This is based on a simple chocolate frosting that appears in the Cake Bible. The ingredients are essentially just chocolate and butter. What’s nice about this approach, aside from its amazing simplicity, is it’s texture which is quite rigid, much like having a chocolate bar draped over a chocolate cake. It’s the perfect thing for little 6-year-old Josephine, who loves chocolate in solid form but is suspicious of creamy frostings. Don’t ask me why, kids are like that.
For all those tempted to turn this frosting into a chocolate epicure’s delight, I’ll warn you now that while you can substitute a proportion of darker, higher quality chocolates for the cheaper milk chocolate chips, the effect will be an even harder, more rigid exterior once it firms. Too much dark chocolate and you won’t be able cut the cake without having half the coating shatter, especially if you lay it on thick. The pedestrian approach, trust me, is the way to go. The formula is:
8 ounces (two sticks) softened butter
24 ounces (two bags) milk chocolate chips
To prepare the frosting, pour the chips into a microwave-safe bowl and melt by zapping the frosting for 10 seconds, stirring, and applying another 10-second zap until the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir it for several minutes, using the residual heat to completely melt the chips. Allow the chocolate to cool until it is barely warm to the touch. Combine both the butter and the melted chocolate in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat together for about a minute or more until the frosting is smooth. Apply to a cake before it starts to firm. The recipe may well make more than you need. Cupcakes anyone?