I made a promise last week.
For those of you who’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I’m not a fan of frosting that is too sugary (I’ll scrape it off), or too buttery (I’ll scrape it off), and I’m definitely not a fan of crusting butter creams (forget about it.)
My favorite frosting is Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting because it has none of the issues listed above and because it’s met with rave reviews every time I make it.
That recipe was also the base for the Irish Cream filling and frosting I made for the Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. But, you can’t have only one frosting in your arsenal, so I’ve tried many over the years. When I landed on this recipe, I was sold.
It’s creamy, not too sweet, has a nice mellow chocolate flavor and it pipes well. It’s not a traditional American Buttercream or any of the other Swiss, Italian or French varieties.
This frosting has a thickened pudding base and is a “friend” of cooked flour based frostings, if you’ve ever tried any of those.
It’s basically the marriage of butter, melted chocolate and a homemade chocolate pudding. The three get whipped up into this lovely light chocolate frosting that’s perfect when you’re looking for an alternative to ganache or other fudge like toppings.
I used Chocolate Stout Cake as the base to show off this recipe. The cake is rich, chocolatey, moist and dense. (In the photo above, the cake is actually holding the fork in place on it’s own.)
It’s a delicious chocolate cake and I fell in love with it the first time I made it as cupcakes for St. Patrick Day. I was happy to have an excuse to make it again.
The cake is sturdy and comes out of the pan beautifully, so I decided to skip frosting the sides. “Naked cakes” are becoming quite popular (they’re part of the “rustic” trend) and I liked the contrast of color.
But, I couldn’t stop there because naked cakes can also have partially frosted sides, and I had some extra frosting, so I thought I’d I try that as well.
If you use this recipe for a layer cake, as I have, and don’t want to leave the sides naked, double the recipe and you’ll have plenty to fill and frost.
This post is supposed to be all about the frosting. But I have to be honest, the cake and frosting combo is a win win proposition. So, be a winner.
Make them both.
Whipped Chocolate Frosting
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup milk I used whole milk
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a small sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder and milk. Cook over medium low heat whisking frequently until the consistency of a thickened pudding. You may get some lumps during this process, especially if your heat is too high.
Remove from heat. Strain into a separate bowl using a spatula to push the pudding through the sieve. This will give you a completely smooth, lump free mixture. Cool completely in the refrigerator. I usually set the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice, then put it in the refrigerator. This speeds the cooling process.
While that mixture is cooling, melt the chocolate chips at 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring after each interval. Allow to cool as close to room temperature as possible without getting solid again. You want it creamy. If it does get too cool, reheat briefly in the microwave to melt any lumps, stir and allow to cool again.
When the refrigerated mixture is cool, whip butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, about a minute. Add salt and vanilla and beat to combine.
Add the chocolate mixture and beat for another minute or two, until combined and fluffy.
Finally, add the melted chocolate and whip again until completely combined and fluffy.
*Store unused frosting and frosted items in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature before serving for creamiest texture.
*Butter should be slightly soft, but not room temperature. I usually let it get to the point where I can make an indentation if I apply pressure to it, but it still has structure.
*I've doubled the recipe with success. When tripling, the texture is a bit softer, but firms up when refrigerated. For the Pac Man cake, I doubled the recipe.
*The cake recipe is from Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. I baked that recipe in 2 (8 inch) pans that were sprayed with cooking spray, bottoms lined with parchment, then I lightly sprayed the parchment. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling on racks. If using 9" pans, baking time will shorter.
Frosting recipe adapted from Our Best Bites
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