Showing posts with label chocolate cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate cake. 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, July 23, 2016

The Chocolate Days of July in Review

Source: Pixabay

The month of July is a chocolate lovers paradise. There are two official chocolate-related days to celebrate.

July 7th is the official Chocolate Day. No one knows the origin of this day, but we wouldn't be surprised if it was created by chocolate confectioners! 

It's a day to enjoy your favorite chocolate all day long.


  • Breakfast could be chocolate cereal or chocolate cream-filled donuts washed down with a little hot chocolate. If you would rather be a bit healthier, but still have your chocolate, check out Buckhawk's Chocolate Smoothies
  • Enjoy a mid-morning snack of a chocolate candy bar.
  • How about a glass of chocolate milk with your lunch.
  • Then you could eat healthy (?) and have chocolate covered raisins for your afternoon snack. This contains both vegetable and fruit. Chocolate is a vegetable. It comes from the Cacao tree found in tropical rain forests. True fact! 




Chocolate Covered Fruit (Source: Pixabay)

 
For more fruit and chocolate recipes, check out these delicious looking chocolate covered treats by Sylvestermouse, found on her Cooking for the Holidays Site:



  • Dinner would be delicious with chocolate flavored coffee.  Dessert could be your choice of chocolate cake or pie, or chocolate ice cream if you prefer.
Brenda Little (Treasures By Brenda) brings us a special chocolate cake recipe which includes MY favorite chocolate dessert - chocolate pudding.  Check out her Chocolate Pudding Cake recipe for a mouth-watering dessert.





More Chocolate Days


If you missed Chocolate Day on July 7th, never fear.  Another chocolate holiday happens on July 28 - National Milk Chocolate Day. This is not an official holiday, but it is a favorite chocolate of millions of people and is enjoyed in candies and in baking.

Many more chocolate holidays occur throughout the year, including the whole month of February, which is known as National Chocolate Lovers Month.  For a list of more chocolatey holidays, check out the chocolate section on the blog article by Wednesday Elf about National Candy Month.

Chocolate Recipes Cookbook



Chocolate Dessert Recipes


If the recipes and suggestions here still leave you with a chocolate craving, this cookbook gives you 200 more reasons (and recipes) to enjoy chocolate in your favorite way!


Happy Chocolate Days!






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