Category Archives: Chocolate “Bar” Frosting

How to Make Easy Chocolate Frosting

This preparation occupies a sort of middle ground between a coating and a frosting. Whatever you call it, it’s good. Begin by putting your chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. This is mostly milk chocolate chips, though since I had a handful (about an ounce) of bittersweet chips in a mostly-empty bag, I threw those in too.

Apply ten seconds of full power, then stir. Apply another ten seconds. Stir. Continue like this until your chocolate looks about like so, then stop. Stir it the rest of the way until it’s completely smooth. It’ll take a few minutes.

When the chocolate is completely melted, let it cool until it’s barely warm to the touch. Which is to say, about as cool as you can get it while still having it flow. Put it in a bowl with the soft butter…

…and beat about a minute until smooth, scraping once or twice. Now here I should mention that since I had no heat in my house this weekend, my implements and bowl were very cold. The upshot was that some of the chocolate solidified the instant it hit the metal, creating chunks of solid chocolate in the frosting. What did I do? I soaked a small kitchen towel in hot tap water and applied it to the sides of the bowl as the machine ran. The small amount of heat warmed the mixture enough that the lumps melted out. Since that action also warmed (and thinned) the frosting, I beat it an extra minute to cool it down.

Then I promptly applied to the cake. It firmed immediately in my 50-degree house.

Normally I like to work with frozen cake layers. However for reasons that should be fairly obvious right now, you can’t do that with this kind of frosting. Have the layers at or close to room temperature as you build the cake, and apply the frosting quickly since it will set up fast…especially in a house with a broken furnace.

Filed under:  Chocolate "Bar" Frosting, Icings & Frostings, Pastry Components | 4 Comments

Easy Chocolate Frosting Recipe

This is based on a simple chocolate frosting that appears in the Cake Bible. The ingredients are essentially just chocolate and butter. What’s nice about this approach, aside from its amazing simplicity, is it’s texture which is quite rigid, much like having a chocolate bar draped over a chocolate cake. It’s the perfect thing for little 6-year-old Josephine, who loves chocolate in solid form but is suspicious of creamy frostings. Don’t ask me why, kids are like that.

For all those tempted to turn this frosting into a chocolate epicure’s delight, I’ll warn you now that while you can substitute a proportion of darker, higher quality chocolates for the cheaper milk chocolate chips, the effect will be an even harder, more rigid exterior once it firms. Too much dark chocolate and you won’t be able cut the cake without having half the coating shatter, especially if you lay it on thick. The pedestrian approach, trust me, is the way to go. The formula is:

8 ounces (two sticks) softened butter
24 ounces (two bags) milk chocolate chips

To prepare the frosting, pour the chips into a microwave-safe bowl and melt by zapping the frosting for 10 seconds, stirring, and applying another 10-second zap until the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir it for several minutes, using the residual heat to completely melt the chips. Allow the chocolate to cool until it is barely warm to the touch. Combine both the butter and the melted chocolate in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat together for about a minute or more until the frosting is smooth. Apply to a cake before it starts to firm. The recipe may well make more than you need. Cupcakes anyone?

Filed under:  Chocolate "Bar" Frosting, Icings & Frostings, Pastry Components | 4 Comments