- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 25 minutes
- Makes about 1 cup
White chocolate is fussier than dark when it comes to making ganache: It has a very low tolerance for heat and an annoying tendency to separate if not cosseted. To get the best ganache, you must use a good white chocolate, not confectioners’ chocolate. My preference is Valrhona Ivoire or white chocolate from Guittard. —Dorie Greenspan
Test Kitchen Notes
Relatively young, especially compared to chocolate, ganache was supposedly invented in the mid 19th century at the Pâtisserie Siraudin in Paris, according to *The Food Encyclopedia* by Jacques L. Rolland and Carol Sherman. It’s used as an icing or filling in all sorts of desserts, from cakes to tarts to truffles. The good news is, you need only three ingredients: chocolate, cream, and, in many recipes (this one included), butter. And the better news is, it’s almost impossible to mess up. For this foolproof Dorie Greenspan version, just heat the cream (don’t swap in half-and-half or milk, which aren’t fatty enough), pour it over chocolate to melt, and then stir until smooth. Of course, all of this leads to the technicality—which many smarties will be quick to point out—that white chocolate is not “technically” chocolate. What does this even mean? Well, unlike bittersweet or semisweet varieties, white chocolate doesn’t include any chocolate liquor (hence the white, not brown, color). Instead, depending on the brand, it’s made with cocoa butter, milk, and sugar, plus lecithin and often vanilla. Do check the ingredients when you go to the grocery store. You likely will cross paths with a look-alike product called “white morsels,” which contain no cocoa butter and are not white chocolate at all, let alone chocolate-chocolate. In a recipe where you have only a few ingredients to begin with, good quality goes a long way. Start with a hefty block, then chop it by hand with a sharp knife. —The Editors
(283 grams) best quality white chocolate, finely chopped
(158 milliliter) heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons
(3/4 ounce; 21 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 3 pieces
- Put the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.
- Bring the cream to a boil (you can do this in a microwave oven) and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for 30 seconds and then, using a whisk or heatproof spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out in ever-widening concentric circles. When the ganache is smooth, add the butter one piece at a time, stirring until it is incorporated.
- If you’re using the ganache as a filling for a tart or glaze, use it immediately. If you’re using it to fill and frost a cake, you’ll have to wait for it to thicken. You can leave it on the counter, stirring occasionally (it thickens slowly), or you can set the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and water, in which case, stir often and stay close -- it thickens quickly. Alternatively, you can put it in the refrigerator, checking on it and stirring frequently. If you miss the moment, you can always reheat the ganache (see below).
- Storing: The ganache can be covered tightly and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. You’ll have to bring it back to the consistency you need before using it, either by leaving it out at room temperature or warming it. Heat it in 5-second spurts in a microwave or put it in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. With ganache (especially white chocolate ganache), the keys to success are very low heat and a very light touch.