Thursday, October 12, 2006
Butter Cream Icing (Chocolate)
I have always hated Duncan Hines Icing from a can. It tastes like over sweet chemicals. Its also a pain to put on the cake. So I was determined to make my own. My favorite icing is on the cupcakes at the Cupcake Cafe in New York. I wasn't going to make anything that attractive, but I did want a tasty, heavily buttered butter cream. I always use Joy Of Cooking as a start for desserts. Their recipes are pretty good for them, if always over sweet. The following recipe is a variation of the "Joy" one. I cut the sugar in the final product, added more butter and used a bit less egg. So I claim it as my own.
You need a lot of stuff to do this. (Don't ask about the cleanup). Besides the double boiler for melting chocolate, you need a stainless steel bowl which you will have to put in a simmering water bath and then an ice water bath. The reason to put it in the simmering water is to heat the raw egg yolks to a temperature of 160 degrees Farenheit, pastuerizing them. The cool water bath helps you when you mix the butter cream, chocolate etc. from turning into soupy goo.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
(see what this actually is)
4 extra large or jumbo egg yolks
3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, warm and soft and cut into tablespoon size pieces
10 ounces unsweetened chocolate (use a rich one like Ghirardelli)
KITCHEN EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED
Instant Read Thermometer (the one you use for meat, preferably digital)
Decent pot for boiling sugar (not to large)
Stainless steel bowl
A bowl bigger than the stainless steel bowl which can hold ice, water and the stainless steel bowl
A Pan you can fill with water and put the stainless steel bowl in (that bowl goes a lot of places)
Electric Hand Mixer
Measure out all ingredients and have them ready. Beat the yolks until stiff in the stainless steel bowl. Put about an half an inch of water in the large skillet (there should still be room to put in the bowl without spilling) and place this on the stove on simmer.
Put the water, cream of tartar and sugar in the pot. Slowly boil the water, and then increase the boil. Stir a bit, but don't worry to much. The candy thermometer will attach to the side of the pot. Watch it. When the temperature reaches the "softball" stage (240 degrees F) turn off the heat and put aside.
Quickly re-whisk the yolks. While beating, add the sugar syrup to the side of the bowl. While beating, put the stainless steel bowl in the simmering water and put the regular cooking thermometer in with it. Keep whisking. When the temperature reaches 160 degrees, remove the bowl from the heat.
Let the mixture cool. Start beating with the electric mixer (on say, medium). Place the bowl in the ice water bath, Add the soft butter, one tablespoon at a time. Don't worry if it becomes a little soupy, the cool bowl will help. If its really goopy, stop for a bit and let it cool. Beat with the mixer like you would beat whip cream. It actually starts to look like that. When its smooth and spreads, its ready to add the chocolate too.
Melt chocolate in the double boiler. Add this to the butter cream mix and beat in with the electric mixer until it
Butter cream spreads easily at room temperature and its easy to decorate a cake. You may have to have it a bit cooler to make a pattern.