I actually discovered that if you whisk or whip ganache it turns into a fluffy spreadable concoction. I like using this because it's not too sweet, easy to spread and decorate with. The chocolate caramel gives this ganache a buttery deeply delicious flavor. This icing is light, much lighter than a standard American buttercream, closer to the consistency of a swiss meringue buttercream but without the eggs. I like to use both dark and milk chocolate but you can can use all dark or even all milk. If you use all dark it will be less sweet. —sdebrango
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Sdebrango is a cookbook collector, Brooklynite, and long-time Food52-er.
WHAT: Forget the cake -- this is a frosting good enough to eat straight off a spoon.
HOW: Make a caramel, then a ganache, then let the two of them be one.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Under normal circumstances, we're not terribly inclined to mess with a great chocolate ganache. Now? We know that caramel is the only way to make a good thing even better. —The Editors
enough frosting to fill and frost a 9-inch cake
Chocolate Caramel Sauce
salted butter cut into tablepoon-size pieces
dark chocolate (I used bittersweet)
dark chocolate broken into small pieces
milk chocolate broken into small pieces
plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
liquor (I like cointreau or kahlua) or vanilla extract
Put the heavy cream in a glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 45 seconds, add chocolate and microwave another 30 seconds Stir until its smooth, add the vanilla extract and stir to combine, set aside so that it will cool before adding to the caramel.
In large saucepan add the sugar, turn heat to med/high and let sit until it starts to liquefy. Start stirring with a heat proof spatula. The sugar will crystalize but that's alright -- keep stirring until its all liquid. Stop stirring and let it cook until it turns amber in color, then add the butter and stir to combine.
Remove from heat and add the chocolate cream. Stir until its incorporated. Store in a container at room temperature until ready to use. Note: If you make this ahead of time, simply place the bottle or jar in hot water to warm the caramel so it’s pourable.
Heat cream to scalding (not boiling). Pour over the pieces of chocolate that are in a mixing bowl. Let sit 5 minutes then stir until there are no pieces of chocolate and it's smooth and shiny, then add the chocolate caramel sauce and stir to combine.
Place bowl in an ice bath and stir or whisk until it's cool but not cold -- it will stiffen fairly quickly if it gets too cold. Remove from the ice bath and beat with a mixer or whisk until the ganache is fluffy and spreadable. Frost the cake immediately. Best served at room temperature.
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking,
I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando.
I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.