It’s official – my baby girl is a full fledged teenager now. To celebrate, she wanted a cupcake decorating party, similar to what one of the local cupcake shops hosts, only she wanted it here, because according to her, my frosting is better than any cupcake shop in town. Which makes me so irrationally happy I can’t stand it. She is after all, a teenager now, so I am incredibly annoying, horribly embarrassing at times and other times just beyond ridiculous, but I still make the best frosting in town. I call that a small triumph.
Her request for the party was yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting – not buttercream, because buttercream is just gross, but plain chocolate frosting that was fluffy, easy to apply to the tops of cupcakes and would hold all the requisite toppings the girls wanted à la the cupcake shop. It seemed like a tall order until I remembered the layer cake I like to make for Betty’s birthday every year. It’s a Martha Stewart Devil’s Food Cake and while the icing needs to be babysat for two plus hours, it’s the sort of frosting that makes up for a multitude of sins. It also, as I was delighted to discover upon looking it up, not a buttercream. Perfect.
I grew up with my mom baking yellow layer cakes straight out of the Betty Crocker box (always Betty, never that inferior Duncan Hines), frosted with a tub of Betty’s Dark Dutch Fudge chocolate frosting. I could (and did!) eat that frosting with a spoon. I had found myself here lately craving a piece of that yellow layer cake, but with it being their birthday week, I was subject to making what they wanted, not me. That meant no layer cakes, as Edie is a cupcake girl (those have their advantages, like portion control and leftovers freezing easily) while Pat is a pie guy (you never really can go wrong with pie). So I was sort of delighted with Edie’s cupcake request because I realized it just might be the closest I was going to come to that layer cake I had been craving. And after making four dozen cupcakes (carrot cake and yellow cake) and a peach pie in less than a week, there was NO way I was making a layer cake I’d end up eating all by myself.
Turns out, Martha’s recipe for Mrs. Milman’s Chocolate Frosting is exactly how I remembered that tub of Betty Crocker frosting tasting, so everyone ended up happy. The frosting is actually quite simple – melt a bag of semi-sweet chips in heavy cream. Remove from heat and cool, stirring every 15-20 minutes to ensure the frosting sets correctly. Ryan had come over from Richmond this weekend for a visit, so he gladly took charge of babysitting the frosting. Which is almost like having someone else make it for you, so it was exactly how mom used to make it, just not served in a plastic tub. Next time.