I had to buy this lovely recipe book called Chocolate Dreams. The picture on the cover made my mouse waddle, so I just had to buy it. But when I got it home and started browsing through the table of contents I noticed a little inset that said "Difficulty level is indicated by the number of dots", one being the easiest, and three being the hardest - "Requires experience".
Not being easily intimidated (and sometimes a little dense... I mean, shoot, I've got experience), I screamed past the warnings and picked a recipe to try. And had to reject it; too hard. Rejected the next one too. 10 rejected recipes later, after I read of the shavings and curlings and fluffings and foldings and moldings, I realized ... I'm strictly a one-dot gal. The only thing I feel safe with for now is this little no-dot recipe (in the front flap with the "tips and ideas") for a chocolate cream glaze:
Chocolate Cream Glaze
100 g / 3 oz. dark chocolate
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp glaze sugar
100 ml / 3 fl oz. cream
Heat chocolate, cut into small pieces, and water, in low flame. When melted, add sugar and stir until smooth. Fold in cream, and blend thoroughly.
Sounds easy enough, right?
The nice thing about chocolate frosting is how much you can do with it. It's good for cakes and cupcakes, of course, but don't forget yer frosted brownies, cookies and biscuits that need a little extra chocolate ooomph, and a really great stand-by for emergencies, frosted graham crackers. Frosted fruit is good - apples, orange slices and strawberries are best. Granted, frosted fruit is not quite as elegant as hard-dipped or hot fondue, but still, tasty. And easy. If you really feel adventurous, you can even add a layer of chocolate frosting to toast.
Ok, maybe chocolate toast isn't to everybody's taste, but don't knock it till you've tried it.
For a really truly one-dot frosting recipe, I must include my mom's favorite:
Because I'm just that way, I sometimes add a splash of almond extract or orange flavoring.
Here's a variation on the butter recipe, using another of my favorite things: cream cheese. Not quite so easy; it does involve melting chocolate, but I'd still count it as a one-dot recipe. From about.com's Southern Cuisine
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate, melted
dash of salt
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add melted chocolate, salt, sifted confectioners' sugar, half-and-half, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and spreadable.
So, there you go, for all you one-dot cooks like me. Go forth and frost something for Chocolate Friday!