Saturday, 18 July 2009
photo credit: Frances Berriman
Cupcake frosting comes in many different flavors but the staples remain vanilla and chocolate. Vanilla buttercream is probably the king of all frosting, but in a close second is chocolate frosting and there's nothing to wet the palate quite like a big bowl of homemade chocolate frosting. Chocolate frosting tops off any cupcake and tastes especially good atop vanilla cupcakes. Decorating chocolate frosting can also be a lot of fun. Generally I use muted and pastel sprinkles with white frosting, but with homemade chocolate frosting I like to use brighter colors: bright blues, yellows, purples, and pinks look especially nice.
Here's a great and easy recipe from my personal collection for homemade chocolate frosting.
Makes enough for around 30 cupcakes.
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
14 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2.5 TBSP milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners sugar
Beat butter until smooth. Add chocolate until combined. Add the milk, vanilla extract, and confectioners sugar and beat until combined on medium speed. Don't over mix!
That recipe should suit your craving for chocolate. It's very rich yet somehow always comes out just right. You can store the homemade chocolate frosting in a sealed container overnight and in a refrigerator for up to a few days. Let it sit until it's room temperature if you're going to store your homemade chocolate frosting in the refrigerator. Sometimes the chocolate frosting will dry out and if that's the case don't be afraid to add some milk and then beat until smooth and creamy. But be careful not to add too much milk, a little milk goes a long way and it's better to have to add more than to add too much.
Another thing to be aware of with homemade chocolate frosting is that it creates an outer shell very quickly. Generally when I make cupcakes with vanilla frosting I frost 24 at a time and then decorate with sprinkles or whatever else I might be using. I've found that anymore than 24 at a time and the frosting forms a thin hard shell on the outside and it loses it's stickiness making it more difficult to decorate. Chocolate frosting forms a shell even quicker and will lose it's stickiness soon after frosting the cupcakes. Of course it depends on how long it takes you to frost the cupcakes, but I usually decorate after 6, sometimes after 12 but 6 to be safe. Chocolate frosting forms a shell quicker because it has chocolate in it which is dryer than butter, which is the main ingredient in vanilla buttercream frosting.
If you want to add a little pizazz to your homemade chocolate frosting, I will suggest a few ways to go about it. You can always add chocolate chips. I find that mini chocolate chips work better than regular ones. You can also make a chocolate frosting swirl. This is simple, all you do is make two separate batches of frosting - one with darker chocolate and one with lighter. Depending on how you frost your cupcakes, the method of making a frosting swirl will differ. The way I do it is with a flat and long metal spatula. I first tap on one chocolate frosting and then in the center I tap on the other chocolate frosting. I then gently press down with the tip of the spatula and flick my wrist a make a swirl! It definitely takes some practice and getting used to, but once you figure it out you'll be making chocolate frosting swirls before I can say "I love cupcakes!".
One last idea for a twist on homemade chocolate frosting before we wrap up. This one is for all you people out there who like chocolate frosting but who also like white frosting (that's me!) Try substituting the chocolate for white chocolate. That way you'll have excellent white chocolate frosting that will pleasantly surprise anyone who takes a bight out of it. You can even make a chocolate frosting and white chocolate frosting swirl.
Enjoy your homemade chocolate frosting and come back for more great cupcake recipes!