Chocolate espresso ganache

The ganache, first seen in Paris at Maison Siraudin in the 1800s, is a lovely rich chocolate-cream combination, which depending on its thickness can be used in many ways. It may be served as a sauce, as a mousse, as a filling, rolled into truffles, or as a decadent icing. It is believed that the name originates from a culinary student error. The chef in charge referred to the student as “ganache” (an old French term for idiot or fool*) because of his inept handling of ingredients. This student’s error resulted in our gain as the ganache is a rich tasty addition to any dessert offering. Enjoy!



8 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons strong coffee or espresso

1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

3/4 tablespoon Kahlua (optional)


1) Break the chocolate into small pieces and set aside in a heat resistant bowl.


2) Heat the cream in a small saucepan just until the edges begin to bubble.


3) Remove the cream from the flame and add your espresso, Stir until dissolved.


4) Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and allow it to stand for one minute.


5) Stir until dissolved. Add the Kahlua and salt (if using) and stir once more until you obtain a smooth mixture*.

6) Allow the ganache to stand at room temp until it is firm enough to spread.


7) If using your ganache for icing at a later time (as I intend to) refrigerate it. Let it stand at room temperature for at least an hour before spreading*.

8) Enjoy!

*If the ganache begins to break carefully divide it and chill one-half while heating the other half. Stir the two parts together watching carefully. If it begins to separate again, add some cold cream and continue to stir.

The origins of the word ganache have been disputed, one explanation can be found at, as well as a nice recipe for turning your ganache into truffles. Many other recipes are available – so experiment at your pleasure.

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