Monthly Archives: July 2012

An English Teacher’s Summer

What does a teacher blog about when she’s not teaching? Food, of course.

Summer is the season of many weddings, and this summer my bestie is getting married. As matron of honour, it is my duty to throw a shower for the couple, which is coming up this weekend. I decided to make golden cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing.

I’ve made buttercream icing a few times, and have never been 100% happy with it. So I combined a few recipes together, and am pretty happy with the results. Let’s proceed.

The best of icings start here:

Melt a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave. Not your handful, my handful. Which I estimate to be a 1/4 cup.

I’ve made icing with just butter before, but found it to be too stiff, especially when from the fridge. I’ve also made icing with just shortening, but it turned out too rich and greasy tasting. Solution? Use both. Start by whipping 3/4 cup room temperature butter until it looks like this:

Add 1/4 cup shortening and whip until it looks like this (which doesn’t take long):

Sift in 1/2 cup cocoa powder and whip it. Whip it good. 

I know it looks temptingly delicious. But trust me when I say don’t taste it. At this point, the chocolate you melted should be cool enough to add, so mix that in.

Still don’t taste it. Add 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups of icing sugar, one cup at a time. Mix it in well after each cup. It will be crumbly and thick.

You can taste it now if you want. I would encourage you to.

Here’s the important part: when adding the liquid, do it very slowly. Add 1 tbsp. of whipping cream and mix it in. Then add another tablespoon and mix it in. Do this until the icing is the consistency you want, but only add a bit at a time, because it can get too runny very quickly. All told I added about 3 1/2 tbsp. of whipping cream to get it fluffy and smooth.

Ice away! I put some in my trusty piping bag with a 1M tip to ice the cupcakes. Make sure you taste test the finished product as well.

Delicious! I need to go eat some chips now to balance my sugar/salt level.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup shortening, room temperature
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 1/4 – 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
2-4 tablespoons whipping cream