Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Keeping chocolate cool crucial for deep and delicious icing

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Last week, Linda Buckmaster wrote in looking for a recipe that would replicate the icing on a McCain's Deep 'n Delicious cake. She wanted something soft and light and not too sweet. That cuts out the standard buttercream, which needs icing sugar -- lots of icing sugar -- to thicken it. Patricia Frantz wrote in with a version that uses an egg for thickener. I also found an Internet favourite called "magic frosting" that a few Canadian commentators compared to McCain's icing. It starts with a cooked milk-and-flour mix.

This week, Lynda Quinn is asking about a couple of recipes from Eaton's, a perennial Recipe Swap obsession. She's interested in the "amazing lemon pound cake" from the third-floor bakeshop and the "incredible custard sauce" that was served over rice pudding at the Char Bar Restaurant. And Lori Hartle is looking for a borscht recipe similar to the version served at Penner Foods on Henderson Highway in the late 1990s before it became an IGA. She's hoping someone who worked there might have the recipe, as it was made on-site.

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to, fax it to 204-697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.


Chocolate Frosting

2 squares (2 oz or 56 g) semi-sweet chocolate

15 ml (1 tbsp) butter

1 egg

60 ml (1/4 cup) whole milk

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

250 ml (1 cup) icing sugar


In double boiler over simmering water, melt butter and chocolate, then cool. (This is important.) In medium bowl, mix together egg, milk, vanilla and icing sugar. Add cooled chocolate mixture and then place in a bowl of ice water and beat with an electric mixer until the right consistency for spreading.


Tester's notes: I loved this frosting's delicate milk chocolate taste and soft, melting texture -- there's no sugar crust. My batch didn't get very thick, though, remaining more of a thick glaze. (It could be that I didn't cool the chocolate enough -- even after being warned!)

This recipe does use raw egg, as do many classic recipes that come from a time when everyone's eggs were farm-fresh. Health Canada currently advises against consuming raw eggs. If you have concerns, you can use a pasteurized liquid egg, or if you go ahead with the raw egg, you can take some common-sense steps: Don't serve it to the very young, the very old or anyone with a compromised immune system; use fresh, uncracked eggs; and store the frosting in the fridge if it's not eaten that day.


Magic Frosting

175 ml (3/4 cup) granulated sugar

30 ml (2 tbsp) all-purpose flour

20 ml (4 tsp) cornstarch

30 ml (2 tbsp) cocoa

pinch salt

175 ml (3/4 cup) whole milk

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

175 ml (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut in into 12 pieces and softened to room temperature

2 squares (2 oz or 56 g) semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled


In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, cocoa and salt. Slowly whisk in milk until mixture is very smooth. Place in heavy medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and becomes quite thick, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a clean large bowl and cool to room temperature. (Make sure the mixture no longer feels even slightly warm.) Add vanilla and beat with an electric mixer at low speed for about 30 seconds, then start adding butter, one piece at a time, beating until each piece is incorporated before adding another. Beat at medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is very light and fluffy. Add melted and cooled chocolate and beat for 1 minute more. Let sit about 1 hour to set slightly.


Tester's notes: This frosting remains very soft and its mild chocolate taste is not too sweet. One possible drawback: I'm pretty pro-butter and even I have to say this uses a loony amount of the stuff.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 9, 2013 C5

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