Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The world's best chocolate frosting

[my very own little almond cake]

Isn't that the most adorable little cake you've ever seen?  A mini cake, if you will, all for me.  And while I'm going to keep the cake recipe and finished product until tomorrow's post, this chocolate frosting recipe was meant to be shared with the world -- shouted from the rooftops.  Some icings and frostings can be a bit tedious to make, with all of the whisking of egg whites and room temperature butter.  (Mind you, they are all totally delicious and utterly worth every second of labor.)  But until I made this frosting, I had been under the impression that a great frosting takes great work.  Nope, no way, not this time, not this frosting.

This chocolate frosting recipe comes from, who else, the experts at Hershey's.  And, though they left out a few details (such as the oh-so-crucial sifting), the recipe is quick and easy.  How quick?  Melt the butter in a microwave quick.  How easy?  Whisk everything together by hand, no electric mixer needed easy (though if you wanted, you could certainly use it).  Just use cocoa powder rather than chopping and melting down chocolate easy.  The first two times I made this I used a whisk, but the last time I caved and used my beloved KitchenAid... hey, I doubled the recipe and my arms were a teensy bit sore from a new workout at the gym the previous day.  Cut me some slack... please?

I think you will when you taste this.  If you've ever had a problem exhibiting self-control with those store-bought cans of chocolate frosting, well, you haven't got a prayer with this stuff.  It's so creamy and chocolatey and makes you think you've never had real chocolate icing before this moment.  And it may be the reason behind my doubling of the recipe.  I had enough for the layer cake, my mini cake, and oh, a 1/2 cup extra to spoon feed to myself straight out of the bowl save for later.

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting
(from Hershey's website)
-makes roughly 2 cups

1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Stir in cocoa and whisk until completely dissolved (and no clumps of cocoa remain).  Add half of the powdered sugar, and whisk until no white remains.  Add milk, stir to incorporate, and add remaining sugar, again whisking until no white remains.  Stir in vanilla extract.

**Frosting too stiff?  Add milk one tablespoon at a time and stir until desired consistency for spreading is reached.

**Frosting too thin?  Add more powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

To level and frost your cake, check out this video.  Great visuals for an otherwise wordy process.  I'm a very visual learner, so I thought this would help.  For this particular cake (recipe coming up tomorrow), I wanted a more rustic homemade look, so I didn't level the cakes.  It's totally up to you.  After all, it will taste just as delicious flat or rounded :)

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