Simple Chocolate Frosting
How to Make Vanilla Extract
Simple, perfect, chocoate frosting.
I have weird kids. It's my own fault - their entire lives they've been the test subjects for my recipes and experiments. That's great in a way, because they all eat well, understand what it means to cook (and can do it themselves), and try new foods and flavors readily.
On the other hand, they also live under the impression that they're all budding food critics. While my attitude is 'shut up and eat it - I fixed it and it's your supper', they have no problem popping off "it's good Mom, but I think you need a bit more acid in the pan sauce. And the sear on that steak could have been a bit deeper, couldn't it?"
Bear with me - I know this is about chocolate frosting. I do have a point. It's this - all four of my kids like different types of chocolate frosting. The youngest is perfectly happy with a stick of butter held together with a bit of cocoa and ten pounds of powdered sugar. The middle one lives for cream cheese frosting of all kinds, but the oldest - he's a problem. He is so particular about cakes and frosting that most of the time he greets a big fat towering piece of layer cake with a pen and paper, in order to list everything I did wrong. He wants sweet - but not cloying so. He wants chocolate, but it should be between milk chocolate and bittersweet. He likes a lot of frosting - but not too much, and never so it competes with the cake.
Ergo - this is Ricky's frosting. It meets all the criteria of the world's youngest and most knowledgeable food critic. It is exactly what it seems - a simple, chocolate frosting. It goes perfectly on lots of chocolate cakes and cupcakes, but our favorite is the Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. Even if you have normal kids (or adults, my Dad loves this stuff), they'll most likely love this frosting. And if you have a weirdo like mine - this one will take the cake.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
- 3/4 cup cocoa
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter until lightly fluffy.
- Add cocoa, and beat until well combined.
- Working a cup at a time, starting and ending with milk or cream, add powdered sugar a half cup at a time. Reserve a couple tablespoons of cream until after the vanilla is added. (You'll do that next).
- Add the vanilla, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, and make sure everything is well incorporated.
- Test the consistency. You want it spreadable, not stiff enough to hold it's shape. Use it to frost anything you like - cupcakes, sheet cakes, brownies - you name it!
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