Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze
This recipe is adapted from one that I got from Eric Perez of The French Pastry School in Chicago, when I once took a plated dessert class from him. Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze is not only a glaze, but can also be used as a filling or frosting; the temperature determines which (See Instructions below). This is a great recipe because it is like a ganache but less rich, with 50% sugar syrup and 50% cream, instead of all cream as in a ganache. As a pastry chef, I used his recipe so much in the pastry kitchen that everyone who worked there started calling it simply "Eric Perez". My adaptation makes the recipe more user-friendly for home cooks.

YIELD: ABOUT 1200g (2½#)

  • 100 grams water (1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon)
  • 125 grams sugar (1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons)
  • 125 grams glucose or light corn syrup (1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons)
  • 350 grams heavy cream

  • 275 grams bittersweet chocolate - Ghiradelli 60% Cacao (2½ - 4 oz bars)
  • 275 grams dark chocolate glaze tabs - Ghiradelli Dark Melting Wafers
  • 50 grams unsweetened chocolate - Ghiradelli 100% Cacao (1/2 - 4 oz bar)

  • 1300 grams = Total 45 oz (2# 13 oz)
  1. TO MAKE THE SUGAR SYRUP & CREAM: Bring water, sugar, and glucose (or light corn syrup) to a boil. Add the cream and bring back to a boil.
  2. CHOP the chocolate and place in a stainless steel bowl.
  3. POUR the hot syrup and cream over the chocolate and let rest 5 minutes.
  4. SWIRL gently, using a rubber spatula, in a circular motion until the chocolate is melted and well incorporated.
  5. MIX until very shiny and smooth using a hand blender.
  6. PASS through a chinois, tamis, or fine mesh strainer. This helps to remove any bubbles in the mixture.
  7. TO USE AS A GLAZE FOR CAKES OR DESSERTS: Make sure the temperature of the glaze is 100° - 104° F (38° - 40° C), by warming in a stainless steel bowl set over a pan of hot water. Place the item being glazed, which should be very cold or frozen, on a rack set over a half-sheet pan. Pour the glaze over the cake or dessert, allow the glaze to set up briefly, then lift the rack to a separate sheet pan. Strain the left-over glaze so that it can be re-used.
  8. TO USE FOR FROSTING OR FILLING: Warm room temperature is best for this: 72° - 74° F (22° - 23° C). What you want for this is to soften until spreadable with the consistency of buttercream. I always stir this gently and never put it in a mixer (because I like the rich dark color), which whips in too much air, causing it to lose it's dark color. Of course, you can whip this; just realize that the color will be a much lighter chocolate color.
  9. TO USE FOR PIPING: For piping, a stiffer version is better: 68° - 70° F (20° - 21° C).
  10. The definition of ganache is basically a 1 -1 ratio of chocolate and cream. Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze (a 1 - 1.2 ratio) is a less rich version of ganache, because half of the cream is replaced with a sugar syrup. This is a very versatile recipe; it can be used to glaze cakes or as a filling or frosting and it also pipes well. Temperature is the factor that defines the difference: see the suggested temperatures in the instructions. This recipe makes a very desirable fudgy filling or frosting, which doesn't set up as hard as regular ganache, staying somewhat soft when refrigerated.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
This recipe is adapted from one that I got from Pastry Chef Eric Perez, when I once took a plated dessert class with him (2000).