Showing posts with label chocolate frosting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate frosting. Show all posts

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sometimes You Just Need Chocolate

It often comes as a surprise to people that I don't eat chocolate every day. Apparently, I have a reputation as a chocoholic. Undeserved, I assure you. But sometimes, I have a chocolate craving, and let's face it, when that happens nothing else will do.

So I made chocolate applesauce cupcakes. Apples and chocolate don't jump out at me as a great match with the notable exceptions of apple slices dipped in chocolate fondue and Mrs. Prindable type apples covered in chocolate. But when baking, applesauce is kind of like carrots or pumpkin. It provides moisture and sort of disappears.

They turned out nicely. Next time, I'm going to substitute coffee for the applesauce and see what happens. Mocha cupcakes!

To continue my must-have-chocolate theme, I searched around for chocolate frosting recipes and stumbled upon one by Food Network. Once again, the comments were fascinating, so I followed their suggestions and implemented some of my own.

Most notably, I skipped the double-boiler. Seriously, Food Network? I don't use my microwave for much, but it does a few things very well and very fast, and one of them is melting chocolate. Another is melting butter. (The final one is cooking oatmeal super fast and just right.) So naturally, I skipped the double-boiler and melted the butter and chocolate in the microwave. You can do that fairly early because you want it to cool before you make the frosting.

I increased the amount of butter and chocolate per the suggestions. But I also beat it for about four or five minutes. The recipe says to beat until fluffy, which is what happens when you let it beat for a longer time. Thank you to the ladies of Georgetown Cupcakes for teaching us that.

I'll be using this chocolate frosting recipe more often. It has a thoroughly chocolatey taste and a lovely texture. This recipe makes exactly the right quantity for a generous amount of frosting on 12 cupcakes. I would double it if making a 2-layer cake with a simple swirled frosting.

Aren't those sunflowers cute? Pop them (or ladybugs) on your cupcakes, and you'll look like a pro. They're by Wilton. I found them in the baking section of my Walmart (near the wedding section, not the food section). I only put them on two because I'm planning to freeze most of the cupcakes, and I'll add the sunflowers just before serving.

Chocolate Applesauce Cupcakes
makes 12 regular size cupcakes

3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup regular sugar

1 large egg
1/2 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 and place cupcake papers in pan.

Use a fork to mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Set aside.

Cream the butter with the sugars. Add the egg and beat. Add the applesauce and beat. Beat in the flour mixture in small portions so it doesn't all fly out in the air.

Fill cupcake papers about 1/2 full, dividing the batter between the 12 cups. Bake 15 minutes or until a cake taster comes out clean. Frost when cooled.

Chocolate Frosting

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I used Bakers)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-8 tablespoons milk (I used 2%)

Place the chocolate and the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in short bursts stirring in between until it melts and can be stirred together. Set aside to cool.

Place cooled chocolate in a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat. Add the vanilla and 1 more cup of powdered sugar and beat. Scrape the bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Beat. Scrape the sides and add more milk (I used a total of 6 tablespoons) if it looks dry. Beat 4-5 minutes until creamy.

Pipe onto the cupcakes or swirl on with a knife.

Mix dry ingredients.

Fresh from the oven.

For frosting, use microwave to melt chocolate and butter.
Plenty of frosting!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lucy Burdette's Best Mocha/Chocolate Frosting for Mother's Day #recipe

Hamming it up over my dad's birthday cake

LUCY BURDETTE: Happy Mother's Day everyone! We are grateful for all the mothers in our lives, in what ever form they came--mothers, grandmothers, aunts, stepmothers, friends, sisters... Now on to cake:)... 

My mother loved to eat and to read and loved her family and her pets. But she did not love cooking. Of course she did cook most every night for our family of six. 

And she did love to celebrate birthdays. Each birthday person was allowed to choose the cake of his or her desire. We were predictable. My father always chose yellow cake with mocha icing. My older sister and I always had angel food cake with whipped cream as the frosting. My mother didn't like cake, so we made her tapioca out of a box.

But I've been thinking about that yellow cake, so cake it will be for my retro Mother's Day contribution. I suspect my mother's cakes came from a box, too, as the 50s and 60s were the age of convenience foods. (And how could she have made food from scratch when she had a full-time job and four children and 3-6 pets?)

This frosting is basically chocolate with coffee added instead of milk. If you don't like the taste of coffee, skip the coffee and replace it with milk. If you want a more intense chocolate flavor, add more cocoa.


2/3 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder, sifted
Two sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons strong coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla

After sifting the cocoa powder, beat in the unsalted butter until fluffy. Now and one cup of confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon coffee and beat well. When the mixture is combined, beat on high for one minute. Repeat that procedure with the other sugar and coffee. Then beat in 2 teaspoons vanilla and taste for sweetness.

This batter may look familiar and that's because I'm crazy, crazy for this yellow cake:). It's the perfect host for chocolate frosting, delicious without being overpowering. I found this in the BACK IN THE DAY BAKERY COOKBOOK, which I highly recommend for your cookbook shelf.

Ingredients for the cake

1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 cup cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup milk 
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two cake pans.


    Mix all the dry cake ingredients in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add cool cubes of butter, a few at a time, and continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes. Beat the eggs in one at a time, mixing well but minimally after each.
 Mix the milk with the extracts.

    Add 1/2 cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat until combined. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for about 1 minute.



  Distribute batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans (well buttered and floured.)

Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and cake springs back when touched, about 25 minutes. (check for done-ness with a toothpick or wooden skewer.)

Cool for ten minutes in the pans, then remove the cake to a plate to cool completely.  Then ice as usual, beginning with the middle, layering the second cake on top, and icing top and sides. 

Happy Mother's Day!
Lucy with her mother, circa 1969

When she is not blogging and cooking, Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries

Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting without Butter or Cream by Cleo Coyle

This "buttercream" frosting has no butter or cream, yet it tastes like a chocolate fudge dream. So what's the mystery ingredient to this frosting? It's one that vegans and vegetarians may have guessed by now...avocado.

If you've never used avocado as a substitute for butter in baking, I can tell you that it's a lot of fun to play with. This week, I'm doing frosting, but stay tuned because I'll be sharing more recipes with avocado taking the place of butter (and, yes, there will be a beautiful spring-green recipe in time for St. Patrick's Day). Until then...

Here are a few reasons to consider
replacing the butter in your
chocolate frosting with avocados*...

1. Less calories: Avocados will lighten up your frosting by reducing calories. 2 tablespoons of avocado flesh is 50 calories compared to 200 calories for the same amount of butter. 

2. Less fat: 3.5 oz. serving of butter contains 81 g of fat while the same serving of avocado contains 14.66 g of fat.

3. Better fat: Avocados will replace unhealthy animal fat with healthy vegetable fat. Avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. This kind of fat can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and maintain HDL (good) cholesterol, while decreasing belly fat. 

4. Better for you: You'll find 20 essential nutrients in avocados, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid.

*Source of nutritional info: California Avocado Commission 

Finally, my Coffeehouse Mystery readers may recognize this recipe from my culinary mystery A Brew to a Kill, in which my amateur sleuth employs a dietitian to help her lighten up some of the items on her coffeehouse menu. Does the dietitian die? You'll have to read the book to find out.

As for the brownies in my photos today, I shared that bonus recipe last week. If you missed it, you can download it now by clicking here for the printable PDF.  

To see more of my recipes from A Brew to a Kill, click here. And now for today's recipe...

Cleo Coyle, who likes to play
with her food, is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Cleo Coyle's
Chocolate Fudge
Avocado Frosting

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.

For every 1 cup of frosting, you will need...


1/2 cup mashed Haas (aka Hass) avocado (1 medium or 2 small)
1/2 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar (aka confectioners' sugar)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Directions:  Cut, pit, and scoop the flesh out of a ripe avocado. 

NOTE #1 on the avocado's ripeness : The avocado should not be over-ripe. Do not use avocado flesh that is brown, bruised, or mottled. Conversely, do not use flesh that is under-ripe and hard. For tips on choosing a perfectly ripe avocado with soft, green flesh, watch the video below. For tips on quickly ripening an avocado (or a banana) that is still too green and hard, click here



Need some additional tips on properly
cutting open, pitting, and slicing an avocado?
click here.

Mash the avocado with a fork or puree it in a blender or food processor until the flesh is completely smooth and without even small chunks or lumps. It's important to be sure you've pureed it well. You'll need 1/2 cup of this so measure it out. If it comes up short, your avocado was too small and you'll need to process another. 

Place the 1/2 cup avocado, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and pinch of salt into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the ingredients. 

At first, the mixture will seem very dry and powdery but continue beating the ingredients. DO NOT ADD LIQUID. As you beat the mixture, the avocado will penetrate and moisten the dry ingredients until, almost magically, a silky smooth chocolate frosting forms. 

NOTE #2: If you live in a very dry climate, and the frosting is too dry after a reasonable amount of beating, then add a very small amount of liquid (1 teaspoon at a time). What liquid you use is your choice--try milk or coffee or you can add a touch more vanilla and even complement the vanilla by using another extract such as almond, hazelnut or rum.

Avocado Frosting FAQs...

* Q. Will I taste avocado? 

A. No. This is a delicious, chocolate fudge frosting that closely resembles chocolate buttercream in flavor and texture. If you properly puree the avocado making sure there are absolutely no clumps or lumps and follow the recipe directions, you will not taste avocado.

* Q. Can I use another kind of avocado? 

A. I would not. I use Haas (aka Hass) avocados because they are richer and creamer than Florida avocados. I'd stick with Haas/Hass.

Q. How much frosting will I need for my cakes, cupcakes, brownies?

A. This recipe will make 1 cup of icing, which will frost...

     - 1 pan of brownies, including my Black Bean Brownies
       (those are the brownies you see in my photos today) or 

     - 12 cupcakes or 

     - the top of a 13 x 9-inch sheet cake.

To frost a 2-layer cake, I would double or even triple this recipe (because I hate to get stuck with less frosting than I need).

Q. Can I make a glaze instead of a frosting?

A. Yes! And here's how I do it...


First, let me assure you that the buttercream version of this recipe produces a thick, smooth icing, like a typical chocolate frosting (as in my photo above)...



For a looser chocolate glaze (like the one in my photo below), simply add more liquid to the frosting until you get the consistency you like. Start with 1 tablespoon of milk or coffee or rum or a liqueur (e.g. Kahlua, Amaretto, a chocolate liqueur). Add more if needed to reach the glazing consistency you like, and...

May you eat
(and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

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