Chocolate Frosting: who doesn’t love it?
I have very recently perfected my Natural Chocolate when I developed My Almond Apricot Chocolate Chip Torte, showcasing Chana Shusterman’s new and delicious brand California Gourmet Vegan Chocolate Chips. In addition to being suitable for Passover, it gets us health-minded bakers right up to the Holy Grail: An all-natural chocolate frosting, easy, dairy-free, gluten-free, low maintenance and above all fantastic.
I know you will think I lost it when I share my chocolate frosting secret, something I have been experimenting with for quite some time:
My secret is: Potato Flakes.
All-Natural 100% pure potato flakes. Ingredients: Dehydrated Potatoes. Period. Making dessert with potato flakes, hello? I know what you’re thinking: I’m a crazy old hippie. But here’s the thing: It’s funky, but IT WORKS!
I remembered the wonderful tricks we used during the photo shoots for my cookbooks. My son in law, talented photographer Meir Pliskin, and Hannah Kaminsky, no less talented food stylist and Vegan Cookbook Author. Potato flakes were our best friend: All we needed to do with a recalcitrant food composition was mix equal parts potato flakes and boiling water, and mix thoroughly with a fork until the mixture got smooth, fluffy and creamy. Pretty soon the mixture would get totally stiff, would mix with anything we wanted to fold in (spinach for green, tomato paste for red and so on), and obediently hold its shape, and look perfect at photo shoot time. I could pretend it was a fish or a vegetable or a meat terrine.
Recently I decided to see if my potato flake photo racket would work in scenarios where the mixture would in fact get eaten. I observed it was totally bland and therefore totally unobtrusive, more to the point, it had a totally undetectable flavor, and absorbed any flavor it was paired with, even while it held its shape beautifully. In short, my potato flake mixture became my blank canvass, waiting to be painted on. I tried a dozen combinations with ingredient amounts, and my last try was a triumph: a delicious and glossy chocolate frosting that contains nothing but the best, and won’t drive you crazy at decorating time or at serving time.
This chocolate frosting is just the beginning, I will take my discovery places and try using potato flakes with many other exciting combos (frostings, fillings, with chocolate, fruit, nuts etc…). I am delighted with my results, and so is everyone big and small I gave a taste to (my granddaughter licked her chops).
- 1 cup natural potato flakes (you might have to settle for whatever brand is available on Passover)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup pure cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup California Gourmet Vegan Chocolate Chips (I used the 48% cocoa chips)
Optional flavoring: select one flavoring depending on the dessert you are using it on: 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder, 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons brandy, 3 tablespoons Creme de Cassis
Mix the potato flakes and boiling water in a food processor, scraping the sides and making sure the flakes have been completely absorbed. Mix the cocoa powder, sugar, coconut milk, oil, chips and optional flavoring in a small saucepan on a very low flame, a minute or two, stirring, until just melted (or microwave 1 minute or a drop more until the chips are melted, then stir to combine). Transfer the chocolate mixture to the food processor, and process a full minute. You will get about 2 1/2 cups natural cake frosting. Refrigerate until firm
The natural cake frosting will be stiff enough to decorate a cake through a pastry tip, as in my Flourless Apricot Chocolate Chip Torte
You can also adapt this chocolate frosting as cake icing, like my Chocolate Cake: thin the frosting with a little more coconut milk, and spread it on the cake while it is at room temperature. The icing will firm up on the cake.