Chocolate Italian Buttercream is not as scary as it sounds and tastes like a chocolate cloud in the end. It’s worth breaking out the candy thermometer for!
So around these parts, buttercream reigns supreme. From the best buttercream icing I think you will ever come across, to Swiss, Italian, French, German buttercream, Ermine (flour) icing . We got a whole menu of buttercreams.
So it’s no surprise that a chocolate version would show up at some point. And when a reader asked me, for help in making a chocolate Italian meringue buttercream. I rolled up my sleeves, donned the apron and got to work.
And man am I glad she asked. Because Italian buttercream is by far my favorite. Swirl in some chocolate and it was all I could do not eat it all with a spoon.
How To Make This Chocolate Italian Buttercream
First start with making an Italian buttercream. Italian buttercream is not scary. Just be sure to use a candy thermometer when making the sugar syrup. I can’t stress that enough! I have a digital thermometer, but for me my good old Wilton candy thermometer works like a charm. Some digital thermometers never go up to a high enough temperature, so I stick with my good old non digital clip on the side version. It never fails me.
The second thing when making a meringue buttercream, is to make sure that your meringue mixture has cooled properly before adding your softened butter. My little trick? Feel the bottom of the bowl. Is it still warm? Then don’t add that butter yet friend.
Then the key to making a cloud like chocolate Italian buttercream is to use cooled melted chocolate. I used a bittersweet chocolate, but you could use a semi-sweet if your dark side isn’t as dark as mine. But I love dark chocolate, so I went for it.
It’s super important though to make sure the chocolate is slightly cooled before you fold it into your buttercream, because otherwise it will melt your butter in the buttercream. And probably bring you to tears as well. You’ve been warned.
Now once you’ve got your bowl of chocolate Italian buttercream. It’s time to eat it. I mean frost something with it. Like these easy vanilla cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, one bowl chocolate cupcakes, or how about mix it up with these banana cupcakes?
To Make This Chocolate Italian Buttercream You Will Need:
- Kitchenaid Stand Mixer (you can also use a hand mixer if a stand mixer isn’t in the budget)
- Sturdy whisk (this is my new favorite whisk, it doubles as a bowl scraper!)
- Candy Thermometer
- Measuring cups and spoons
Chocolate Italian Buttercream
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 5 large egg whites
- pinch cream of tartar
- 1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks) softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces bittersweet, or semisweet chocolate melted, slightly cooled
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).
Meanwhile, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry; do not overbeat.
With mixer running, add syrup to whites in a stream, beating on high speed until no longer steaming, about 3 minutes.
Add butter tablespoon by tablespoon, beating until spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes; beat in vanilla. If icing curdles, keep beating until smooth.
Turn the mixer off and fold the chocolate into the buttercream with a spatula. Then mix on low in your mixer until fully incorporated.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a sealed container. Re-whip again until smooth and creamy. You can also store this in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for 2 hours or so, and re-whip until desired consistency again.
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