On the second day of cocoa my true love gave to me: silky smooth ganache and a new hot cocoa recipe. My “true love” being chocolate, of course. Chocolate gave me chocolate? Just go with it.

Ganache Hot Cocoa from ChefSarahElizabeth.com

On this aptly rainy Day Two of the Twelve Days of Cocoa I’ve decided to gift to you a more elegant, but still simple, hot cocoa technique.

Ganache. It’s just sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Heat up some cream, pour it over chocolate to melt, swirl into your preferred warmed milk, and voila! hot cocoa. Tell everyone at your next dinner party they’re drinking ganache hot chocolate and they will be impressed with your culinary prowess.

dark, milk, and white chocolate ganache

Ganache is a silky smooth mixture of chocolate and cream that can be used in many ways from thick frosting to fancy hot cocoa. The consistency of your ganache is determined by the cream-to-chocolate ratio. This ratio is higher (more cream less chocolate) for hot cocoa applications and lower (less cream more chocolate) for thicker frosting applications.

overhead hot cocoa with whipped cream and cocoa powder

As with my simple hot cocoa you can add vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg (or all of the above) to this beverage to give it more layers of flavor.

three jars of ganache

Ganache can be made with just about any chocolate you can get your hands on, but it’s a good idea to use high-quality chocolate with fewer additives to really let the chocolate flavor shine. The photos here show dark chocolate ganache, milk chocolate ganache, and white chocolate ganache. We’ll save the, “white chocolate isn’t chocolate” conversation for another time.

mug of hot cocoa with fresh whipped cream

This will be the base for several upcoming hot cocoa recipes so make a batch today and refrigerate in an air tight container. Ganache will last about two weeks. It will harden as it cools, but it just needs to be warmed up to loosen up again.

Ganache Hot Cocoa
Yield: 1 1/2 cups ganache

Ganache Hot Cocoa

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
A decadent ganache that is perfect to make into hot cocoa!



  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces high quality chocolate (dark, light, or white)

Hot Cocoa:

  • 1/4 cup ganache
  • 1 cup milk
  • pinch sea salt



  1. Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a heat-proof mixing bowl.
  2. Heat the heavy cream on the stove over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.
  3. Immediately pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula until melted and smooth.
  4. Use immediately for hot cocoa, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Hot Cocoa (1 serving):

  1. Heat the milk on the stovetop or in a mug in the microwave.
  2. Stir the ganache and sea salt into the milk until melted.

29 Comments on Ganache Hot Cocoa

  1. Jennifer
    December 16, 2011 at 11:50 pm (7 years ago)
    I think this one looks very appealing, and the fancy name just adds a special something!
  2. Shirley Wood
    November 1, 2018 at 1:41 pm (6 months ago)
    I suddenly want a cup of Hot Cocoa while listening to Christmas music! It's a rainy day so it's cool and that helps with the mood. I'll take the White Chocolate Ganache.
    • Sarah Elizabeth
      November 2, 2018 at 9:05 pm (6 months ago)
      Yessss that means my job here is done! ;)
  3. Marie InteriorFrugalista
    November 18, 2018 at 9:05 am (5 months ago)
    Yes please! It's a cold winter day over here and this is just what I need to warm up. Pinned :)
  4. Debbie
    December 13, 2018 at 1:36 pm (4 months ago)
    Maybe it's because I'm tired, but I don't see a recipe for the hot chocolate or ganache. Do I find my own, then experiment with it? I expected to find out how to make hot chocolate with ganache. I'm not much of a cook, although I used to bake, so I own that it could be all me, but I'm totally confused! :)
    • Sarah Elizabeth
      December 15, 2018 at 11:04 am (4 months ago)
      Whoops! The ganache is so tasty, I guess the internet gobbled it up! ;) The recipe is there now.

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