This makes enough glaze for one 9 inch cake OR frosting for 24 cupcakes OR about 20 truffles. Some people add a bit of butter or corn syrup to help with the sheen, but I find the chocolate and the cream to be enough on their own.

- 6-9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped or shredded into small pieces with a heavy chef knife—use less chocolate for a pourable glaze (6-7 ounces); use a bit more chocolate for spreadable glaze, whipped frosting, or truffles (8 or 9 ounces)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon cognac or vanilla (optional)

Place chopped chocolate into a large heat resistant bowl. Bring cream up to the boil. Turn off heat. Pour cream over the chocolate. Cover bowl with a plate or plastic wrap. Stir after 5 minutes. Cover for another 5 minutes. Stir again until it's smooth. (Alternatively, you can pulverize the chocolate in a food processor, pour over the hot cream, and mix until smooth.) At this point you can add a bit of cognac or vanilla if you want.

1. For Ganache Glaze (pourable or spreadable): Let ganache cool to room temperature. Make sure your cake is cool as well. Place the cake on a rack over a sheet pan so that the excess chocolate drips onto the sheet pan. Pour over the glaze. You can help guide the chocolate down the sides with an offset spatula or a knife. Let set for a few hours. Or refrigerate for 20 minutes and then pour on another layer of glaze (this would require you to make half again as much ganache). You can store it 2 days at room temp or up to 10 days in the fridge.

2. For Whipped Ganache Frosting: Let ganache cool in the fridge for a few hours. Stir every 20 minutes or so. Don't let it harden. When it is cold and thick, whisk it for about a minute with a mixer or by hand. If you overwhip it you can melt, cool, and then whip it again. You can store is for no more than a day at room temp or up to 5 days in the fridge. It goes bad faster once it's whipped.

3. For Chocolate Truffles: Let ganache harden in the fridge overnight. Scoop out a tablespoon size of ganache and roll it into a ball with your hands. Repeat with the rest of the ganache. You can place cocoa in a bag and add the truffles balls after you roll them. Gently shake bag to coat with cocoa. Keep refrigerated.