Yes, you can make ganache with cocoa—at least a very good proximity.
When we set out to do this, we figured that it would either work or it wouldn’t. It worked but it took more trials than anticipated. Our early trials were lumpy and of course, the ingredient ratios were a work in progress.
We theorized that the lumps were formed when the starch in the cocoa was cooked. We solved that by mixing the sugar and cocoa together before cooking. Trial and error solved the ratios.
Quality cocoa is critical to this recipe. We use Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa with three times the cocoa butter of most store brands.
The following recipe will yield a thinner ganache that thickens as it cools.
3/4 to 2/3 cup rich dark cocoa depending on taste, Ramstadt Breda or equal
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix the cocoa and sugar together in a small bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave.
- Add the cocoa and sugar mixture to a small saucepan. Add the melted butter and cream. Heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until the ganache starts to bubble. Remove from the heat.
- Let the ganache cool until it reaches the desired consistency. Thin with additional cream if necessary.