Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

Cook’s notes: This makes a simple ganache (a mixture of hot heavy cream and chocolate) perfect for dipping cookies or sandwiching them together. Flavor it as desired and to taste with vanilla, mint, orange or coconut extracts; whisk in a bit of cinnamon or espresso powder; or briefly steep a flavoring such as star anise or dried lavender in the cream and pour the cream through a strainer over the chopped chocolate.

3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.

Bring the cream just to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for about 4 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in flavorings if desired.
To use as a dip, use immediately, dipping cookies in halfway and setting them on parchment paper-lined baking sheets to set. To spread on the base of cookies, let ganache cool slightly, then spread with an offset spatula. To use as a filling, let cool and use as is, or whip it briefly until fluffy as you prefer.
Leftovers keep well in the fridge and make a great ice cream sauce.

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