The Best Chocolate Icing Is Whipped Ganache
If I feel compelled to cut corners during the cake making process, I am more likely to make cake than frosting. Store-bought frosting is easier to spot than boxed cake, and frosting is a bit easier on the project – you just have to whip up the ganache.
Ganache, as you probably know, is a mixture of equal parts cream and chocolate. You pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, it melts, and then you sprinkle the silky mass on anything you think would benefit a rich, smooth chocolate robe. Ganache usually has a different finish than the frosting, but you can turn it into something fluffy and flowy by beating it up a bit. (This is great for me, because most home glazes require oil to be set to warm to room temperature, which I don’t seem to be able to do genetically.)
First, start by making a standard ganache with equal parts cream and chocolate (milk or dark). Earn as much as you want! (Eight ounces each will give you more than enough for one layer of cake.) Grind the chocolate and place it in the bowl of your bench mixer (or mixing bowl if you plan on using a hand mixer). Heat the cream in a saucepan until bubbles begin to form around the edges, then pour over the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Add a pinch of salt, stir again, then place the bowl in the ice bath, stirring occasionally, until cool (about an hour). After cooling, whisk on a medium level until it looks like icing. Use immediately.