Ganache is, by all definitions, sweet and tasty. It’s a delicious mixture of melted chocolate and cream, commonly used as frosting, filling or icing for baked goods such as cupcakes and cookies. It can be purchased from the store or made at home.
Whether it’s made with milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate, ganache frosting is a sweet classic that I turn to time and time again.
The only problem with homemade ganache, though, is that it occasionally comes out runny. If your ganache isn’t as thick as it should be, have no fear. We’ve all been there, and it’s my experience with fixing runny ganache that I’ll be sharing in today’s article. Keep reading to learn how to thicken ganache.
Is Ganache Supposed To Be Thick?
There’s no specific level of thickness that a ganache should adhere to. Ganache frosting is a versatile topping that can be used for a variety of purposes. All of these purposes require a different thickness forf the ganache being used.
Ganache can be thin, medium, or thick depending on what you’re intending to use it for. Traditionally, though, when someone says the word “ganache” most people think of a thick, icing-like substance.
Is Ganache Supposed To Harden?
Technically, yes. Ganache is supposed to harden.
However, the term “harden” is very broad and means different things based on who you ask. Ganache is a mixture of chocolate and heavy cream. It’s composed of varying ratios of both ingredients. This means that a harder, stiffer mixture and a thin, runny mixture could both legitimately be considered ganache.
Why Is My Ganache Runny?
The number one reason that ganache comes out runny is that the chocolate to heavy cream ratio is off in one way or another. To make a stable ganache that thickens, you need to use more chocolate than cream – and in that, the kind of chocolate that you use matters a lot.
Dark chocolate ganache is incredibly hard to mess up and it can handle a lot of cream, while still getting nice and thick in the end. This is because dark chocolate has a very minimal amount of milk solids mixed in.
Milk chocolate and white chocolate on the other hand, have a lot more milk solids than dark chocolate does. This means that milk chocolate ganache and white chocolate ganache will never get completely hard and are both usually rather thin.
Another explanation for runny ganache is that you’re too quick to use it. Basically, if you don’t allow it to cool down before you use or pour it, it won’t set properly, leaving it runny.
Ganache should be cooled to nearly room temperature before it can be used.
How To Thicken Runny Ganache
Runny ganache doesn’t have to be the end of the world. There are a few ways to get thicker ganache so that you can still use it for your intended purpose.
Thicken Ganache By Reheating and Adding Chocolate
If, after your ganache has cooled, you notice that it’s still runny, consider remelting your ganache and adding more chocolate. To do this, melt your chilled ganache in the microwave, heating it for 30-second intervals.
Melt some additional chocolate in a separate bowl and then whisk it into the runny ganache you started with.
Keep whisking until the mixture appears smooth, is cool, and adheres to the desired consistency.
Thicken Ganache By Adding Powdered Sugar
You can thicken ganache by using powdered sugar, as well.
To use this method, allow your ganache to cool for at least two hours. Then, sift powdered sugar over a clean bowl to remove any lumps, before adding it to the ganache. Beat the mixture with a hand or stand mixer until it turns smooth.
With this method, be sure to keep in mind that the addition of powdered sugar will change the color of the ganache, as well as make it sweeter.
For this reason, it’s best to use it when your ganache is only mildly runnier than you’d like.
Thicken Ganache By Cooling
When a batch of ganache is initially ready, it takes the form of a pourable glaze. As it sits and cools off, it becomes thicker due to the chocolate hardening. This being said, allowing your thinner ganache to sit is a great way to thicken it without doing anything to it.
Allow particularly runny ganache to sit at room temperature for 8 to 10 hours.
Sitting this long, it should turn into a thick, frosting-like substance. After this point, if you cover and refrigerate it, it can become thick enough to use inside of chocolate truffles.
How To Use Ganache That Won’t Thicken
If, for whatever reason, your ganache just won’t thicken, there are a handful of things you can use it for.
As A Glaze
Glazes are one of the most popular ways to use runny ganache. A tasty chocolate glaze can be used on everything from cakes to donuts and is a great way to utilize that stubborn ganache that just won’t thicken up.
If you’ve never tried your hand at fondue and you have runny ganache leftover from a baking project, now’s the perfect time to try it!
Ganache tastes wonderful when paired with fresh fruit like mango, raspberries, apples, and strawberries – and the best part is that fondue is supposed to be thin, so there’s no pressure for your ganache to be thick.
Looking to get fancy? Try using your leftover ganache for a chocolate fountain!
While it’s hard to imagine having a chocolate fountain just sitting on your counter, a fountain with creamy, smooth ganache would be a great addition to a party or special event.
You can also use leftover runny ganache to make homemade chocolates! You might be thinking “but how will I make chocolates out of chocolate that won’t thicken?”. Well, the short answer is by putting your ganache chocolates in the freezer.
Using silicone molds, you can make all sorts of fun chocolate shapes, having them set and reach the optimal firmness by placing them in the freezer.
If you don’t have silicone molds, don’t worry!
You could simply line a cake pan with parchment paper and pour the ganache into it, placing the entire thing in the freezer. You won’t get cute little chocolates, but you will get a sheet of chocolate that’s perfect for decorating cupcakes or melting down to use in other ways later on.
What To Do If Your Ganache Is Too Thick
What about the opposite problem – what if you need thinner ganache?
Well, when your ganache is too runny, you add more chocolate, so it makes sense that the best thing to do when your ganache is too thick is to add more cream. That being said, adding too much cream could cause the situation to swing in the other direction, which isn’t what you want.
To use cream to thin out thick ganache, add cream that has been warmed up to the temperature of the ganache. We’d recommend adding ½ tablespoonfuls at a time to prevent the unfortunate accident of overdoing it.
Alternatively, you could add small amounts of butter or corn syrup to thin your ganache. Doing so will add a gentle sheen to the final product.
If you’re above the legal drinking age, you may also consider adding a small amount of rum or liqueur as a means to thin your ganache – just be sure not to add too much!