When making chocolate apple cupcakes recently, I wanted to frost them with chocolate frosting but didn't want to take the time to make my favorite "often-fail" fudge frosting. Suddenly I remembered Mom's method and went looking to see if I could find something similar. One of the few cookbooks I still have in hard copy is the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, something that is full of a lot of "old-fashioned" recipes. Sure enough, there was a chocolate butter cream recipe that was kind of like what I was looking for. However, it had baking chocolate instead of cocoa. My guess is that Mom used her method because cocoa was so much cheaper, so I tried doing the substitution. The result was an easy frosting that pleased all my chocolate-loving testers, a lot.
Note how many of the ingredients are approximate. That is something to expect of most powdered sugar frostings. It is hard to get just the right amount of liquid to powdered sugar, so add
Quick Chocolate Frosting
2 T butter
¼ c cocoa
1 t vanilla
1 t vanilla
about a pound powdered sugar (3 3/4)
milk to reach desired consistency
1. Mix the cocoa and about 2 teaspoons of water in a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl and stir until the cocoa is well moistened, adding more water as needed to moisten all the cocoa.
Add the butter and microwave on low power (level 3) for about a minute or two, until it is very bubbly.
2. Add the vanilla to the butter and cocoa mixture and then stir about 2 cups of powdered sugar and a tablespoon or two of milk. Using an electric mixer at a very low speed, begin beating the mixture. Gradually add more powdered sugar and milk, a teaspoon or two at a time, until the frosting is creamy and of a spreadable consistency.
3. For the easiest application, spread the frosting while it is still warm.
This amount should make enough for up to two dozen cupcakes or a 9 X 12 cake.