- 9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (about 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- 3/4 cup cream or half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or optionally use 1 to 2 tablespoons rum, bourbon, coffee-, orange-, raspberry-, chocolate-flavored liqueur)
Place chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power for 1 minute to soften chocolate; set aside. In a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, heat the cream (I used half-and-half) on high power just until it begins to bubble and show signs of boiling, about 60 to 75 seconds. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let it stand about 1 minute. Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and velvety. Add vanilla or optional flavorings and stir to combine. Set bowl aside for about 10 minutes, allowing ganache to cool and thicken a bit. Whisk mixture briefly before pouring all of it over the cake. Lightly smooth and spread the ganache with a spatula or offset knife. Allow ganache to set up for at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving the cake; or speed this process up by placing pan in the refrigerator or freezer briefly.