This weekend I made chocolate fudge cake with milk chocolate frosting. I was looking for that chocolate overload experience. While the frosting was delicious, I wasn’t crazy about the texture contrast with the cake - it was too dense, and I’m used to a creamier frosting (I usually make chocolate mousseline or silk meringue). Do any of you think the milk chocolate buttercream is too dense, or did I somehow screw it up? (which would be hysterical, considering it’s only 2 ingredients) My house is on the chillier side - 65-68 degrees because my husband wins the thermostat war. I am still looking for a milk chocolate frosting that is creamier/lighter, so thoughts on adding milk chocolate to mousseline, or making whipped ganache wtih milk chocolate?
Any help would be appreciated. I’m making my 30th birthday cake this week, and it is going to be chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.
What is your opinion about using ganache frostings?
I usually do a ganache that is about 40% milk chocolate, and 60% semi-sweet chocolate (by weight). I prefer the sweeter taste that the milk chocolate lends to the ganache. This is a matter of personal preference—you can play around with the ratios to find one that suits you.
If you torte more layers, you’ll get a higher ratio of frosting to cake. I actually think this is a spledid idea, especially if you view frosting as the star, and cake as the supporting actor, as many people do.
In her book “Chocolate, Chocolate”, Lisa Yochelson has a recipe for a chocolate triple-layer cake that has a lot of sour cream in the batter (p.304). The accompanying recipe for Chocolate Satin frosting (p. 306) goes very well with the cake. I should warn you, however, that the frosting does contain powdered sugar, along with sour cream, butter, and unsweetened chocolate and some other ingredients. I actually like powdered sugar frostings, but I know a lot of folks who frequent this site do not.
Let us know what you end up doing. I am always searching for chocolate cake nirvana.
If you made the same recipe I am thinking of, I always considered it kind of the bridge between chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache. It has been a long time since I made it, but I don’t recall it being dense—at least, not as dense as a ganache. Did you refrigerate the cake? I’m wondering if temperature is a factor—it would have to set out a while in your cooler house to loose its firmness from the fridge. It may be that it isn’t what you’re looking for however—I’m just the opposite. I really don’t care for chocolate buttercream at all—I always prefer ganache!
Gia, I made the milk chocolate buttercream for my cousin’s b’day in May. It is definitely not a dense buttercream. You have to let the cake come to room temp. or else the buttercream will not be at the correct consistency. It is afterall just butter and chocolate. Since your house is colder than normal you may have to leave it out longer. Hope this helps. Personally I prefer ganache but if I do make a chocolate buttercream I use Bill’s recipe. Here’s the recipe:
Hi…it’s Bill. I’ve got the Chocolate Buttercream recipe for you (and anyone else who is interested). My friend who gave it to me said it was from gourmet magazine…not sure when or how old it is. It is very similar to the Chocolate variation of the Mousseline Buttercream in The Cake Bible ... with a little more chocolate and some cocoa powder. Many people in my family find Ganache too aggressive as a frosting and I like something a little more chocolaty than the regular chocolate mousseline…so I’ve been using it a lot. I especially like it pared with with chocolate fudge cake in the cake bible.
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
Pinch of Salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of Tartar
1 pound of unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup (29 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder.
Just in brief…the method is the same as any buttercream: Melt the chocolate over simmering water and allow to cool. Combine water and sugar, bring to 248 degrees, Meanwhile, beat egg whites with pinch of salt until foamy, add cream of tartar and beat until just holds stiff peaks. Add syrup to whites and beat until cool. Beat in the butter, a table spoon at a time. Sift cocoa powder onto the butter cream and beat at low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat in the melted chocolate.
Reply to this Posted by: Bill | September 25, 2007 12:38 PM #
Gia, Happy Birthday! I’m with Matthew, I love the ganache best. If you want to try it with milk chocolate, use one of the ones that has a higher cocoa mass and isn’t too sweet, like Green & Black’s milk chocolate, or Hershey’s Arriba (not sure if I remembered that correctly, hope so). Even with those, you might want to use some bittersweet to keep it from getting too sweet. If it’s too firm, you can always add a little more cream to thin it.
Thanks for all of the advice. I beleive I will have to count the milk chocolate buttercream among my mistakes, because it was quite dense, and it was never refrigerated. (how can I make meringue buttercreams in my sleep and screw up this???) I weighed all the ingredients (I’m a chemist, so I’m pretty sure I did that part right), and I don’t think the issue was in melting the chocolate. But I did let the chocolate cool a longer than I would have liked due to a disaster with my 2 year old and a set of (thankfully washable) markers. I guess it’s also possible I somehow caused the chocolate to seize. I’m sort of baffled.
My go to chocolate frosting recipe has lately been Bills, but I think I’m going to try a different ganache, maybe the burnt chocolate almond or the sour cream, both made with my favorite milk chocolate. I’ll report back, of course.
Also Hector - I promise to someday make the triple chocolate cake. It sounds so good but I have toddlers who will be sharing in my birthday celebration, so I think it might be a bit too sophisticated for their tastes!
my brother in law and family are from Hong Kong, they immediately turn with alcohol and most defenitelly announce it on my cakes since I am known to liquor these. But for the triple cc, they didn’t notice, the 3 tbsp of Frangelico which is only 17 proof is less than cough syrup. My niece Josephine had it on her 5th and by request, try seach the blog, I think I posted a picture, it was a Pooh themed Triple cc.
some children have skipped eating the praline sheets, specially when I use too bitter chocolate or when don’t grind fine the praline, I take them out and give double to parents. But the easy to bite and spoon chocolate genoise with the light ganache are TOTAL kids. How about you make chocolate sheets with your superb milk chocolate, plain tempered and rolled, it will be a knock out version of Triple cc.
Rose’s Moist Chocolate Genoise is the best way I know of to capture the flavor of your favorite bar chocolate onto cake. It calls to simmer the chocolate in hot water which effectivelly breaks the cacao cell membranes thus releasing the most flavor there can be. Also, the cake has no chemical leavening (bp) which often changes the chocolate flavor.
Ganache is the cleanest and purest way to present chocolate in a frosting. Eggs yolks, sugar, and butter or shortening, all adulter chocolate. Cream is a good compromise and goes so well with milk (cream) chocolate. In fact, dark chocolate technically turns into milk chocolate if you add cream and sugar which is just about what Light Whipped Ganache is.
OK, I am sorry to be so persisting, I won’t get hurt if you don’t read me, I am just known to always do it “my way” which indeed causes me many odd moments in my social life =)
Hector, I love the passion you have around this cake, so never worry about being persistent. You’ve enlightened me…something about having kids turns you into this paranoid crazy person. Actually I think they would love all aspects of the cake I was just concerned about the Frangelico in the soaking syrup. But you have a point…..so tell you what. If I can drag the kids out today and find all the ingredients, I will make the cake. Although I have plenty of grocery and specialty stores around me, including the standard Whole Foods/Trader Joes, etc. it’s nearly impossible to find Dutched Cocoa so I usually buy it online, but currently don’t have any. Plus I have to find a liquor store to get the Frangelico. Anyway, if I don’t find all the ingredients by tomorrow, I will still make the cake before the end of the month. I’m intrigued….for someone to love a cake this much, it MUST be good.
well then….just reviewed the recipe and I realized I don’t need cocoa, just good chocolate. There is HOPE!!! As a side note, if any of you are coupon clippers my Sunday paper ad inserts had two coupons for Lindt chocolate bars - one buy one get one free, and the other 75 cents off one bar. Might want to go dig out your ads….
I’m resurrecting this thread because I have a question about the milk chocolate buttercream. I have never made it as I usually prefer ganache or Bill’s chocolate mousseline for chocolate frosting, but my Dad’s birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and he loves milk chocolate so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m going to pair it with the chocolate fudge cake.
So, my question is: does anyone know how this buttercream holds up in hot weather? Does it ‘set up’ like ganache or is it soft like mousseline? TCB says it lasts for 3 days at room temp, but my room temp is a lot warmer! And butter is very soft at room temp here. Does the cocoa butter in the chocolate help to firm up the butter a little bit more?
Thank you so much for your suggestions Hector! Never thought of subbing milk chocolate for some of the dark in ganache - duh. I think I’ll try both the milk chocolate buttercream, and the 1/2 milk 1/2 dark chocolate ganache on a test cake and see which works better texture wise. Tastewise I’m sure both would be great. After all I can freeze the leftovers and use it another time.
It’s his 85th birthday and my sister and I are hosting a special lunch with about 40-50 guests (relatives mostly), and I want to do a test cake first so that I don’t botch it up on the day!