Showing posts with label Chocolate ~ Recipes & More. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chocolate ~ Recipes & More. Show all posts

Sunday, August 19, 2018

How to Make the Best Chocolate Icing

Review By Funkthishouse.com
Photos: Via Pixabay
My parents moved away from their home town in Manitoba, Canada when I was about five years old. We lived in many places throughout our country, but no matter where we lived, my dad would fly his mother out (our Memere) for visits. Oh wait a minute! She would take the train, she was terrified of flying!

I sure hope Memere knew how much I loved it when she would visit.

On one visit, while sitting in the kitchen doing homework, Memere had just finished making a cake. She was about to make the icing, when I decided I had to know how she made such delicious chocolate icing. So being an inquisitive 15 year old, I stood beside her while she explained her secrets.

"What this recipe is about, isn't the ingredients, it's in the mixing, texture and general understanding of what to add and not to add to get the best chocolate icing."

Lets start with the ingredients - They're fairly standard and well known:
Added Note: 

Below 'Sylvestermouse Cynthia' asked what Icing Sugar was. In Canada we (most everyone I know) call Powdered Sugar, 'Icing Sugar'. The only brand I use is Redpath Icing Sugar.

Turns out, Redpath Sugar is a Canadian Company as well. According to it's website it's been a part of Canadian kitchens since 1854.

Being Canadian I admit I should have known that, however in my defense Redpath Sugar and Fry's Cocoa have been a part of my family's kitchen since before I was born. That's a long time ago!

Redpath Sugar carries many sugar products, including Icing Sugar. You can find Redpath Icing Sugar at Amazon.ca (not .com), and of course, learn about their products via their website.

What makes chocolate icing awesome:

To no surprise, Memere never measured any ingredients, and to this day, neither do I. 

I learned to make chocolate icing just the way she taught me; by understanding how to get the right texture.

Here's the most important tip from my Memere:
When you need to thin out the icing, do it by adding more softened butter, not more milk
She explained this further: "Because adding too much milk will quickly make the icing mixture too runny, then to fix it you'll have to add more icing sugar to recover the texture from liquid mud to icing. So to avoid this, add more butter first, not more milk"

Putting the Ingredients Together:

Although I never measure, I'll try to put some measurements to the above ingredients
  • In a deeper mixing bowl, put in about two cups of icing sugar
  • Add about half a cup of Fry's Cocoa (add more for a richer chocolate taste)
  • Butter .. hmmm.. I can't give you a measurement - maybe start with 1/4 cup of softened butter, that's 'softened', not melted, not runny, not too soft either. Ensure it maintains it's thick butter texture.
  • Add a teaspoon of pure Vanilla Extract
  • Add a teaspoon of milk, or two teaspoons if the icing is too thick to mix
  • How to know when you've nailed it - For me, I like it when the Icing is spreadable but can hold swirl peaks on the cake, in other words, not too hard, not too soft, just right. 
With a hand-mixer, mix the ingredients together. It won't be the right texture for spreading yet.

This is where the Grandma touch comes in:

If your mixture is too thin and runny, add more Icing Sugar to correct the texture. Keep mixing it with the hand mixer. If you've had to add more icing sugar, you'll need more Cocoa so add a couple of tablespoons at a time. More icing sugar dilutes the chocolate, that's the reason for adding more cocoa.

However, it's more likely the texture will be too thick.

To thin out the texture, add another heaping tablespoon of butter, a couple of drops of milk, a half teaspoon at the most! Then stop completely with adding milk.

At this point, it should be getting to the right texture. If it happens to become too runny again, then add more icing sugar. Sorry I can't give you a measurement for that, just add a tablespoon at a time.

However if it's too THICK, then keep adding softened butter, one tablespoon at a time.

Thanks to Memere, I've never used store bought icing. I always make it from scratch.

If I had to choose the key ingredient (other than butter) it would be Fry's Cocoa. That's also the cocoa we use to make the chocolate cake recipe passed down from my grandmother on my mother's side.

My kids have grown up on our homemade chocolate cake and homemade icing thanks to our grandmas on both sides - and it's the only birthday cake they want. Store bought is a no-no.

Added Tip: You CANNOT put icing on a cake until the cake is COMPLETELY cooled. I'll usually put the cake in the fridge to fully cool it off if time is an issue.

Happy Baking!



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Saturday, October 11, 2014

National Cookbook Month Continues with Chocolate

As we continue to celebrate National Cookbook Month on Review This, we go on to Chocolate Cookbooks. After all, if we're going to celebrate cookbooks, you just can't leave out the fabulous dessert ones.

It was a joy to review 4 different chocolate cookbooks for the website Completely Chocolate. (www.completely-chocolate.com/)   And of course, I just had to try out some of the marvelous recipes. Well, I had to make sure the cookbooks were as good as promised didn't I?

The featured cookbooks include the latest from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and a great one just for vegan chocolate desserts. Since I have a vegan daughter, I couldn't resist trying out those recipes. They did pass the decadent test.

Now, I will give you fair warning. Not all the recipes are easy to make. Some get quite complicated and require better chef skills than I have. These will take just a bit more practice on my part. But, even the failures were enjoyable to eat.

Each of the featured chocolate cookbooks also make great gifts. They each have beautiful
photographs, most that make your mouth water just looking at them. But, each cookbook also includes lots of extras. Things like how to work with chocolate, how to make chocolate gifts and plenty more.

Allow everyone of your family, friends and neighbors to enjoy National Cookbook Month with you. Get a copy of your favorite chocolate cookbook and try out a new recipe. A decadent dessert can work wonders for everyone.

More Chocolate Cookbooks:  www.completely-chocolate.com/wp/chocolate-cookbooks



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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Yummy! We're making chocolate covered strawberries on Review This. Talk about my kind of food. Covering my favorite fruit with my favorite, well, food, and you have a treat that I just can't pass up. I am always on the look out for great pages about chocolate. Anything chocolate. And I found some.

One Can Never Have Too Many


Yes, I did get tired of seeing the number of pages that were about Chocolate Covered Strawberries. There are plenty. But, don't let that deter you. Every single one is different. Every single one gives us a unique and interesting look at these delectable treats.

Many feature how they make their own, including recipes for adding special touches. Some have recipes for making your own chocolate variations. Some show you how to make interesting and fun decorations with the chocolate covering. Others show you where to buy ready-made chocolate covered strawberries.

Featured Pages to Share


In other words, your own way of making chocolate covered strawberries always has a place on the Web. Here I feature 2 of those pages just to show you some of the variations.

The first page is one of those great "how-to's." How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries is by our own Sylvestermouse. She walks you through the basics. And she uses my cooking motto: fast and easy. Her yummy treats are definitely fast and easy. Whether you are dipping strawberries for the very first time, or you are a gourmet chocolate chef, you will enjoy her page.

Kinworm gives us great tips on making unusually decorated strawberries. If you are adventuresome, you might try your hand at here plaid chocolate covered strawberries. It sounds easy to me. In How to Decorate Chocolate Covered Strawberries, she also gives you plenty of ready-made versions that will make great gifts or even inspiration for your own artistic talent.




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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Making Chocolate Truffles in the Kitchens of Squidoo

Homemade chocolate desserts - delicious, homemade chocolate truffles - decadent! Of course, as your favorite chocoholic, I found those pages that are perfect for making your own truffles. These aren't difficult recipes either. That's important for our busy lifestyles. So come along with me as we tour those great pages for making chocolate truffles in your own kitchen.

How to Make Homemade Chocolate Truffles


When I first went looking for great chocolate dessert ideas, your could have knocked me down with a feather when I saw chocolate truffles. In my mind, truffles are one of the best ways to treat oneself. But, making them in my own kitchen? I'm not that good a cook, folks. That is until I saw this page from the author known as Whitemoss.

How to Make Homemade Chocolate Truffles gives you a great and simple basic recipe. It's 3 ingredients. That's it. Really! But this author didn't stop there. She tells us extra things to add in to make the basic recipe even better. The variations sound great, too. There's more, though. She tells us how to dress up our own homemade chocolate truffles to give as gifts.

Making Chocolate Truffles with Kids


Truly, I have to admit here. I was intrigued when I saw NanLT's page, Cooking With Kids: Making Chocolate Truffles. When my granddaughters come to visit, we somehow manage to end up in the kitchen making something yummy. So chocolate truffles sound great for this. She gives us a good basic recipe with good step-by-step instructions in how to make the little round confections.

I know what the next fun kitchen adventure I will have my grandgirls. Yep, making chocolate truffles in my own kitchen. All because an author shared her tips.




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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Release Your Inner Chocolate Story Teller

Riddle me this, Batman. What's special about chocolate for you? Well, let go and tell your chocolate story. Allow that child in you to release the joy. In my mind, chocolate is about joy, so you are going to get the benefit of my story.

My story will be part example for you, and part my own release of that inner story teller. As your favorite chocoholic, I get to share my joy with many.

My Chocolate Story


Every summer of my childhood, we traveled to my grandmother's home. For years, she had ready my older sister's favorite, butter pound cake. Then one year, she made a Devil's Chocolate Cake. I remember clearly that first bite. The creamy texture on my tongue, the indulgent flavor on my taste buds, the immediate need to have more. I was hooked.

Oh, yes, Gramma's Devil's Chocolate Cake was one of those highlights of my summer from then on. She even joked that her cake was more important to me than her. Uhhh...no wait, it really was a joke.

But, that memory still joyfully bounds around my brain whenever I see a chocolate cake of any kind. Whether that was my first introduction to chocolate, I don't know. I do know it was my first memory of eating that yummy confection. And I will be forever grateful to Gramma for giving it to me.

Go Ahead, Release Your Own Story


My story was about a memory. Yours maybe, also. But it doesn't have to be. It can be about anything
that makes chocolate special for you.

Easy Chocolate Mousse by Jodi_K includes her story. A young girl who could even make dessert for the family. Honestly, this looks like my kind of chocolate dessert.

If you have a great story, share it. It doesn't need to be a dessert recipe, it can be any story about your own inner chocolate... Er, inner chocolate story teller. Anyway, write your own story, with or without recipe and let me know. You may just find yourself featured by this chocoholic!




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Friday, April 18, 2014

Your Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

In honor of a very special wedding, I invite your to share your best chocolate cake recipe. No, it's not my wedding. But, at my own wedding I did have a chocolate cake. Get real, would I have picked any other kind? I can think of no better time to enjoy chocolate than a wedding. Yes, lots of equally good times, but no better time.

Writers Share Their Best Chocolate Cake Recipes


How can you possibly think you can have enough chocolate cake recipes? If you love chocolate, like I do, you want to try lots of the best. So I've gathered some of those fabulous recipes here.

Moist and Delicious Chocolate Cake and Other Chocolate Recipes from seashell2. A nice list of some delicious chocolate cake ideas.

7 Amazing Chocolate Bundt Cakes You Can Make Yourself. nDee gives us all 7 including a vegan version and a whiskey-soaked chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake Recipes. Our very own Sylvestermouse shares her secrets to an amazing chocolate fudge cake.

Chocolate Cake in a Mug from enslavedbyfairies. 5 minutes to a great dessert idea.

Low Cholesterol Dark Chocolate Cake from acreativethinker. A yummy way to add more of that
healthy dark chocolate to our diets.

And the best one in my personal view, Decadent Chocolate Cake, (from some oddball writer called BuckHawk) because you can never get enough chocolate into one recipe.

Share Your Own Best Recipe


OK, you have looked at these recipes and plenty of others, and still say your chocolate cake recipe is the best. That's when you want to share it. You want to tell others about your very best chocolate cake recipe.

Amazingly enough, it's quite easy to do. You only need to know how to make your cake. List your ingredients, give the directions, and add in the extra information that makes your chocolate cake recipe the best ever.

No, it doesn't absolutely need to be a wedding cake. But if you have a recipe for a great chocolate wedding cake, we'd love to read about that, too.





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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chocolate Fondue Review

Instant happiness, just add chocolate. So adding chocolate fondue to your dessert world means not only happiness but fun, too. I dipped into the melting pot of Web pages to find you lots of suggestions for chocolate fondue recipes, tips and ideas.

Dark Chocolate Fondue Recipe


Plain old chocolate is always delicious, but adding in some sophisticated extras can make your own fondue extra special. MSchindel found the The Best Chocolate Fondue Recipe for Dark Chocolate Lovers. Alright, I will admit it. This is one I am in love with. So I'm letting the secret out. It's honey and Cognac that makes this recipe extra special.

She gives us plenty of suggestions for making this chocolate fondue recipe a different but still special treat. It's a wonderful recipe for a romantic dinner dessert. It's a wonderful recipe for serving to guests. But, this is a chocolate fondue that any sophisticated taste will enjoy.

Chocolate and Hazelnut 


I'm not limiting my chocolate fondue choices to just Cognac though. How about some hazelnut liqueur? That's a special ingredient in BlueObsidian's Chocolate Hazelnut Fondue.

It's a simple recipe with plenty of taste. One worth serving to family and friends. She adds a nice selection of goodies to dip into that Chocolate Hazelnut Fondue. My favorite suggestion is fudge. Talk about a double whammy of chocolate. I think I'm in heaven!

Basic Chocolate Fondue Recipe


A good basic fondue recipe is always needed. If you have young children in the family or gathering, you probably don't want to serve them liqueur-based chocolate. RatRaceRebel shares her favorite basic Chocolate Fondue Recipe. It's simple and easy.

Oh, yes, she also offers a more grown-up tasting recipe. But the basic works great for children's dipping. She even suggests ideas for birthday party fondues. Imagine topping fondue dips with candy sprinkles! Perfect birthday party fun.

Melting Chocolate for Fondue and More


Maybe you would love to make a chocolate fondue, but really aren't sure how best to melt the chocolate. Stangerj tells you how. He has plenty of other special notes in his page Chocolate Fondue Recipe - Enjoy. Plus, a great recipe for basic chocolate fondue.

There's more, though. He even offers a tempting recipe for sugar-free fondue. Now there is something worth trying if going without the sugar is important to you.





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Friday, March 21, 2014

Creating Chocolate Fun in the Kitchen

Go ahead, admit it. You love getting creative in the kitchen. And when it involves chocolate, whoa, even better! Throw in a healthy helping of laughter and you just can't have more fun. Aren't you drooling to find out what I'm about to tell you? Well, get ready. It was all around a Web page.


So, stop thinking about making a page as boring writing. Thinking of it as telling your story of the day you decided to make Chocolate Lab Cupcakes. Of course, chocolate is involved in this.

The Story of Chocolate Lab Cupcakes


Our very own Cooking for the Holidays reviewer makes amazing cupcake creations. Snowman Cupcakes, I just had to try my hand at making Snowman Cupcakes myself. My first mistake was not following her directions. But, my hilariously miserable attempt turned into a page.


My second mistake was failing to use chocolate. Ergo, the idea of Chocolate Lab Cupcakes was born. Don't you know the entire effort, which took all afternoon and into the evening, was documented in photos. This was meant to be a page, you know.

Creating Fun in the Kitchen


In my kitchen that day, I was quite busy creating chocolate fun. OK, my kitchen turned out to be a mess. But, the clean-up was worth it! A day of hilarious fun was set up to be a Web article.

My bet is that many of you enjoy getting creative in the kitchen. Whether a masterpiece like the amazing Snowman Cupcakes, or one hilariously miserable attempt like my Snowman Cupcakes, a Web article is easily available from it. 

Don't forget to add the chocolate. Because, well, everything tastes better with chocolate.

Take bunches of photos of the whole process. Even jot down some of the jokes that came from your attempt. Or jot down serious notes if you must.

That combination of notes and photos can easily turn into an article. A page that will forever give you the memories of one time of creating chocolate fun in the kitchen.




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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sharing Chocolate Recipes

Favorite recipes are always fun to share with others. Anything chocolate is a favorite of mine. So share your chocolate recipes with me. Well, lots of other people, too. Simply by writing them out as Web articles.

Chocolate cake, chocolate brownies, hot chocolate, dipping chocolate. Whatever recipe you love can be shared.



Along with your actual recipe, feel free to offer tips or suggestions. Things that you've found to make it easier, tastier, or more elegant. Even offer some of the unique products needed to make your recipe. You can choose your products from the amazing number available
through Amazon.com.

  • Is your brownie recipe called the best ever by your family and friends? Then share it like Pukeko did here. 
  • Do you like to add interesting ingredients to your chocolate brownies? Then share it like I did with my Decadent Brownies. 
  • Maybe chocolate eclairs are a specialty of yours. ItalasDesigns shares her recipe.
  • If hot chocolate is your thing, share your favorite way to make it. Sylvestermouse shares hers here.

No matter what kind of chocolate recipe you have, you can share it. When you finish, be sure to share it by adding your link in the comments below. That way I can feature your chocolate recipe page. Being the chocoholic that I am, mostly likely I will be trying out your recipe, too.


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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Meet BuckHawk, Review This Writer


Writing is more than a passion for me, it's part of my life. So when the opportunity came to write on Review This, I grabbed it. With my pen name, BuckHawk, I'm thrilled to be one of the featured writers here on Review This.

You can find me on Review This writing about chocolate, recipes, holidays, toys, home decor and online writing tips. And as we go along, count on me adding more topics to my list. You can read my reviews all you want.

 

The History of BuckHawk Writing


Online writing was another progression in my long history of writing. And yes, writing everything from business proposals to cozy mystery novels. In early 2006, I started writing online product descriptions. And went from there to writing online articles and pages.

By the time 2010 rolled around, I was launching my first website. While I continued to write for online sites like Squidoo, Wizzley, Hubpages and a few others, I put my focus on writing for my own growing list of focused websites.

All the time striving to improve my writing style, making it more readable for the online audience. I'm happy to report that both my articles and sites earned accolades and awards. I'm doing something right!

 

My Online Writing Name


Starting out online was a venture that I needed as the director of an animal rescue center - my other major passion. Fund raising via the Internet became a reality and my writing helped with that effort.

The name of the animal rescue center is BuckHawk. It was a simple choice to make my online pen name the same.

My online writing is still a benefit to the Center and probably always will be. That is where my two major passions intersect. 




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