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When people order cakes from me, my go to chocolate frosting has always been Martha Stewart’s Dark Chocolate Frosting. It’s absolutely sinful! The trick that differentiates this buttercream from the rest is the addition of over a pound of melted (cooled!) chocolate. I’ve used it to decorate many cakes and cupcakes, including these:

classic chocolate cupcakes!

But as much as I love this recipe, I’ve been wanting to find something that’s just a bit sweeter and a little less time consuming to make. I know there’s only 6 ingredients in Martha’s recipe, but… have you ever melted a pound and a half of chocolate and had to wait for it to cool? It takes quite awhile!

So anyways, I’d been doing some research online for a few months when I stumbled upon this recipe from Joy the Baker’s blog. Let me tell you guys, I have NOT looked back since. What is so wonderful about this recipe is that it’s sweet enough for the kids, but not so sweet that adults won’t touch it. Plus, there’s actually vitamins in this buttercream. That’s right, V-I-T-A-M-I-N-S! The secret ingredient is the addition of Ovaltine which, as we all know, contains 12 vitamins & minerals and is a good source of vitamin E and iron. 😀

Try it. I know you’ll love it.

Wedding tasting: Chocolate cupcakes with Ovaltine frosting!

Birthday cupcakes topped with this wonderful buttercream.

So far, this stuff has piped beautifully. You can easily control the consistency of the finished product by varying how much cream you choose to add to the buttercream. I’ve yet to try it with a sculpted cake, but for cupcakes and smaller cakes it easily gets my stamp of approval!

Alright.

Since Tori’s birthday cake has since been created & consumed I can now begin the task of documenting the 3 day bake-fest.

Tori happens to be one of my dearest friends on the planet, and I was asked by her mom to bake a cake for the party. The only guidelines I was given was that it needed to be, “chocolate with white frosting,” and that it was going to be a surprise. Hence the reason why I couldn’t tell you about any of my shenanigans until now.

She's one of my very favorites! 🙂

In the weeks leading up to the cake’s due date (April 9th), I tried to do some reconnaissance work to see exactly what type of “white frosting” she was in love with. After several gChat conversations & texts, I learned that she’s in love with plain ‘ol vanilla frosting. The difference is for her the frosting must have a texture that isn’t too heavy, but still stands up to the cake. And it also can’t be uber-sweet or buttery.

After a week of searching through all of my bakebooks (Like a cookbook, but its only about baking. Yeah, I just made that word up.) and Google I settled upon two recipes to try: Creamy Vanilla Frosting and 7 Minute Frosting. I kinda had an idea about what I was getting into with the 7 Minute Frosting, but I was totally bewildered by the concept of making a large batch of roux to add to the Creamy Vanilla Frosting.

So I set out on a random Wednesday night to create two different kinds of frosting to taste with 2 different kinds of chocolate cake in order to find the perfect combination for one of my very best friends.

This is my story.

7 Minute Frosting

After reading several different 7 Minute Frosting recipes I realized that this frosting is very similar to a meringue. In fact, I’m honestly not too sure what the difference is between a meringue frosting and 7 Minute Frosting. I’ll try to get some research done, and get back to you with a good answer. 😀

The frosting is super easy to make. Basically you just combine all the ingredients in a bowl and place it over a pot of simmering water. Beat the mixture until stiff peaks begin to form. Once the peaks are there, remove the icing from heat and continue to beat until it cools. Theoretically the process should take roughly 7 minutes.

Whipping the egg white mixture over a pot of simmering water. Potholder is a NECESSITY, my friends.

It took me closer to 12 minutes to achieve the level of stiffness that I was looking for, but once I did it was TOTALLY worth it. Hahhaa… please no jokes on that last sentence.

Chef Gordon Ramsay says a perfect "stiff peak" will stay in the bowl if you turn it upside down. He's right!

I was very pleased with the aesthetics of the icing.  It was thick, shiny, and very easy to pipe with. Unfortunately I wasn’t a huge fan of the taste. It was noticeably eggy, and did NOT hold up to the richness of the Devil’s Food Cake cupcakes. It was pretty, but I wouldn’t recommend using it on a dense, sinful cake.

The easiest way to fill a piping bag... because otherwise you need 3 hands.

Seeeeee... toldja it pipes nicely!

Finished! Devil's Food cupcakes with 7 Minute Frosting and 72% Dark Chocolate Discs.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting

This frosting, however, was a WHOLEEEEEE other beast. First of all I’ve never ever read a frosting recipe that uses a mixture of cooked flour and milk as a thickening agent, but it had amazing reviews so I had to try it. Also, this recipe isn’t one that you can just whip together at the last second either… it takes some time, so be aware of that when you try it.

Start by whisking your flour and milk together, and then cook the mixture over a medium flame until it gets thick. Once its sufficiently thickened, remove the mixture from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. About 45 minutes. (See, told you this takes time!) Also, you’ll want to place a piece of parchment paper on the surface of the milk/flour mixture to prevent it from developing a film.

PS: I’m going to refer to the milk/flour mixture as “Milour” from here on out because I don’t want to keep typing out “milk/flour mixture” for the rest of the post.

Milour with parchment paper on top. Yummy, right?

I’m going to tell you a secret about the icing that isn’t in the recipe: the Milour must be completely cooled before moving to the next step!!!!!

PSS: I bolded AND underlined the phrase “completely cooled” for a reason… it’s THAT important.

Here’s why: As the Milour is cooling start beating together the butter and sugar. Once that mixture is, “light and fluffy,” add the Milour into the mix. If the Milour isn’t cool enough, it will actually melt the butter & mess up the icing that you’ve worked so hard on. I learned that from experience, and that story will be in the next blog post. 😀

Adding the Milour. Can you tell which mixture it is?

Once everything is combined refrigerate the icing for 15 minutes exactly (not a minute more… not a minute less), and use immediately.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting... made with Milour!

I didn’t actually take any photos of the Milour frosting cupcakes, and I apologize. See, as I was washing off a spatula (to put the Milour frosting into a piping bag) my sink happened to EXPLODE and I was immediately drenched by an indoor water cannon.

D.R.E.N.C.H.E.D.

No offense, but that impromptu shower (combined with the fact it was pushing midnight) totally killed my creativity. So how about I just describe the cupcakes and you can imagine them as you like! Picture these: dark chocolate cupcakes slathered with a generous 1/4″ of Milour frosting and rainbow-colored sprinkles.

Ultimately this frosting held up much better to the taste and texture of the cupcakes, and ended up being the winner for Tori’s cake! While I’m not sure I consider it the best vanilla frosting in the world, it definitely isn’t bad. It is super creamy (as opposed to fluffy), but I personally thought it kind of tasted like cookie dough. Everyone else, however, loved it.  Even my boyfriend who isn’t the biggest fan of sweets liked the Milour frosting. I brought the cupcakes to work the next day to gather more intel, and even my manager admitted that though the cupcakes carried a heavy helping of frosting, it wasn’t overbearing or overly sweet. 😀

Stay tuned… Tori’s cake is coming up next!

xoxo

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