Petra CoxPetra is a specialty baker for Mom's Apple Pie Company, a family-run bakery with four locations in Northern Virginia. By the time she was born, the family business had been operating from their home for three years. Petra and her siblings grew up rolling crusts, peeling apples and baking pies with their parents from early on. In addition to bakery experience, Petra trained with family friend, Is Harris, making a variety of Thai cuisine from scratch, punctuating her culinary appreciation for both sweet and savory flavors and techniques. Subsequent training in oenology and cuisine both in Florence, Italy and Washington, DC led to her current position as wine buyer and recipe research and development at Mom's Apple Pie in Occoquan, Virginia.
I am Petra Cox with Moms Apple Pie Company in Occoquan, Virginia. We are making a Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting for our chocolate cake that we are making. So, we start out with our pound of butter and we have our three ounces of melted, dark chocolate, we also have salt, of which well use a teaspoon, and well probably use at least two teaspoons of vanilla. You can use it to taste. I really like vanilla, so, I would like to use a lot in an icing. I have a big bowl of powdered sugar in here. What I do is I just added about half cup at a time until the consistency is right for spreading on a cake, yet still holding its shape. So I'll show you what that looks like when we've added enough. Alright, this pound of butter has been softened really nicely, but it doesnt hurt to actually beat the butter a little bit, just to make sure that it's all consistent before you add the other ingredients. So, there we have some nice, soft butter that you can see on the mixer. So, I am starting, with just adding a cup of sugar into the bowl, because I know it's of course going to need at least a cup of confectioners sugar. So, I'll start off with a cup and incorporate that sugar into the butter. It's good to start off slowly, so you dont get a puff of sugar in your face. So, that cup has been integrated, we add another half cup in there. So, now we are at a cup and a half. Just so, you get everything integrated, it's good from time to time to knock down the sugar or the butter from the sides of the bowl and put it into the bottom. So, here we are on two cups of sugar. You want to have enough sugar in your icing to make it just sweet enough, not a very overbearingly, cloyingly, sweet icing, because if you are going to eat a whole piece of cake you dont want to have to eat too much sugar. So that is worth two and a half cups now. The texture we have is still pretty thick, but we are going to be adding some of that melted butter which is still pretty warm. So, at this point, since we have a pretty nice, thick icing, I am going to add the salt. We've been using unsalted butter so, I use about a teaspoon or just under a teaspoon of salt, which might seem like a lot, but I think that when you are making something chocolaty, nothing brings out the nice chocolate flavor than salt. Nothing does it better than the salt. So, we are going to add two teaspoons of vanilla there before mixing it up. Just that little bit of vanilla is going to change the consistency of your icing and make sort of a nice, more rich, kind of, French vanilla color. Now, this is probably not much different from the consistency of softened butter and we could probably use about one half cup more, which would bring us to three cups of powdered sugar. To the -- I am going to add a half cup sugar into that, bring it to the consistency, a little thicker than softened butter. So, with one pound of butter and three cups of powdered sugar, two teaspoons of vanilla and a teaspoon of salt, you have a nice rich kind of thick butter cream frosting, that is nice and soft, but it's very nice and easy to spread on to a cake. The tale of real butter cream frosting is that if you put it on something thats a little too hot to ice, the butter starts to melt. So, you want to make sure that this is room temperature or colder. You can chill it in the fridge and you want to make sure that the cake that your icing is going to be completely cool or even a little cold before you ice it.