Creamy Chocolate Frosting


Why This Recipe Works: To create a silky smooth, decadent chocolate frosting, we looked to Swiss meringue buttercream. This style of frosting achieves its ethereal texture by cooking egg whites with sugar before whipping in knobs of softened butter. We swapped Sucanat for the granulated sugar, and were happy to find that cooking the Sucanat with the egg whites eliminated the need to grind the Sucanat. Melted bittersweet chocolate provided perfect chocolate flavor.

Makes 4 cups

The melted chocolate should be cooled to between 85 and 100 degrees before being added to the frosting. If the frosting seems too soft after adding the chocolate, chill it briefly in the refrigerator and then rewhip it until creamy. Our favorite brand of bittersweet chocolate is Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Premium Baking Bar; other brands may contain different amounts of sugar.

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (4⅔ ounces) Sucanat
4 large egg whites
⅛ teaspoon salt
24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 24 pieces and softened

1. Microwave chocolate in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, about 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla and let cool, about 10 minutes.

2. Combine Sucanat, egg whites, and salt in bowl of stand mixer and set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water. Whisking gently but constantly, heat mixture until slightly thickened, foamy, and registers 150 degrees, about 8 minutes.

3. Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment and whip warmed Sucanat mixture on medium speed until slightly cooled and has consistency of shaving cream, about 2 minutes. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. (Frosting may look curdled after half of butter has been added; it will smooth with additional butter.)

4. Once all butter is added, add cooled melted chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until light, fluffy, and well combined, about 2 minutes, scraping down whisk and bowl as needed. (Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. To refresh, microwave until just slightly softened, about 15 seconds, then whip on medium-high speed in stand mixer until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.)

BEFORE 29 grams sugar → AFTER 14 grams sugar (per ¼ cup)

Coconut Sugar: 1 cup (4⅔ ounces)
Frosting will have nutty, slightly bitter flavor.

Granulated Sugar: ⅔ cup (4⅔ ounces)
Frosting will have milder flavor.