My Chocolate Butter Cream!
I started baking when I was about fourteen years old. My mother was an excellent cook and baked beautiful Viennese/Austrian desserts. She did not mind cooking the meats and fish dishes as well as soups. She never used recipes, she simply cooked and baked with whatever we had in the pantry or refrigerator at the time. All the recipes she remembered from her own mother and the maids who cooked for my grandmother. My mother grew up in a hunting lodge (a beautiful home, in the middle of a Croatian forest). She was educated, in Vienna, where her special treat on Sundays was a walk from the boarding school (Internat) to Sacher’s where the girls had a cup of coffee and a slice of the Sacher Torte. It was 1928 and Vienna was the “center of the world” for her and many others…she was 16 years old.
But, I digress! I learned to cook and bake from my mother after we arrived in Los Angeles, California as refugees/immigrants in the 1950s. It was a difficult beginning in a new world with a language we did not speak. My parents found jobs that were nothing like what they had done and the way they lived in Pre-World War II.
When we arrived in Los Angeles we lived on Alvarado St, across from McArthur Park in a small apartment. Not exactly the best area in Los Angeles at that time. Every Saturday the four of us (my parents, my brother and I) took the bus to the downtown Central Market. I remember that my parents bought vegetables and meat at different stalls, trying to convey their messages in a broken English. But at the meat stall they spoke German with the butcher. The butcher was most kind selling us the meat at a discount. When we arrived home, each of us had carried two paper bags full of food, and after storing them properly, mother and I went to the grocer, a half a block from the apartment. He, too, was German, and extended his generosity with giving us fruit that was overly ripe which he could not sell to his other customers. As he packed up our groceries he always stuck a couple of breads that were a day or two old into our bags as well. It was nice to find friendly people among so many strangers.
Mother always cooked delicious meals, mostly one-pot meals or soups, and on Sundays she baked something sweet for the 3 o’clock afternoon coffee. After a while she also baked bread every week, since we were not used to eating the soft white breads that were in the stores at that time. This is when I helped her and learned about baking. Soon I started baking pastries on my own while mother looked over my shoulder.
At the beginning I baked simple cakes like this Kirschen Kuchen (Cherry Cake). or
crepes that were filled with a custard. As time went on and the jobs became better and my parents together had a better income they were able to buy butter and sugar and, layered cakes with butter creams came on the Sunday’s afternoon coffee table.
That was my beginning in baking and soon I developed a passion for setting the table when we entertained and created floral arrangements for dinner parties.
And today I can tell that I have taught cooking classes during more than twenty years, and have created pastries of all kinds that have been enjoyed by my students, family, friends and customers.
Just recently I made several Chocolate cakes for a friend’s 90th Birthday….and used the following….
Chocolate Butter Cream
This Chocolate Butter Cream is not very easy if you are not somewhat of a baker. At the same time I do not want to discourage anyone. I too had to learn by making mistakes and doing this cream several times until it finally worked. If you read my description carefully you will not have any trouble making this cream. Go slowly and follow each step carefully. The final result will be the best cream you have ever tasted.
16 oz (1 lb) chocolate morsels
3 sticks butter
1 1/3 cups confectioner sugar
3 to 5 Tbsp Cocoa Powder – Dutch Processed
1 Tbsp Vanilla
Melt the chocolate morsels (chocolate chips) – in the microwave oven
place the chocolate morsels on a microwavable plate and microwave for 30 seconds
repeat the 30 seconds intervals and check the softening of the morsels….
between each 30 seconds or…until the chocolate morsels are soft to the touch,
but NOT hot!
Take it out of the microwave oven and let it stand for 2 minutes
then mix the chocolate on the plate with a small spatula till creamy
if the chocolate morsels are not completely melted
return them to the microwave oven for another 15 seconds then mix the chocolate
and let it cool to room temperature
Do not place it into the refrigerator…
the edges of the melted chocolate will harden and you will have to re-melt it again.
Now beat the butter and confectioner sugar very fluffy and until very light in color
add the cocoa powder and the Vanilla– and mix well
add the melted and cooled to room temperature chocolate… and mix till smooth
The melted chocolate has to be room temperature…if it is warmer
it will liquify the butter …..and that cannot happen
After the cooled melted chocolate is incorporated into the butter
place the chocolate cream into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes
before starting to fill and ice the cake
Note: You can enhance the flavor by adding
1 to 2 Tbsp Espresso Coffee, of course cooled to room temperature.
I use good quality Instant Espresso Coffee
When you fill and ice the cake…
I like to use a Vanilla-Cake for all my Chocolate-Cream Cakes,
since the chocolate flavor is more intense than with a chocolate-base-cake.
Moisten each layer with a little sweetened brandy
1/4 cup brandy + 1 Tbsp confectioner sugar
Using a small brush, dip the brush into the brandy and dab it all around the edges of each cake layer
Fill and ice the cake with the finished Chocolate Butter Cream
I like to place the finished cake into the refrigerator for a day or overnight
to have all the flavors meld
The Brandy and Coffee is totally optional!
Maja/Maria Reisz Springer
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