21 February 2010

Chocolate Buttercream

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I love the Cake Love book! It was my roommate's birthday last weekend and she wanted a very chocolate cake. I made the chocolate cake from the bake off which is really the easiest cake in the world to make and everyone always loves it. I make the CakeLove Chocolate Buttercream with just a few variations. This is easily my favorite buttercream from the book. I think the yolk-based buttercreams are much better than the egg-white-based buttercreams...

For some reason, the farmer's market is still selling local strawberries in the dead of winter (a whopping 70 degrees today!!) and so I thought strawberries would go well with the chocolate-chocolate cake. I put thin slices in between the layers (along with frosting) and then decorated the top with strawberry halves. I think the strawberry went really well with the frosting and I am tempted to put some pureed strawberries IN the frosting itself next time!

This frosting isn't very dark chocolate, which I was a little worried about. But it went well with the dark cake. There cocoa didn't fully homogenize in and I am not sure if this is because I made a mistake with the yolk mixture (see below) or if it's supposed to be like that (it doesn't look like it based on the picture in the cookbook). But I loved it. There were little pieces of chocolate in the frosting. The recipe suggests adding cocoa nibs to the frosting (optional), but I didn't have any and I think the weird chocolate blobs more than made up for it!

Yolk Mixture
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp potato starch
5 Tbsp cocoa powder (the recipe called for 3 Tbsp which just didn't seem like enough... I also used some really high quality cocoa and I'm not sure if that impacted the flavor or not)

Milk Mixture
2 cups whole milk (I didn't have whole milk, so I used 1 cup skim and 1 cup half and half)
1 1/2 cups white sugar

Flavorings and Butter
4 sticks butter, chilled and cut into Tbsps
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1. Put the yolk mixture ingredients in a medium bowl. I whisked them together because I can't read. You aren't supposed to, I don't know if doing this changed anything!
2. Bring the milk mixture to a boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan.
3. As soon as it starts to boil, pour it slowly into the yolk mixture, whisking until it is fully incorporated.
4. Pour back into the saucepan and heat over medium heat whisking constantly (but slowly) to keep from cooking on the bottom. Cook about 4 minutes, or until you see large bubbles form.
5. Once you see the large bubbles, reduce the heat to low and whisk strongly for 1 minute.
6. Pour this into a mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on high for 4-5 minutes, or until it is room temperature.
7. Reduce speed to medium low and add butter 1 Tbsp at a time and then add vanilla. Whip on medium or until smooth, about 3 minutes.

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