No butter, no cream. Just pure-form silky-smooth chocolate.
Credit: Cooking Light

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.

Our healthier ganache recipe will certainly lessen the guilt from chocolate desserts going forward—try it in our Salted Chocolate Ganache Cake, as a dipping sauce for candied orange slices, a decadent topping for homemade "nice" creams, or drizzled over our Matcha-Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cake

Credit: Cooking Light

Lighter Chocolate Ganache

Serves 22 (serving size: 1 tablespoon)


  • 8 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup water

How to Make It

Combine the chocolate and 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.

Calories: 60; Fat: 4g (sat 2.3g); Sodium: 6mg

The Breakdown: Our version cuts 20 calories and 1.5g sat fat per serving off of the classic recipe—and if you're icing an entire cake, these are some pretty serious savings. Compared to cream ganache, that's a savings of 672 calories and 48g sat fat for an entire three-layer iced cake!