whip to a smooth frosting.

Variation

Chocolate Glaze or Frosting. Use ganache as it is, or beat in confectioners sugar 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture is the desired sweetness and consistency.

5 Ways to Flavor Ganache

Here are a few simple ways to make the flavor of ganache more complex.

  1. Orange zest, grated or finely minced
  2. Crystallized ginger, minced, or peeled and very finely minced fresh ginger
  3. Ground spices, like cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, and star anise
  4. Earl Grey tea (steep in the hot cream for about 10 minutes or so, then strain)
  5. Freshly brewed espresso or instant espresso powder