January 15, 2015

Elegant and indulgently delicious, chocolate ganache wears many hats this time of year—as a decadent glaze over fluffy cake layers, a silky coating for fresh berries, or chilled and rolled into truffles. It's a simple combo of chocolate and heavy cream—but hefty, too: 80 calories and 3.8g sat fat per tablespoon.

What we've recently learned from a few of our chocolate aficionados is that all that cream (and sometimes butter) actually alters the taste of the chocolate in pure form. Replace it with water, and you'll end up with a more intense chocolate flavor, a glossy-smooth texture, and a ganache with 40% less sat fat than one made with heavy cream. For tastiest results, use high-quality chocolate, and sprinkle with a dash of sea salt for a more complex chocolate experience.

THE RECIPECombine 8 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate and ½ cup water in the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water until smooth (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently with a whisk. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. For a thicker glaze, add less water.

SERVES 22 (serving size: 1 tablespoon)CALORIES 60; FAT 4g (sat 2.3g); SODIUM 6mg

THE COMPARISONWater ganache has 20 fewer calories and 1.5g less sat fat per tablespoon over cream ganache—that's a savings of 672 calories and 48g sat fat for an entire three-layer iced cake!

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