TO CELEBRATE MY PARTNER’S RECENT BIRTHDAY, I threw him a pool-side dinner party. The evening concluded with an ordinary cake that I dressed in a rather extraordinary Cream Cheese Frosting. Folks, I’m talking about a frosting that’s so rich and delicious it should be illegal. You can make this bit of decadence in less than two minutes:
You will also need 8 ounces of cream cheese. This too must be softened to room temperature. Normally I’d make my own cream cheese, which is yummy indeed. But with the party only a few hours away, there simply wasn’t time. You see, I also had to make this amazing hummus. And these zucchini fritters. The fritters were a colossal hit with the birthday-boy.
As you can see in the photo above, the store-bought cream cheese was a reduced-fat type.
Obviously I’m watching my weight.
I love my standing mixer. In fact, I didn’t feel like a real cook until I bit the bullet and purchased one. And that was some bullet too — standing mixers ain’t cheap. But if you do a lot of baking — and I certainly do — such a gadget is indispensable.
Next, turn the machine off, and pour in two teaspoons of Cointreau. Cointreau gives the frosting a clean taste of orange. If you don’t have this liqueur in your
purse pantry, substitute pure vanilla extract. Blend for about 5 seconds.
Finally, and in half-cup increments, add confectioner’s sugar. If your intention is to spread, not pipe, the frosting onto the cake, you’ll need 3 1/2 cups of sugar. For piping, which requires a fairly stiff mixture, plan 4 1/2 – 5 cups sugar. I used the greater amount, because I wanted to pipe-out little “peaks” of frosting on the cake.
Note: Be sure to turn the machine off before each addition of sugar. Otherwise, an avalanche of white powder will land on your mixer, your counter-top, and your new black shirt, which, in hind-sight, you probably should not have worn on frosting-making day.
How delicious is this frosting? Well, let’s just say that I licked the paddle-attachment clean. And then, after frosting the cake, I stuck my head into the bowl and licked it clean, too. The bowl-cleaning trick is a little habit I picked up from watching Lily the Beagle.
Need a copy-and-paste version of the above recipe? Here goes:
Decadent Cream Cheese Frosting
Kevin Lee Jacobs, A Garden for the House
Ingredients for frosting two 8-inch diameter cakes, plus extra for licking
1/2 cup (1 stick, or 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
8 oz block (226 grams) cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons (10 mL) Cointreau OR pure vanilla extract
Confectioner’s Sugar – 3 1/2 – 5 cups (437.5 – 625 grams), depending on desired consistency
In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese. Turn the machine off, add Cointreau or vanilla extract, and blend until incorporated. With the machine off, add, in 1/2 cup intervals, enough confectioner’s sugar to achieve the consistency you want. For spreading, plan 3 1/2 cups sugar; for piping, go with the larger amount, which is up to 5 cups sugar.
Promise me you’ll try this cream cheese frosting. It is truly decadent, and again, you can turn it out in about 2 minutes.
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