How to Make Ganache with Cocoa

Ganache is addictive it’s so good.

Anything made with chocolate, cream, and butter should be addictive.  And ganache is versatile.  Frost a cake with it or drizzle it over a dessert or ice cream—or just eat it out of the bowl.

But chocolate is expensive and it takes quite a bit to frost a cake.  And maybe you don’t have that much good chocolate hanging around in your kitchen.  But you have cocoa.

So we set off to see if we could make a good ganache with cocoa.

It was more of a project than we anticipated.  Our early trials were lumpy and of course, the ingredient ratios were a work in progress.

We theorized that the lumps were formed when the starch in the cocoa was cooked.  We solved that by mixing the sugar and cocoa together before cooking.  Trial and error solved the ratios.

Quality cocoa is critical to this recipe.  We used Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa with three times the cocoa butter of most store brands.

Ganache can be thick for frosting or thin as a sauce.  The following recipe will yield a thinner ganache that thickens as it cools.  You can get it thick enough to frost a cake by putting it in the refrigerator or cutting back on the cream.  If your ganache is too thick, you can thin it with more cream.  If it is too thin, it’s hard to fix.


3/4 cup Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa or equal
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla


1.    Mix the cocoa and sugar together in a small bowl.  Melt the butter in the microwave.
2.    Add the cocoa and sugar mixture to a small saucepan.  Add the melted butter and cream.  Heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until the ganache starts to bubble.  Remove from the heat.
3.    Let the ganache cool until it reaches the desired consistency.  Thin with additional cream if necessary.

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