Two Chocolate Frostings

If a frosted cake is a “must have dessert” for you, then try either of these recipes. Both are super simple and utterly delicious. The first, Ganache, is a rich, thick, glossy topping, and the second is a traditional powdered sugar frosting.



Ganache

1 cup heavy cream
12 oz chocolate, semisweet or bittersweet, or a combination — use chocolate chips, or high-quality chocolate bars and chop them into small pieces

  1. Put the chocolate pieces into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the cream until it’s almost boiling. (You can use a small pan on the stove over medium heat, or a glass bowl or measuring cup in the microwave.)
  3. When the cream is hot, pour it into the bowl over the chocolate and cover the bowl with a plate large enough to trap the steam. Wait 5 – 10 minutes, then remove the plate and whisk the mixture until smooth.

This makes a fairly thick ganache, thickening as it cools to room temperature.  If you want a thinner frosting, like a glaze, you can drizzle the ganache over the cooled cake immediately, while it’s still warm. Go easy, as the ganache is quite runny at this point and will not stay where it’s put without repeated applications.

For a superbly rich and thick topping, let the ganache cool until the consistency resembles something like pudding. It’s ready to spread!

Do not refrigerate the ganache at this point. Be patient and let it come to room temperature on the counter. It will get quite hard in the refrigerator and doing so risks ruining both the texture and appearance by either letting it cool too long or too fast. Wait as long as it takes — you won’t be disappointed.



Chocolate Powdered Sugar Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 t vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
4 T cocoa powder, regular or dark
pinch salt
2 – 4 T milk or Half & Half

  1. Put all the ingredients except the milk into a large mixing bowl.
  2. With your electric mixer on low, start mixing, slowly increasing the speed to high. You want to start slowly so that the butter has a chance to bind the powdered sugar and cocoa without kicking up a dusty cloud.
  3. Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add additional tablespoons only until the frosting is creamy and smooth, just the right consistency you are looking for. Avoid adding the milk all at once.  The given amount may be too much, making your frosting too runny.

Variations: Experiment with using other flavorings instead of vanilla — almond, mint, or orange are a lovely change from the standard vanilla.

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