I've made an incredibly dark and smooth and rich dark chocolate fudge icing today. It's for a groom's cake: a fellow chocoholic that kind of got the bad end of the stick with the prior significant other. He's to be wed Saturday to the softest-spoken and intelligent Alabama sweetie I think I've ever met. I'm happy for them. He's a chocoholic, says he doesn't care about the intensity, as long as it's chocolate. I've changed my mind three times about the filling (that'd be chocolate mousse, chocolate Bavarian cream, or chocolate custard) before opting with the custard filling. He doesn't care. Chocolate.
See that big cake on top? That's his, six chocolate layers of cake with chocolate custard and crumb coated with chocolate butter cream.
Annnyways, this morning I had already made the butter cream icing for the bride's cake and two batches of chocolate butter cream. I didn't need more chocolate butter cream, having approximately that same amount left over from last week -- refrigerated, of course. Even butter cream icings won't keep from one week to the next in this kind of Deep South heat and humidity, regardless of whether you have air conditioning or not. That's 24 pounds of butter cream...
Meghan was visiting and I remembered the Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder. There is almost always Hershey's syrup in the house. Hmmmmmm... Voila! Eureka! SHAZZAM! I knew how to pimp out the chocolate butter cream... I'd use the Special Dark cocoa powder and chocolate syrup to thin the icing. I was so excited 'bout it, a decent photo couldn't be taken of all the ingredients.
Nuh unh. Can't see the ingredients in this one either. I blame Meghan (which is not to say it's her fault - just that I blame her). She had come in the back door from running, training for the half marathon later on in the fall. The heat and humidity had almost gotten the best of her - even though she IS from Louisiana. She's down for a day or two visiting her sweetie. I cooked her breakfast: pan-braised bananas with a sprinkling of coarse salt served atop spiced banana nut bread. We were chatting the whole time I was taking photos and making this.
The ingredients you don't see are:
Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa powder
Hershey's chocolate syrup
2 pounds confectioner's sugar
1 cup of butter
1 cup of shortening
2 teaspoons of vanilla
I had the butternal icing twins, Kitch and Aid busy making the butter cream and then the chocolate butter cream. They work hard for their money.
You know the procedure: Start by creaming butter and shortening thoroughly and adding vanilla 'til incorporated well. Add the cocoa powder. OHhh nom! This smell.... And believe it or not, this is the way I love chocolate! Chocolate-y and buttery without any complications from milk or too much sugar. It coats the tongue and leaves an impression -- a taste memory, if you will.
Stop and scrape the sides at least once, making sure you go all the way down to the hump in the bottom of the bowl. Stuff gets stuck there if you're not diligent about the scraping. After the cocoa powder is mixed in well add 2 pounds of confectioner's sugar.
Can you guess what's going in next? Yep. A whole cup of chocolate syrup! A cup full!
Pour the cup of syrup into the thick special dark cocoa icing that's so stiff the arm of the mixer will hardly lift up and mix well, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl down a time or two. I've had help in the kitchen that would crank the mixer up almost wide open making icing. Yikes. It results in a really light textured icing -- with more air holes than an hour of smooth work can get out. I start the mixer out on the lowest setting, only turning it a notch or two. The faster and the more it's mixed, the more air bubbles are incorporated in it to be contended with. Save the air for yourself, you're going to need it after tasting this.
NOM! I'll be using this on the groom's cake for the borders and Cornelli lace. The darkness and flavor will be a nice contrast against the chocolate butter cream. Photo of the cake will come Saturday, after delivery and the chocolate curls are on.
If you love chocolate cake and chocolate icing or yellow cake and chocolate icing or heaven forbid strawberry cake with chocolate icing, do a very nice thing for yourself and make this Special Dark Fudge icing. Not for the faint of heart, the complex flavor and thick smoothness will take you to another dimension of experiencing chocolate.
Those ingredients again for Special Dark Fudge Icing are:
1 cup butter
1 cup shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup Special Dark Cocoa powder
2 pounds confectioner's sugar
1 cup chocolate syrup
You sort of kind of saw it getting put together but I'll remind you, just in case you don't remember. Cream butter and shortening. Add vanilla (yep - you saw right - I use Mexican). When incorporated add cocoa powder until smooth and creamy. Add confectioner's sugar 'til mixed and chocolate syrup. Mix until spreading consistency.
I know there are more premium cocoa powders and syrups on the market; given enough warning I'll order Cadbury's but I'll remind you this is a one grocery store town - and the Pig just doesn't carry anything more premium than Hershey's...and when you taste this, it'll be good enough!