The Science Behind Whipped Ganache

Whipped ganaches differ from regular ganaches in both ingredient ratios and addition of stabilizers. They are my favorite type of ganache to use when decorating or filling desserts. Their texture provides a luxurious piping design and delicious mouthfeel. Learn the science behind whipped ganache, and master this delicious ganache.

Understanding both the science and the ingredients ratios can greatly help you make your own ganache recipe

piping whipped ganache on to a blue pastry

What is a ganache?

A ganache is a fat-in-water emulsion, typically made of chocolate and a liquid at a specific ratio. Ganaches are perfect to fill many pastries, including tarts, choux pastry (eclairs, choux puffs), macarons, entremets, and many others. If you are like me, you can just eat it directly with your spoon!

A chocolate ganache is generally simple to do with only a few ingredients. If you want to make a smooth, silky ganache with the perfect texture you need to understand a little bit of the science involved.

The process requires heating your liquid, generally heavy cream, to a boil and adding it to the chocolate in small pieces. Then, the two are fully emulsified by doing circular motions. 

white chocolate chips falling into a red bowl and picture of cream pouring into bowl of chocolate chips on right

What is a whipped ganache?

A whipped ganache is prepared with the same ingredients than a regular ganache. However, they contain a larger amount of liquid and are stabilized by using agents like gelatin. Also, unlike a regular ganache, whipped ganaches are airy and their texture is fluffy and creamy.

What are the differences between the types of chocolate?

The main difference between the different chocolates is the amount of cocoa solids. 

Dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, whereas milk chocolate contains anywhere from 10-50% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk in some form, and sugar. White chocolate does not contain cocoa solids, but it does have cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids. Emulsifiers like lecithin are commonly added to all three types of chocolates. 

The science behind whipped ganache:

The texture and consistency of a ganache are determined by the ratio of chocolate: heavy cream used. The addition of a stabilizer like gelatin is required, this will provide structure to the ganache. 

Ratios in a whipped ganache:

The ratio between chocolate and cream in whipped ganaches is generally 1:4 (chocolate: heavy cream). The most common ratio for a pipeable dark chocolate ganache is 1:1 (chocolate: heavy cream). If you modify either the ratio or the type of liquid, the fat content will be altered. The amount of fat in a ganache is important as it provides structure to the preparation. 

  • Heavy cream contains 36-40% fat. If you want to substitute some of the heavy cream in a recipe for another liquid, like a fruit juice, you should always add the fat back. The easiest way to do this is by adding butter, which contains 80% fat, the double amount compared to heavy cream. Therefore, if you substitute 100g of heavy cream just add 50g of butter.
  • I do not advise replacing the entire amount of heavy cream, you can substitute up to 50%. 

About Gelatin:

  • Gelatin is a colorless and flavorless protein derived from animal collagen. Adding gelatin to a whipped ganache increases makes it more stable in its structure by trapping liquids and particles in a rigid protein mesh. 
  • Gelatin is sensitive to high temperatures, do not use it when the ganache is hotter than 150 Fahrenheit / 65 Celsius.
  • The stabilization process requires time so you will need to let your ganache set in the fridge for multiple hours. 

Are there non-animal substitutes for gelatin?

Yes. If you can’t use animal products there are many options available including agar-agar, carrageenan, and vegan jello. 

whipped ganache on a Kitchen Aid whisk attachment held upside down in hand

General Whipped Ganache Ratios 

  • 1-part heavy cream
  • ¼-part chocolate
  • 1/10 part invert sugar
  • Gelatin sheets, 2 per 8 ounces /250 milliliters of heavy cream used

Check my other posts for additional recipes

Tips to help you make the perfect whipped ganache:

  • Use only high-quality chocolates. Brands like Callebaut, Valrhona, Cacao Barry and Eleven One are among my favorites. When choosing your chocolate make sure it is a “couverture” one, these have a higher percentage of cocoa butter.
  • Use inverted sugar, it will prolong your ganache’s shelf life and make it shiny.
  • Let the ganache set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until set. 
  • Whip the ganache once is set on medium speed using your whisk attachment. 
  • Given the large amount of heavy cream used, I highly advise infusing it with any spices or herbs of your interest.
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  1. This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it.

    Will the high ratio of cream make macaron shells soggy, or does the gelatin help keep that from happening somehow?

    1. Hi! thank you, so glad you find it helpful – the ratio should not affect the macaron texture, they will beautifully mature.

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