Photography: Tara Donne

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2011

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (we like 61 percent cacao)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions

  1. Coarsely chop chocolate. A serrated knife is best for the job; its sawlike teeth grab the chocolate, breaking it up.

  2. Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over chocolate, and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don't stir -- doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, making it grainy).

  3. Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify cream and chocolate.

  4. Chocolate will often settle on the bottom or sides of the bowl. Scrape dish with a rubber spatula to incorporate all of it.

  5. To make a whipped filling or frosting: Let ganache cool to room temperature, stirring often, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat it with a mixer on medium-high speed until paler and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. (This will yield about 2 cups.) Transfer to a disposable pastry bag with a large opening and use it as a filling for mini whoopie pies or spread it over cupcakes.

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