A basic chocolate ganache that is sturdy enough for use as a macaron filling at room temperature - great for macaron lollipops! It's easy to adapt this base recipe for a variety of different flavors.
- A Chocolate Ganache Ratio Sturdy Enough for Macarons
- Ingredients & Substitutions
- Using Couverture Chocolate in Macaron Filling
- Can I Use Regular Chocolate Chips for Chocolate Ganache?
- Chocolate Callets Vs. Chips
- Why is My Chocolate Ganache Filling Runny?
- Step By Step
- How to Make Different Flavored Ganache
- How to Store Chocolate Filling
A Chocolate Ganache Ratio Sturdy Enough for Macarons
Chocolate ganache is made from warmed up cream that is poured over chocolate. After combining together, it becomes a smooth mixture that has a variety of uses. Depending on the consistency, which is controlled by the ratio of chocolate to cream, it can be used for filling cakes, glazing or dripping onto cakes, eaten alone as a truffle or as an easy macaron filling. The ratios in this chocolate ganache is formulated especially for use as a macaron filling, it's firm enough to sit at room temperature and sturdy enough as a filling for macaron lollipops. (For a similarly strong and sturdy filling using white chocolate see: White Chocolate Filling for Macarons.)
Chocolate ganache macaron filling is one of my favorite fillings because it is so easy to prepare and I always have the ingredients in my pantry. Here's a tip: freeze the cream in ice trays, once frozen, pop the cubes out and put it into Ziplock bags. This way, you'll always have conveniently portioned amounts of this ingredient on hand for making chocolate macaron filling. FURTHER READING: YUMMY MACARON FILLING IDEAS
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Semi-sweet or bitter-sweet couverture chocolate - use either semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate depending on desired taste and appropriate flavor pairing. Read explanation below on what is couverture chocolate and why it is recommended over chocolate chips. Regular chocolate chips can be used in this recipe but couverture is ideal.
- Heavy cream has a milk fat content of 36%, its higher fat content produces a more stable chocolate ganache filling. If you are unable to find heavy cream, it can be substituted with whipping cream which usually has a milk fat content of 33%. Do not use half and half or milk as these do not contain a sufficient amount of milk fat.
- Butter, unsalted - butter adds to the flavor profile and makes chocolate ganache look glossier. Butter should be at room temperature so it can be easily incorporated into the melted chocolate mixture. Use unsalted butter, if you like the the contrast between sweet and salty, you can always add a little bit of salt into the bowl before pouring the cream. Salted butter can be used but be aware that it may affect the overall taste of the ganache and you cannot control the salt level.
- Vanilla extract - This is optional, vanilla adds a bit of warmth and rounds out the flavors in the chocolate. If you prefer the natural acidity in chocolate, you can leave this ingredient out. Just taste the chocolate mixture before you add the extract.
Using Couverture Chocolate in Macaron Filling
Since the chocolate filling is an integral component in the structure and taste of the finished chocolate macaron, it's important to focus on using the best possible ingredients like couverture chocolate. Couverture chocolate is a higher class of chocolate containing a higher percentage of cocoa butter than compound eating chocolate, giving baked goods a more complex flavor and better texture.
Ready to eat chocolates usually contain stabilizers that are not the most desirable for use in baking as it can throw off the proportions in a recipe. (However, this can depend on the recipe, pay attention to the specific type of chocolate to use.) For this chocolate macaron filling in particular, use of a better chocolate will yield a much tastier chocolate macaron which is important considering how hard you worked on making the macaron shells. Moreover, the proportions provided in this recipe are for use with a couverture chocolate.
Can I Use Regular Chocolate Chips for Chocolate Ganache?
Regular chocolate chips may be something you already have in your pantry and it's also very easy to find it at every grocery store. However, for this recipe, try to procure a better chocolate if possible. If you can't, you can use regular chocolate chips. But know that some compound chocolate chips are not meant for melting into recipes because they are formulated for folding into a batter and baking without losing its shape.
Nevertheless, for testing purposes, I have tried making this chocolate macaron filling with regular Hershey’s chocolate chips and it does work. However, flavor wise, it's sweeter and the flavors are less complex. Appearance and texture wise, it is less glossy and smooth. On the performance side, it's less sturdy, the quantity of chocolate should be increased by 30%. One thing to note, I find I do not need the addition of vanilla extract when using the Hershey's brand of chocolate. You can taste and determine for yourself as you work along.
Chocolate Callets Vs. Chips
Now, a quick note on the difference between chocolate callets and chips. Callets are small bits of chocolate that are made for melting into recipes while chips are chocolate bits formulated for folding into baked goods without melting.
Why is My Chocolate Ganache Filling Runny?
Chocolate ganache filling with this ratio of cream to chocolate will be runny and too soft for piping right after it has been blended with the hot cream. It will take some time for it to set and become firm enough for piping. To speed up the process, it can be placed in the fridge to set but it must be checked on every 15 minutes or so to make sure it doesn't harden up to a point that it becomes un-pipeable. Stir it gently each time. Alternatively, if you have the time, just let it sit out at room temperature for 1-2 hours, it will naturally set by itself without becoming too hard to pipe.
If it becomes too hard, just melt it slightly over the stove top, get it all moving again, gently blend together and let it set until it firms to a pipeable consistency again. Don't overwork it or melt it over high heat as this can cause it to separate or become grainy.
Step By Step
If using block chocolate instead of callets/chips, chop up the chocolate and place in a heat safe bowl. The finer the chocolate is chopped, the easier it is for it to melt.
Heat up the heavy cream in a small sauce pan on low heat, watch it closely so that it doesn’t over boil.
Once it comes to a light simmer with steam and small bubbles forming on the sides, immediately pour it over the chopped chocolate. DO NOT LET BOIL. Let it sit for one minute. This will give the cream time to melt the chocolate. If stirred right away, it will cool down the cream and the mixture may become grainy.
Gently blend with a spatula until fully incorporated.
Add the butter, stir to incorporate together.
Optional: add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or to taste. Blend to incorporate.
Place it in the fridge and let it firm up to a pipeable consistency before piping. Remember to check on it every 15 minutes and gently stir each each time. Take it out of the fridge and pipe it as soon as its ready, about 30 min - 1 hr. Alternatively, if time allows, just let it sit at room temperature to set.
How to Make Different Flavored Ganache
The great thing about this basic chocolate filling for macarons is how easy it is to adapt it for different flavors. There are several ways to adapt basic chocolate ganache filling for macarons:
- Extract - adding a few drops of extract at the end (like in this recipe) is the easiest way to add flavor to this chocolate macaron filling. This method allows for the addition of more extract if a more potent flavor is desired. As you blend, just add more extract to taste. Flavor ideas: peppermint, vanilla, coffee, jasmine, lavender, rose.
- Infuse the cream - in this method, add the raw ingredients into the cream and let it sit overnight, allowing the flavors to infuse into the cream. For example, let the cream come to a light simmer with some tea leaves and let it sit in the fridge overnight. When ready to use, strain the tea and use only the cream to make the chocolate filling as usual following this recipe. Flavor ideas include: earl grey tea, lavender, coffee.
- Cream replacement - replacing the cream with another liquid is a bit trickier as it will affect the consistency of the chocolate ganache filling and the flavors may not be as potent as you prefer. If using this method, be prepared for a little more experimentation and use other ways to support the flavor profile by adding extract or dry ingredients. Flavor ideas: liqueurs, fruit purees.
- Dry ingredients - adding chopped up dry ingredients into the ganache can help boost the flavors without changing the consistency of the ganache filling. Flavor ideas include: nuts, dried fruits, seeds.
For some of the methods above, it will take a little experimentation in the kitchen to achieve the right consistency but that's all part of the fun when creating your very own recipes. Here are some recipes I created using three of the methods above. It will help guide you in the creative process of adapting your very own chocolate ganache macaron filling: Chocolate Peppermint Macaron, Lavender Chocolate Macaron, Baileys Chocolate Macaron, Lavender Earl Grey Chocolate Macarons.
How to Store Chocolate Filling
By itself, this chocolate filling can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 days. However, the assembled chocolate macaron should be stored inside the fridge during maturation. This will help the chocolate filling set and extend the freshness of the macaron.
To freeze chocolate ganache filling, tightly wrap it with plastic wrap, making sure there are no gaps. Store in freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to fill your macarons, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then bring it back to room temperature before using. To freeze assembled macarons with chocolate filling, follow this guide on How to Freeze Macarons.
- 100 grams of semi-sweet couverture chocolate (or bitter-sweet)*
- 100 grams of heavy cream
- 20 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- Optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- If using block chocolate instead of callets/chips, chop up the chocolate and place in a heat safe bowl.
- Heat up the heavy cream in a small sauce pan on low heat, watch it closely so that it doesn’t over boil.
- Once it comes to a light simmer with steam and small bubbles forming on the sides, immediately pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for one minute.
- Gently blend with a spatula until fully incorporated. Add the room temperature butter, stir to incorporate together.
- Add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or to taste. Blend to incorporate.
- Place it in the fridge and let it firm up to a pipeable consistency before piping. Remember to check on it every 15 minutes and gently stir it each time. Take it out of the fridge and pipe it as soon as its ready, about 30 min – 1 hr. Alternatively, if time allows, just let it sit at room temperature to set.
- Once piped, place the assembled macarons in the fridge to mature for 24 hours. Refer to post on how to freeze filling for future use. Enjoy!
*For some brands, semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate can be simply denoted as "dark chocolate".
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Cooptop Premium Silicone Spatula Set of 3 - Heat Resistant Baking Spoon & Spatulas - Pro Grade Non-stick Silicone with Steel Core (Dark Grey)
Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, 4 ounces
Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals, 7 Single Serve Packets (Pack of 12)
Callebaut Chocolate Block Semisweet 54.5% cocoa (11 Lb)
Amount Per Serving Calories 43Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 7mgSodium 10mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 0g
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although indulgewithmimi.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.