How to Make Ganache with Cocoa Powder

News flash: you can make ganache with cocoa powder.

I'll level with you: sometimes I am lazy. Like, when I want to whip up some ganache right this instant and I already have cream warming and I realize that I don't have any baking chocolate. This is not the moment that I really feel like up and going to the grocery store. This is the moment I wonder: "Can I do this thing with cocoa powder instead of chopped chocolate?". And inside, I am praying. Please, let this work.

Many times, this type of experimentation only ends in frustration and possibly tears. But this time, it worked. The first time I did it, it came out slightly lumpy; the second time, I sifted the cocoa powder first, and it came out fine. Overall: a success. And even better: it tastes great.

Recipe notes

JPHOTO-2012-07-31-8174.jpg

Photo via Flickr member cart_wheels

  • It is very important that you sift your cocoa powder before mixing it with the cream. Otherwise you may have lumps in the finished ganache. It will still taste good, though.
  • You can use unsweetened or Dutch processed cocoa for this recipe.
  • I like this ganache better with a little coffee, sugar, salt, and vanilla. You can omit or adjust these if you like. 
  • Let this mixture sit for a good spell if you're using it to top a cake. It will thicken as it cools. 

Ganache made with cocoa powder

Makes enough to fully coat a 9-inch cake, 1 1/2 cups or so

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon strong brewed coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Procedure

  1. In a saucepan, heat the cream, stirring frequently to discourage scorching, until it begins to simmer and seems like it might start boiling any moment (but don't let it boil). 
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients until smooth. Let the mixture cool to your desired thickness. It will never become hard, per se, but it will set to a smooth, spreadable consistency.

What's your favorite quick fix substitution?