My next post will bring you news and videos from my L.A. trip! I had a GREAT time and can’t wait to tell you all about it! Well, not as much as I told my email subscribers but those saints sat through two long winded letters so they deserve a reprieve! (Update: This post was written April 2009, click here to visit my post with information on my LA trip)
As I was leaving to go to L.A., I promised my kids that when we got back we’d make a cake together and I’d let them decorate it. Of course, that is what we did first thing yesterday morning and so I am bringing that to you today.
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret today that most of you have already picked up on. If you want a cake or dessert to taste extra special, there is one no fail method of making sure that happens.
No matter how many times you’ve made it, no matter how ordinary the recipe may seem, cakes taste better if you let kids decorate them. ~smiles~ Seriously.
For this frosting, use whatever cake or brownie recipe gets your zizzwheel a goin’ and then the icing is a cinch.
So many people have mentioned me saying “cranks your tractor” that I feel I am overusing it so we’re gonna talk about our zizzwheels today.
Now let me tell you why I love this icing, it has to do with my dropped-on-his-head-as-a-child-husband. You see, his favorite icing (until this one) was store bought canned chocolate icing.
He actually preferred store bought icing to homemade. You see what I have to live with?
I was making his favorite cake one day and didn’t have the store bought on hand so decided to find a recipe to duplicate it. Now this isn’t a groundbreakingly new recipe, its actually on the back of all of the major brands of cocoa powder tins. The ingredients are the same no matter which brand you get but the preparation methods are different - some are a unnecessarily high maintenance.
Do we do high maintenance at Southern Plate? ~cups her hand to her ear so she can hear the crowd shout back “Nooo!!!!” as she grins proudly~ Attaboy! Attagirl!
What does differentiate this recipe from the store bought kind is, of course, flavor. This frosting is absolutely exploding with chocolate. Its smooth, creamy, and causes everyone who tastes it to do a double take because by looking at it, you are expecting it to be store bought canned icing but OH NO, none of that plastic, preservative filled flavor here. This is the real deal my pretties!
You’ll need: Milk, cocoa powder, softened margarine (or butter), Vanilla (or the super cheap imitation stuff that I use with no complaint whatsoever!), and powdered sugar.
Make sure your margarine is softened or this is gonna be a bear!
In a large mixing bowl, place margarine and cocoa powder.
Now if you want this to be even richer and more decadent, you can use dutch process cocoa and you’ll end up with a dark chocolate frosting rather than a milk chocolate one. Either way, you’re pretty much set!
Add a cup of confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, whatever you wanna call it).
Add just a bit of milk. The recipe calls for two tablespoons and I am busted here.
You see, I am lazy. I don’t like to search for a tablespoon when I cook most of the time so I just use the cap of the milk jug and eyeball it. Two tablespoons? I figure about three caps full will do the trick. Feel free to use a tablespoon and be more accurate if you like. I’m setting a bad example but sometimes y’all need a bad example….
Mix all of that up until creamy. This is gonna be really thick. At first it will be lumpy but stick with it and it’ll get all smooth like this, although still very thick.
Add the remainder of your milk
and confectioner’s sugar
Mix that up well.
Add vanilla and mix again, until its all smooth, silky, creamy, and chocolaty.
Dip your finger in to taste it…oh alright dip a spoon in if you must ~rolls eyes~ but your granny just dipped a finger in.
Yeah, its good, isn’t it? Even if you don’t do that..you just HAVE to do this:
Everyone knows beaters don’t come clean unless someone licks them first!
I learned this in college, honest!
Frost your cake with this silky smooth bit of heaven.
I made two small cakes in square pans because I promised the kids I’d let them decorate a cake when I got back from L.A.
I didn’t bother taking them out of the pans to make it easier for the kids to decorate (and hold for pictures).
Of course you can use anything on earth to decorate a cake but today the kids are going to use M&M’s, sprinkles, and Alpha Bit’s cereal.
I put a little of each topping in separate bowls for each child to avoid WWIII breaking out at my house…
Notice they already have chocolate on their clothes.
In the background you’ll see that I had to interrupt their game of bowling to get them to do this..
But Thumbcat kept guard over the pins and waited very patiently. I haven’t introduced you to Thumbcat yet. I had been wanting a kitten pretty badly and so, when my husband’s birthday came up…it seemed like a great present for him! ~grins~
Is his name really Thumbcat? Yes. Why is he named Thumbcat? Well…
Because he has thumbs! On all four paws. Isn’t he precious? Loves to sleep in baskets, too. Now y’all know if you show pictures of one baby and not the other, they’ll get jealous so…
This is my baby, Daz. The two of them are so close, its just precious.
Oh, we were decorating a cake….eep! Sorry. I’ll try to stay on point here….
Every photo involving a four year old that is NOT out of focus is a product of divine intervention. I am convinced of this.
Brady was going for a happy faced M&M man.
Katy was going for..putting as many M&M’s on chocolate icing as I would possibly allow her to in order to eat them later.
GREAT JOB, BRADYBUG!! Looks AWESOME!
And that is my little Miss Priss, with a cake pretty as she is! Love it, Katy!!
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Submitted by Southern Plate reader, Jay. To submit your quote, click here!