Friday, February 22, 2013

Mocha Frosting and Not Much Else

I'm terrible at blogging. TERRIBLE.
It's been two months since my last post, but I've made probably 5 batches of cupcakes in that time. I just forget to take pictures/write about them. I'd rather eat them. Part of the problem is that I make the cupcakes when I should be doing homework (Senioritis at it's finest). The other part of the problem is that taking pictures of the whole process takes so much time. I don't have four hours to spend photographing flour and butter. I have homework, classes, work and roommates that need the kitchen, all looming over my shoulder. A tiny part of the problem is that I use my phone to take pictures and I really don't want flour, butter, sugar, and whatever else all over my phone.

However, I remembered the blog this time. Today, I'm only focusing on the frosting. Unfortunately, the cupcakes did not turn out well. The frosting, though. OH, the frosting. Delicious, magnificent, award-worthy (according to my untrained-used-to-school-cafeteria-baked-goods palate). Seriously. Best frosting I've ever made. Mocha. I made mocha icing for the trial-run of my mom's birthday cupcakes and it was alright. Thick, sweeeeet, but with a weird texture. I made mocha icing for her actual birthday cupcakes; it was better: creamier, not so sweet, and a better texture. This mocha frosting; absolute best I've made. Partially because it has Kahlua in it, but mostly because it's fantastic. I've discovered the texture issue is due to using cocoa powder instead of real chocolate. Real chocolate = creamy & smooth.

Here's a picture of the beauties:

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients; Enough for 12 cupcakes
  • 1 C. butter, softened (salted or unsalted)
  • 2 C. powdered sugar
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate, melted and cooled*
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Kahlua (or coffee liquer or strong brewed coffee)
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
  1. Beat butter. Beat the hell out of it. I use a whisk and all the arm power I have. You may use a hand mixer/stand mixer if you're lucky enough to have such things. 
  2. Add 1 cup of the powered sugar. If using a whisk, do this in parts; if using a mixer, go on slow speed first. Powdered sugar flies everywhere and is especially attracted to black clothing. Beat until totally mixed in.
  3. Add some chocolate. Beat until totally incorporated.
  4. At this point, alternate between sugar, chocolate, and the liquid of your choice. Always beat well after each addition. Add liquid slooowwwly. Add it too fast, and your frosting will separate and look gross (don't worry, it's still tasty).
  5.  Add cinnamon and beat some more. You don't have to add it all. You don't have to put any in. I was making cinnamony-chocolatey cupcakes so I thought it'd go well. It's amazing, I recommend it.
  6. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Extra can be put into a air-tight container and refrigerated for a few day. Or just eat it. 
Here's another picture, in different lighting, in case you forgot how beautiful the icing is:

*I would like to remind you that this is your frosting. If you don't want it to be super chocolatey, don't put it all in. Same with the coffee  or cinnamon. If your frosting seems too thin or not sweet enough,add some more sugar. Also, I used about 2 oz. salted dark chocolate and 1 oz. regular dark chocolate. It's a nice additional depth of flavor. It's not necessary. It is necessary, however, to use the best chocolate you can afford. I'm not saying use a $35 chocolate bar, but try to splurge for something better than Hershey's.