Whipped Chocolate Caramel Ganache

By • October 20, 2013 72 Comments

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Author Notes: I actually discovered that if you whisk or whip ganache it turns into a fluffy spreadable concoction. I like using this because it's not too sweet, easy to spread and decorate with. The chocolate caramel gives this ganache a buttery deeply delicious flavor. This icing is light, much lighter than a standard American buttercream, closer to the consistency of a swiss meringue buttercream but without the eggs. I like to use both dark and milk chocolate but you can can use all dark or even all milk. If you use all dark it will be less sweet.sdebrango

Food52 Review: WHO: Sdebrango is a cookbook collector, Brooklynite, and long-time Food52-er.
WHAT: Forget the cake -- this is a frosting good enough to eat straight off a spoon.
HOW: Make a caramel, then a ganache, then let the two of them be one.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Under normal circumstances, we're not terribly inclined to mess with a great chocolate ganache. Now? We know that caramel is the only way to make a good thing even better.
The Editors

Makes enough frosting to fill and frost a 9-inch cake

Chocolate Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter cut into tablepoon-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (I used bittersweet)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Put the heavy cream in a glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 45 seconds, add chocolate and microwave another 30 seconds Stir until its smooth, add the vanilla extract and stir to combine, set aside so that it will cool before adding to the caramel.
  2. In large saucepan add the sugar, turn heat to med/high and let sit until it starts to liquefy. Start stirring with a heat proof spatula. The sugar will crystalize but that's alright -- keep stirring until its all liquid. Stop stirring and let it cook until it turns amber in color, then add the butter and stir to combine.
  3. Remove from heat and add the chocolate cream. Stir until its incorporated. Store in a container at room temperature until ready to use. Note: If you make this ahead of time, simply place the bottle or jar in hot water to warm the caramel so it’s pourable.

Ganache

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate broken into small pieces
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon liquor (I like cointreau or kahlua) or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate caramel sauce
  1. Heat cream to scalding (not boiling). Pour over the pieces of chocolate that are in a mixing bowl. Let sit 5 minutes then stir until there are no pieces of chocolate and it's smooth and shiny, then add the chocolate caramel sauce and stir to combine.
  2. Place bowl in an ice bath and stir or whisk until it's cool but not cold -- it will stiffen fairly quickly if it gets too cold. Remove from the ice bath and beat with a mixer or whisk until the ganache is fluffy and spreadable. Frost the cake immediately. Best served at room temperature.

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Comments (72) Questions (0)

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15 days ago Sue Douglass

What did I do wrong? Once I got it out of the ice bath and started blending it, it never changed it's consistency from wet and soupy to fluffy and spreadable. :(

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I am so sorry it didn't work. Try refrigerating to see if it gets thicker and then whip it. Thinking about what could have happened there are several things that come to mind. Did you let the chocolate caramel thicken and cool before adding to the ganache? It should be room temperature and not hot. The chocolate ganache, did you add the right amount of chocolate. These are probably silly questions but I am trying to dissect this and see what could have happened. I found that using the exact ratio of 8 oz of chocolate to 1 cup of heavy cream yielded a ganache that firmed up nicely and when you add the thickened caramel it whipped beautifully. Try refrigerating and see if it thickens up and let me know I am so sorry this did not work for you.

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14 days ago Sue Douglass

I'm going to try it again now. I have the scalding cream sitting on the chocolate pieces for 5 minutes right now. Maybe I need for it to get a bit colder in the ice bath? I'll keep you posted...

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes please let me know. When I use the ice bath I let the chocolate ganache get really thick and then start whipping. Good luck and I look forward to hearing how it goes.

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14 days ago Sue Douglass

I know it's me and not the recipe. I got it colder this time in the ice bath and then set the blender on it. It whipped up better this time but not in a fluffy way. Then it started to break down (granular in texture) so I have it in the fridge right now. Should I try to whip it again in a little while or use it as is. Again, it's me. Not you. I am not the best cook...

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14 days ago Sue Douglass

I left it in the fridge for about 10 minutes and when I pulled it out it was very fluffy! I tasted it and it was AMAZING! I had all 3 daughters try it too and we all melted. So I have frosted the cake and we are all set. Next time I make it I will get it thicker in the ice bath. I was more concerned about temperature because it says for it to be cool and not cold...that's what I was watching out for. This is going to be a big hit for our back to school dinner tonight. Thank you!

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow!!! so glad it turned out. I tried to be careful in the instructions because the ganache can go from thick to rock hard in a matter of seconds. I can't tell you how delighted I am that it turned out and that everyone likes it. It is one of my favorite frostings and one of things I love about it is that it doesn't use all the powdered sugar and still you have a fluffy spreadable frosting. Thank you Sue and I think I will clarify the instructions.

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3 months ago JoAnna Arnold

How much ganache does the recipe yield?

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi JoAnna;

I did not measure the amount of cups it makes. It frosted and filled a 9 inch cake pretty generously. Next time I make I will measure the exact amount of cups. Sorry I didn't know.

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5 months ago RnOo AmMar

thnx ..can we use in ganach recipe all dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate?

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5 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Absolutely and it would be delicious.

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5 months ago RnOo AmMar

really thanx ..i tried whipping cream using corn starch ..but i add some of cream powder and it was amazing

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about 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

BTW, the leftover chocolate caramel is amazing atop vanilla ice cream!!!!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh yes, thanks Em, thrilled you tried the recipe!

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about 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I made this (and sdebrango's tender yellow cake) tonight for my mother-in-law's 67th birthday. Everyone agreed both recipes were outstanding, especially this frosting! Divine! And with Suzanne's yellow cake? Fabulous!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Em, I love this frosting, and am so happy you and your family liked it also. A very happy birthday to your Mother in law! Thank you again.

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about 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank YOU!!!

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over 1 year ago BeverlyW

This article totally cracked me up and hit me right in my funny bone! Thanks for the chuckles, especially on such a super snowy day (again, again, again). I am going to have to make that frosting - I always make a double batch of frosting for my husband's birthday cakes, as he subscribes to the point of view that the point of the cake is to serve as a minimal vehicle for LOTS of delicious frosting. This idea takes it to a whole new level - just frosting! Perfecto!

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over 1 year ago BeverlyW

FYI - I thought I was replying to a different post to Food52 for Valentine's Day food that had a link to this frosting.

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thats alright, If you do make it I hope you like it. I also subscribe to the cake just being a vehicle for the frosting, double thick please!

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over 1 year ago strawberrygirl

I made this for a friend's birthday cake and it was a big hit. I was inspired by one of the comments below to make it with aged rum. Now I'm trying to resist eating all the leftover chocolate caramel sauce straight out of the jar. :)

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

So happy everyone enjoyed. Thank you so much for making it. I eat the caramel right out of the jar, can't help it, it's just so good. Thank you again.

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over 1 year ago Samar Ehab

Hi suzanne congrats . I wanna ask if this filling can be used in fondat covered cake and I wanna keep it in the fridge cause its a long process . And can I use this to cover my cake to stick fondant to it instead of butter cream. I ll apretiate your answer thanks

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Samar; Yes I think you could use in a fondant covered cake. The caramel gives extra stability. I hope you like it! Thank you.

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over 1 year ago Meatballs&Milkshakes

Congrats Suzanne! Looks FANTASTIC! Have to get it in before l cleanse in January!

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much M&M. Yes the January cleanse is coming. After all this wonderful holiday goodness.

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almost 2 years ago Ashley Marie

I'm no baker, but this recipe makes me WANT to be such a damn good baker just so I can make this! Congrats on the win! ;)

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It's really so simple, I hope you make it. It's really such a nice frosting, Thanks so very much!

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almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This frosting is off the hook! I made it with super dark chocolate and rum for grownups dinner tonight, and just iced your tender yellow cake with it. Gonna be a good night! I am giving the remaining caramel sauce (also insanely good) to my neighbors to save me from myself.

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Abbie, so happy you tried it. Love that you used rum, that with the caramel and dark chocolate would be off the hook!! Thanks so much for letting me know and enjoy. That caramel sauce is dangerous, should be a warning label, I eat if from the jar when I need a sweet bite.

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almost 2 years ago Ashley Marie

I love that you have "grownups" dinner @aargersi ;)

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almost 2 years ago marialissio

Hi Suzanne ... congratulations. You are the queen of cakes and all manner of baking and sweet things. We gals of Italian origin are standing out. Well you and others are. I am not so quietly coming up behind. Love your work.

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Maria, so nice to meet a fellow Italian. Thank you again.

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almost 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

YAYAY!!! Congrats, Suz!!! This sounds so fabulous, and I'm just thrilled for your win!

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Em. You are so sweet.

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almost 2 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Chocolate caramel, not too sweet!!! Just what I needed to give my cakes a twist. Never tried caramel and dark chocolate, will definately try this one. Congratulations on another super recipe!

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Maria, it really is a wonderful frosting. I love that it's not overly sweet and it spreads like a dream.

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almost 2 years ago fhp

Thank You. I actually did it, and I am one lame baker. Wish I knew a better cake recipe than the one I followed.
Daumage.
Oh well sdebrango you got this chocolate lovers vote.

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much, I am so happy it worked out!!

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almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

fhp - try Suzannes' tender yellow cake, on this site. It's perfect!

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almost 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks like another of your fantastic recipes. You are hands down my person to go to for cakes. Your frosting looks perfect to me. Many congrats on being a finalist!!

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Susan, blush.

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Well deserved congrats on being a finalist Suzanne! This looks divine.

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much gingerroot!!

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This looks beyond belief! To die for!!! Congrats Suzanne!

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Emily!

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almost 2 years ago creamtea

There goes my diet. Congratulations Suzanne!

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

LOL, thanks creamtea. Just think of all the health benefits from chocolate though (we won't think about the cream and sugar)

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almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

YAHOO! Congrats!! I had a feeling :-)

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Abbie, so happy!!