Nov 13, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Material Handling: Water Ganache

The column delves into the oft-requested water ganaches, dubbed "vegan ganaches," which enable chocolatiers to create dairy-free chocolates while maintaining, and at times surpassing, the complexity of flavor and texture expected of high-end chocolates.

There has been much talk and many requests for so-called ‘vegan ganaches’ which at their core do not contain dairy (or honey, for that matter— an excellent invert sugar for ganaches).

As confectionary professionals, we don’t eliminate dairy strictly to adhere to a dietary trends; we have been using fruit juice, purees, liquor, tea, coffee and other liquids to reveal complex chocolate flavors for many years (as have others).

Inspired by the technique discovered by French chemist Dr. Herve This, there is a ‘Water Ganache’ movement among Michelin restaurants in the UK that has gained much momentum in recent years. Aneesh Popat and Damian Alsop each deliver water-based, primarily non-dairy chocolates to their customers that are complex, full of flavor and have great texture.

Chai Tea, Salt & Pepper, Strawberry and Mint ‘Water Ganches’ by the UK’s Aneesh Popat

“In the pursuit of pure flavor, all of my chocolate ganaches are water based,” states Chocolatier Aneesh Popat.“ Water having no real taste of its own allows for the chocolate to do all the speaking. The result is immediate high impact flavor and then a fresh clean palate.“

Damian Alsop, co-founder of CH2Ocolate, is about to release a full recipe book and techniques for water ganache on Damian Allsop.

Both use high quality and fresh ingredients to make their chocolates. There is no thick cream masking any flavor. There is no butter coating your palate. The results are beautifully smooth chocolates which melts luxuriously but does not leave a sticky residue in the mouth.

Here is a simple ratio for water ganache that illustrates how successful this technique can be. Substitute water for other liquids, add additional sugars for shelf-life and season with vanilla, salt and other spices to develop your own flavor-intense ganaches.

Popping Nuts About Bananas
Anna Polyviou's Popping Nuts About Bananas. Click image above or link below for recipe.
Chocolates Collection by Antonio Bachour
Chocolates Collection by Antonio Bachour (including the dairy-free chocolate bonbon). Click image above or link below for recipe.

‘Water Ganache’ Template

  • 3.5 oz/100 g water
  • 8.8 oz/250 g 72% dark chocolate

Melt chocolate in double boiler. Add water a little at a time to form emulsion

We’ve compiled some ganaches without dairy from across the country and around the globe to compare how pastry chefs approach the technique.

For recipes featuring water ganache click the links below or see the Recipe section.


Jimmy & Julie MacMillan of JMPurePastry
Jimmy & Julie MacMillan of JMPurePastry. Photo by Anthony Tahlier.

Any trends or inspirations you’d like to see in the Material Handling spotlight? Email Jimmy and Julie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

JMPurePastry is a Chicago-based pastry solutions group specializing in high quality, well designed products for the restaurant, baking and hospitality industry. The duo is also responsible for the 2-time Emmy-Award-winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition video series. For more information, visit

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