I don’t make frosting often so when I do, it’s got to be straightforward and tasty. I’ve seen similar recipes to this one on the back of powdered sugar boxes and in cookbooks. It is not the classic French butter cream frostings that require cooking up sugar syrup. However, it has quite good flavors, and is terrific for decorating a basic sponge cake or Christmas holiday yule log.
Get really good dark cocoa powder. Years ago, I hunted down Cacao Barry’s Brute Cocoa at Surfas gourmet food shop in West Los Angeles. Much to my surprise, it’s now sold online at Amazon. This is an industrial quantity as you have to buy a kilo (2.2 pounds). But it’s actually very reasonable for a high quality ingredient, and you can keep it around for a good 5 years as I have for making stuff like frosting, killer chocolate sorbet and cakes too.
Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
Makes enough for a 9-inch 2-layer cake or the equivalent
6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
About 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (use more if you have a sweet tooth)
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
About 4 tablespoons heavy cream, milk, or freshly squeezed strained orange or tangerine juice
Put the butter into a mixing bowl and sift 1/3 of the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl. Use an electric mixer on low speed to cream together the ingredients. When crumbly, sift the remaining powdered sugar and cocoa into the bowl. Continue creaming the ingredients.
Once combined – it’s fine of the mixture is crumbly and dry looking – add the vanilla and cream. Increase the mixer speed to medium and then medium high to create a fluffy and darkly colored frosting. Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Taste and add extra sugar if sweetness is needed. The chocolate flavors will deepen as it sits. Add more liquid (cream, milk, juice) to make a soft, spreadable frosting. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Return to room temperature before u