Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cocoa Coffee Icing

This is the icing recipe to go with the brownie recipe from yesterday. They are both chocolate and coffee, and pair perfectly together. This icing just melts in your mouth and is so delicious! However, it can be a bit finicky, but is definitely completely worth it. Use it right away for best results. Don't be tempted to add more butter, as it already contains quite a high proportion of it. You may however, add more coffee to make it easier to spread. If you want a caffeine-free version, you can use milk, but coffee really helps bring out the chocolate flavor. This icing is a bit difficult to get smooth, even with a hot knife, so just don't bother trying to perfect it. It will look fine, and the taste will make up for that anyway. 

Cocoa Coffee Icing
1/2 cup butter or hard margarine, melted
2 heaping Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups icing (confectioners') sugar
3 Tablespoons hot, strong coffee

In a medium bowl, mix the butter and cocoa until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, alternately with the coffee, mixing until smooth. Add a little extra sugar or milk as needed in order to achieve desired spreading consistency. 
To finish the chocolate coffee squares: Prepare a very small batch of dark chocolate icing and white icing. This can simply just be icing sugar, milk, and a little cocoa powder. Once brownie base is completely cooled, frost evenly with cocoa coffee icing. It won't be perfectly smooth, but that's fine. Next drizzle the icing with either the dark or white drizzle, going from one corner to the diagonal corner with swift back and forth motions of the hand. The easiest way to do this is with a plastic sandwich bag, just be sure to cut the hole fairly small. I even find this easier than a piping bag in this case. Repeat with the other drizzle, this time going from one of the other corners to the diagonal, to reverse the direction of the drizzle. 
For my squares, I did a little dark chocolate drizzle, followed by white, followed by another layer of white. This way both layers are clearly visible. This is a quick and easy decorating technique that makes squares and cakes look really nice. Cut the squares before the icing hardens for best results. I got 32 squares, plus the ends, but they could easily be cut smaller, as they are quite rich. I always cut the ends off for presentation purposes, and to have some pieces to taste myself. Store these squares in the fridge.

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