Hold on tight, because your world is about to be rocked! It’s no surprise that coffee and chocolate pair up to make the perfect after-dinner dessert combination, and their rich, indulgent flavor notes complement each other in basically the best way possible…
…but now, now we have the dessert dip of all dessert dips: Espresso Chocolate Ganache, bringing together the best of both the chocolate and coffee worlds in one fabulously luxurious dip. Add it to a dessert board, spread it on brownies or cupcakes, or enjoy it on its own, no-frills involved, with a big bowl of strawberries.
No matter how you serve it up, it’s bound to be devoured. But first…
What is Ganache?
Ganache just might be one of the most versatile ways to use chocolate, and in my opinion, one of the most luxurious.
Ganache is a mixture of chocolate and cream in the most basic sense. The two ingredients can have a variety of ratios, each influencing the texture of the ganache – from totally dippable when warm, to firm enough to make into truffles when cool.
In fact, ganache began as a kind of chocolate truffle first introduced in France. The consistency of the ganache made for both dipping the outside of the truffle in as a glaze, and for the truffle base. How fascinating one simple, two-ingredient recipe can be!
There are a variety of uses for ganache, and many ways you can make it, from using white or dark chocolate, adding in espresso as we’re going to do here, liqueurs, and more.
Ways to Use Coffee Ganache
I’ve mentioned a few already, and the versatility that comes with making a simple ganache recipe. My favorite way to use this espresso ganache is as a dip and showcasing it on a dessert charcuterie board, where the lucky recipients can mix and match their dipping vehicle of choice (strawberries are my favorite!).
Depending on the ratios and consistency of the chocolate to cream, you can use it in many more ways, too. In a similar spreadable consistency, use it to spread on top of baked goods.
I use it to glaze my mocha brownies. Add an extra layer of chocolate to peppermint brownies for those mint lovers — peppermint mocha, anyone?! Add in some Bailey’s and you’ve got yourself the ganache on these cheesecake brownies, too.
It can also be piped on top of cakes or cupcakes once it’s cooled. Or take a different approach to individual cheesecakes and spread the ganache on top, before the strawberries. Drizzle it over a banana cake or over ice cream. Once it’s totally cooled, it can even be turned into truffles!
There’s truly no shortage of ways to enjoy this easy ganache recipe!
Espresso Ganache Ingredients
Before we get started in the how-to of it it all, let’s go over the ingredients. Because there are so few, it’s going to make a big difference if you use the highest quality ingredients you can find.
- Chocolate: I recommend using semi-sweet chocolate for this recipe, because it’s not too dark, and it’s not too sweet (ha, Goldilocks over here). Semi-sweet usually has about 60% cacao. That being said, you can use what you like. Try out milk chocolate, white chocolate, or dark chocolate.
- Heavy Cream: using cream in ganache gives it its luxurious texture, keeping it thick, rich, and indulgent!
- Instant Espresso Powder: this is what is going to give us the coffee flavor in this ganache dip. If you can’t find espresso powder specifically, you can use instant coffee.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
Making chocolate ganache is one of the easiest ways to elevate a dessert recipe. Once you have down the two simple steps, you can absolutely customize it, as I’ve done with the instant coffee here, but you can also stir in your favorite liqueurs or other flavorings.
First, chop the chocolate – if you are using a chocolate bar.
It’s recommended to use a high-quality chocolate bar and chop it yourself for the best results. A fine chop will melt faster, and a chocolate bar doesn’t have any stabilizers in it to keep it in a ‘chip’ shape.
Now, as you can see, I did use chocolate chips here, and when I don’t have a chocolate bar on hand, I use them (which TBH is often).
Place the chocolate in a heat-proof glass or metal bowl. Don’t use a plastic bowl; it can affect the texture or even melt from the hot cream.
Next, it’s time to heat the cream. I prefer to do this in a small saucepan on the stove so that I know exactly when the cream is hot enough. I’ve been known to take shortcuts in recipes, and in this case, microwaving the cream is a total shortcut.
It’s doable to microwave it (I can’t say I haven’t done it ;)), however, it’s difficult to know that you’ve gotten the cream hot enough without burning it, and it’s generally heated unevenly. So proceed with caution if you choose to do so.
Whisk the espresso powder into the cream, then bring the mixture just simmer, not anymore, or you will run the risk of burning the chocolate.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. The heat from the cream will melt the chocolate as it sits.
Then, use a spoon to stir the mixture for several minutes. Once you begin stirring, you will see flecks of chocolate as it melts into the cream. As you continue to stir, the mixture will become more uniform and after a few minutes, you will have a shiny, perfectly dippable ganache that is ready to be devoured!
Tips for Recipe Success
- Use high-quality chocolate – a chocolate bar is preferred.
- Use a glass or metal bowl for the best results.
- Heat the cream on the stovetop.
- Stir, do not whisk, together the chocolate and cream. A whisk runs the risk of adding too much air into the ganache, creating a potentially grainy texture.
- Remove the cream from the heat once it begins bubbling and simmering around the edges; a boiling cream may burn the chocolate. If the chocolate seizes – becomes hard and grainy – you likely need to start over. Read more about what to do if chocolate seizes, here.
A Note on Ganache Consistency and Ratios
A 1:1 ratio of chocolate to cream is typically the ratio used for ganache.
Use it immediately as a dip, or let it sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours. You can also drizzle it on baked goods right away, or let it cool and become thicker, at which point you can pipe it onto cupcakes or other baked goods.
For a thicker dip that once it cools is almost solid like fudge, a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream is used.
I love using the 2:1 ratio as a dip, especially if I will be serving the dip right away (and what I recommend for this recipe). It stays thick and dippable for about an hour or two, depending on the temperature of the room, before beginning to turn thick. It’s rich and fudge-like, and my absolute favorite texture.
How to Make Truffles from Ganache
I absolutely had to share this with you! If you have leftovers after you enjoy espresso ganache as a dip on your dessert board, or you just have a hankerin’ for truffles, this recipe is here for you!
Before making truffles, the ganache will need to be cold, which is when it gets super thick. Put it in the fridge until it’s super thick and fudge-like (you won’t be able to dip it anymore). Then, it’s time to make the truffles!
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
- Roll out truffle-sized balls from the cold ganache. You can use a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon scoop. Depending on how cold they are (or are not) you may not want to roll them in your hands yet.
- Place the balls in the fridge to cool again. Once they’re cold, if they aren’t perfectly round balls from the scoop, now is when it’s best to roll them in your hands. The colder they are when rolling, the less goopy your hands will get. It will still melt, so work fast!
- Place them back in the fridge again if you’ve rolled them. They can also go in the freezer to speed it along. The point is, we just don’t want them melting. From this point, you can prepare the coating of the truffles, either chocolate to roll them in, or if you’d rather just roll them in powdered sugar or cocoa powder, you can do so now.
- Melt semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler and once it’s melted, roll a few cold truffles in the chocolate at a time, removing with a fork and letting the excess chocolate drip off. Roll in chopped peanuts, coconut, or any other goodies, and place back on the waxed paper. Let the truffles cool in the fridge again to set up.
Another beautiful option is drizzling them with white chocolate (or vice versa) after the chocolate glaze has cooled.
There are honestly so many delicious options when it comes to this ganache and turning it into truffles. Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite is!
Storage and Reheating
Once cool, store the espresso ganache in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also freeze it by covering the cooled ganache top with plastic wrap and then sealing it in an airtight container, for up to 2 to 3 months.
To reheat into a dip from the fridge, place in a bowl of a double boiler over low heat, gently stirring until the mixture is thinned out and warmed through. To thaw from the freezer, place the container in the fridge overnight, then reheat in the double boiler as well.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Espresso Chocolate Ganache
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
- Place chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a heat-proof glass or metal bowl. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together cream and espresso powder. Bring just to a simmer, then remove from heat. Pour over the chocolate and let it sit for 3-5 minutes without stirring.
- Use a spoon or spatula to stir the mixture. The chocolate will melt as you continue to stir and will thicken while becoming shiny, smooth, and dark in color. It will likely take several minutes to reach this point, just keep going until it is fully combined and luxurious!
- Enjoy immediately as a dip or drizzle onto baked goods. The dip can sit at room temperature for about 2 hours before it is completely cooled and becomes too thick to dip. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days, reheating in a double boiler as needed.
- Chocolate not melting? Don’t microwave it; use a double boiler to gently melt the chocolate by placing the glass bowl on top of a saucepan with a little water in it. Don’t let the water touch the glass bowl. Bring the water to a simmer while stirring the chocolate in the bowl above.
- Thinner Ganache: to make a thinner ganache, use a 1:1 ratio of chocolate and cream.
- Absolutely love espresso? Increase the espresso powder to 1 tablespoon.
Thank you Becca! I switched out the semi sweet chocolate and used white chocolate, which is my absolute favorite (well–that, and I have to severely limit my chocolate because of a caffeine sensitivity!). I did the 2:1 ratio with the white chocolate and cream and made truffles. Boy do I love truffles! Anyway, I made a 1:1 ratio with another set of white chocolate and cream and dipped the refrigerated truffles in the white chocolate ganache. With the leftover ganache, I tinted it pink, poured it into a zippy bag, cut a tiny corner, and drizzled pink ganache over the white truffles for a fabulous looking Valentine’s Day treat! Only drawback was I didn’t get a picture of them. One, I didn’t think about photos ahead of time; and two, I had hangry (yes–hangry! Lol) masses wanting to eat! Next time I make them, I’ll make sure to get pics taken of those lovelies!
Those sound so cute! I hope everyone enjoyed them! Looking forward to seeing the pictures next time. Thanks so much, Lois!
Hi. For putting the ganache as a middle and top layer in chocolate sponge, which ratio should I gofor – 1:1 or 2:1?
Hi! It really depends on if you’ll be piping it and the final texture you prefer. A 2:1 ratio is common for frosting cakes because it firms up more. Keep in mind you’ll want to work with it still warm-ish before it firms up. A 1:1 ratio will work too if you prefer a softer ganache frosting that’s a little easier to work with. It can also be whipped for a whipped frosting. Hope this helps!