Monday, October 14, 2013

Small disasters

Friday was a day of small disasters, a comedy of errors if you will. First, three minutes after I put it in the oven, I realized that I forgot the cider vinegar in my Everything You Need Cake. I quickly poured the teaspoons of vinegar into the still wet batter, gave it a quick mix and stuck back in the oven, hoping for the best. Then, tasting the frosting I was making for said cake, I realized I forgot to add the sugar. That was when I realized that it was going to be one of those days in the kitchen where I probably should just remove myself from said kitchen. Those days happen. Alas, I had a few more culinary responsibilities. And so it went on. I had a jar of not-pesto pesto on the counter that tipped and went splattering all over the floor, while at the same time knocking over my open water bottle, sending water cascading into my pantry. That was a fun one to clean up and a waste of good herbs to boot. And then, to cap it all off, under the guise of "helping" I managed to break a glass while a guest at a friends house. I had serious thoughts about Australia, but some days are like that, even in Australia- or so I've been led to believe.

The frosting that I almost ruined is a new addition to my repertoire. Usually, when I'm keeping things non-dairy, I don't bother with frosting, I just make a simple glaze. But sometimes, you want something thicker, with more heft and less sweet, especially where chocolate is concerned (and we all agree chocolate frosting is the best kind of frosting). And since I refuse to go anywhere near margarine, frostings such as these are few and far between. Then I discovered vegan  chocolate boiled frosting, and everything changed, utterly changed. This stuff is thick and smooth and ganache-like and, with a few adjustments to the original recipe, utterly intense. I am frosting-less no more.

Chocolate Frosting
Adapted from VegWeb

As mentioned above, I made a bunch of changes to the recipe. The original recipe is really just a combination of sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and water, with a little vanilla thrown it. I felt that it didn't have enough oomph, so I upped the amount of cocoa, replaced the water with coffee and added in some chopped dark chocolate at the end (and a glug of whisky, because I like putting alcohol in things and chocolate and whisky is an under-appreciated combination)

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strong coffee
about 1 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
a glug of whisky (optional)

1. In a small sauce whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt. Add the coffee and place over medium heat, stirring constantly (and I mean constantly. No, really, for the love of everything holy, do not stop stirring! If you do, your cornstarch and cocoa will lump and stick to the bottom of the pot and burn and it will be terrible, horrible.) until it thickens and begin to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the chocolate, oil, vanilla and whisky, if using.  Let cool, frost to your heart's content.

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