I have conquered my fear of making homemade white cake.
Then, I found a fabulous recipe for a light, fluffy frosting.
After a lot of experimentation, I accomplished a deliciously moist homemade chocolate cake.
After that, I mastered creamy, wonderful, sweet vanilla buttercream frosting.
Next mission: chocolate frosting.
Every baker needs a fall back chocolate frosting: yes, there are cream cheese frostings, there’s ganache, 7 minute frostings, swiss meringue buttercream, royal icing, and glazes. But you need something you can slap on a cake in ten minutes and be out the door. You need basic before gourmet.
Sweet vanilla buttercream–simple, luscious, perfect for nearly every cake. However, a girl needs chocolate too. I’d be willing to guess a boy needs chocolate too. (I’m only going by my husband on this but in my experience, boys definitely need chocolate.)
I messed with this a little bit. Experiemented. Played. Got my hands dirty.
Got my counters really dirty.
Finally, I came up with this little beauty:
Was it any good?
Let’s just say at a certain family party, this frosting was consumed by certain someones. From the bowl. And there may have been a bit of discussion on who took home the remaining two cupcakes. And a certain someone may have hidden a cupcake of her own before this certain discussion.
The best part is (other than the taste, of course), it is so simple. All you need:
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 lb. (4 sticks) real butter, softened
1/4-1/2 c. milk
1 T. vanilla
1 t. salt
and the secret ingredient:
1 c. melted and cooled semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Place the butter in your mixer. Add about half the powdered sugar and all of the cocoa into the mixer. Start beating on low, add the other half of the powdered sugar. (It may look like a powdery mess, don’t panic. I almost did, but you’ll be fine.) Slowly increase the speed of the mixer. It may still look very powdery, but as the butter begins to break down, things will clump up nicely. After a few minutes you’ll have a big dark clump in your mixer. On a low speed, slowly add about 1/4 c. of milk. Add the vanilla and salt. Gradually increase the speed to high. Let it mix like crazy for a few minutes. (Walk away, change a diaper, make a pb&j for your three year old. No rush.)
It should be nice and fluffy and frankly, a yummy little frosting. But we’ve got it to kick it up a notch, right? Reduce your mixer speed back down to low and pour in your melted chocolate. It should still be all melty and smooth but it should not be warm. Once that starts incorporating, let it whip on high for another moment or two.
Now grab your spoon and dig in!
Wait. I mean, be an adult, will you? Grab your pastry bag, put a tip in it, and pipe it on some cupcakes. There you go… now you may endulge.
But I swear, I won’t tell if a spoonful or six makes it into your mouth.