Monday, 12 January 2015

Chocolate Brownie Icing

Over the course of my bakery days, I had tried a lot of recipes for chocolate fudge icing, which can double function as glaze. As a child I had a book called "I Can Cook", which was a little paper back book with about 16 pages of easy recipes, one of which was a chocolate fudge icing. It was basically chocolate, butter, sugar and milk, but it required making a simple syrup with the milk and sugar, and it used an inordinate quantity of sugar and milk. It makes a lovely sticky sweet fudgy icing that sets beautifully thick for spreading, but I don't think it really works well as a brownie glaze.

I then watched a great video (in German) about how to make American style chocolate cake, and in it she included a recipe for "Schokocreme", which is basically chocolate fudge icing. It is super, super, too rich, as it uses equal quantities of chocolate and butter. Here in Ireland, the commonest form of butter is salted, meaning the finished icing was quite salty as well. I then put my thinking cap on to see if I could find a middle ground between too much sugar and too much butter.

So, I tried a few variations on a theme, until I settled on this quite effective recipe:

  • 4 parts chocolate (dark, milk, or white)
  • 2 parts icing sugar
  • 2 parts butter (or margarine)
  • 1 part milk (or coffee works too)
To make, simply melt the butter, sugar, and milk together in a microwave safe bowl on 1 minute bursts on "Defrost", or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water; once melted, beat in the sugar. What's that I hear you say? Is that it? Yes. Yes it is.

For a tray of brownies, which is roughly a 10 inch (25 centimetre) square in my case, 4 ounces of chocolate, 2 ounces each of butter and sugar, and 1 fluid ounce of coffee works really well for me to pour on top of the brownies while they're still hot, and then the whole batch cools down together. This means that the frosting fuses nicely to the cake surface, preventing the set icing from peeling off in layers, which can sometime happen when hot icing is poured onto cold cake.

This makes a nice mixture that's both pourable as a glaze when hot (which I use for topping brownies, as pictured), and spreadable as an icing when cold. Also, you can use it as a whipped filling if you beat it when it is fully cold.

While its wet, you can sprinkle things into it and they set into it perfectly. This icing works really well also as a piped icing for fairy cakes, due to its decadent nature.

It has a slightly soft, impressionable texture when set, and is great for decorating tray bakes. This seems to work equally well with dark, milk or white chocolate, whereas other recipes I've tried in the past really don't work with white chocolate, given its high fat content.


  1. I'm dreadfully behind on my blog reading because of vacation. I just read this post and thought I would give it a try. I also thought you might like a look at my "go to" recipe for chocolate fudge frosting. My aunt taught it to me when I was a little girl. I use it all the time. It's easy and tasty.
    1 cup white granulated sugar
    1/4 cup butter
    1/4 cup milk (any kind I have in the house)
    Mix in a sauce pan and cook till sugar is dissolved (if you haven't melted every grain you could end up with grainy frosting, I keep putting a bit in my mouth to feel for grains. Extra bonus, this buttery syrup tastes great!)
    When free from grains add:
    1/3 cup chocolate chips
    Let melt (this part goes quickly)
    Beat frosting well before putting on cake. If it is took thick to spread, add a bit more milk.
    I know you measure your ingredients by weight, sorry, I only know how to do it this way.
    As always I do enjoy your posts, however I do miss hearing your delightful accent. ;-)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I forgot to mention to use only butter, not margarine. Also a correction, I meant to say, If it is TOO thick to spread, add a bit more milk.

    2. That sounds good! I'll give it a go the next time I'm making brownies and let you know how it goes ^_^ Awh! Well I'm hoping actually to do some more videos soon! Watch this space... ;)


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