December 18, 2015

This was originally supposed to be a post about the chocolate-caramel layer cake I planned to make from the September issue of Cooks Illustrated, which turned out perfectly except for the fact that I kept burning the caramel filling. It wasn’t until Rob went out at 11:30 p.m. in a futile attempt to look for heavy cream after I’d burned my second batch that I threw in the (kitchen) towel and decided to turn my chocolate-caramel cake into a chocolate layer cake.

The cake itself, though it turned out perfectly, is kind of unremarkable–it’s your basic chocolate dump cake. But the frosting was amazing–thick and creamy and intensely chocolatey, thanks to the addition of both cocoa powder and melted bittersweet chocolate. And best of all, you just throw everything in the food processor to make it–it comes together in less than 5 minutes.

The frosting was perfect on the chocolate cake, but it would also be great on vanilla cupcakes or sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies or to top off brownies. I’m sharing it here in case you need an easy, go-to chocolate icing recipe–I have a feeling a lot of you will be doing some holiday baking this weekend, so I hope this helps you out.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

16 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Process butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add corn syrup and vanilla, and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add melted bittersweet chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds. (Frosting can be made 3 hours in advance of whatever pastry you’re making; for longer storage, cover and refrigerate frosting. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.)

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