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.
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.