Makes about 4 cups
Credit: Food Network
Originally from August 2013 on my old blog
I’m not much of a frosting person. I can handle little bits at a time, but because it’s usually just so sweet and dense, too big of a bite grosses me out. I hate it when cupcakes are piled with like 3 inches of pure frosting. How do people bite into that without cringing? My has always been a frosting person. Whenever we had leftover frosting in the house, she would have to pour salt and, if that wasn’t enough, dish soap all over it before throwing it out, because if she didn’t, she would go through the garbage later, pull it out, and dig in.
But this, this is different. Not too sweet, not too sticky or dense. It’s light and fluffy and sweet but with some bitter dark chocolate notes to it. This is the kind of frosting I could just take a huge spoonful of and gulp down without batting an eye. I’m not weird at all.
I’m not gonna lie here, I forgot to buy enough butter for this (it is BUTTERcream after all; it uses a lot) so I used margarine instead. Cooking gods, please have mercy. It tasted just as good!
~1 pound bittersweet chocolate (or dark chocolate, like I used)
~12 ounces semisweet chocolate
~¾ cup egg whites (4 to 5 extra-large eggs), at room temperature
~1 ½ cups granulated sugar
~¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
~¾ teaspoon kosher salt
~1 ½ pounds unsalted butter, at room temperature
~3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
~3 teaspoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 ½ teaspoons water
~3 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
Chop the chocolates and place them in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan simmering water. Stir until melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Mix the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Place the bowl of egg whites over the pan of simmering water and heat the egg whites until they are warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Return the bowl to the electric mixer and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes, or until the meringue is cool and holds a stiff peak.
Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and rum, if using, and mix for 1 minute or until the chocolate is completely blended in. If the buttercream seems very soft, allow it to cool, and beat it again.
If you’re going to frost a cake with this, (which I’m assuming you will; you’re hopfully not making 4 cups of buttercream just to eat by the spoonful) and you want to make it the day before, just make the cake ahead, but make the frosting as close to serving time as you can. It will harden over time and all the fluffy lightness will be gone and it will just become a hard layer of… chocolatey butter. How appetizing.