Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How-To Tuesday: The Best Dark Chocolate Buttercream

Welcome to another How-To Tuesday post! I'm really enjoying these posts and have noticed more traffic on them than I expected. These how-to posts really give me the opportunity to explore the effectiveness and the success of very simple and very popular methods that are in many many recipes.

My first one was the Perfect Mixture of Cinnamon-Sugar. You don't realize how often you use cinnamon-sugar until you think to yourself one day, "Geez, I need a cinnamon-sugar shaker next to my salt and pepper." Or maybe I just have a cinnamon-sugar addiction. ;)

Today I will teach you how to make the best dark chocolate buttercream. I used this particular buttercream on a chocolate buttermilk cake that I posted today as well. I was skeptical, as I always am with chocolate recipes, because they usual come out bland and not the right texture. To me, chocolate anything (cake, brownies, cookies, frosting) needs to be rich, thick, moist, soft, and full of flavor. I can't stand it when I take a bite into a slice of cake and it's crumbly. Ugh.

Sorry about that… Back to the buttercream. This how-to is so simple it's silly, but I'm going to give you some tips to make it easier for you to whip up a batch without worrying about it going awry.

1. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa. This will prevent any lumps in your frosting. If you don't sift your powdered sugar and cocoa, you're going to end up with little balls of powdered sugar all over your frosting and cake.

2. Make sure your butter is at room temperature. It makes the mixing of the buttercream a lot easier. If you try to beat the butter while it's cold you'll get lumpy frosting, the flavor won't blend as much, and you'll curse the day you thought you should try making buttercream.

3. Be patient. If you think you've been beating that durn frosting for what seems like hours, go just a little bit longer. If you follow all three steps, you'll get a beautiful and tasty frosting you'll be glad you waited for. For me, personally, I have to beat the butter for 4-5 minutes before it's fully creamed. I have to use a hand mixer, too.

So there you have it! A few tips to help you get the best buttercream there is. Oh, and this can easily replace a frosting in another recipe, or you can top it on vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, pumpkin cupcakes, chocolate cake, or make it a filling for whoopie pies.

5 + 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 + 1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
12 tbsp butter, room temperature
12 tbsp heavy cream or whole milk
2 tsp vanilla

Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Make sure there are no lumps before continuing. Beat in the butter and cream until a smooth frosting forms. Add in vanilla.

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