From Linda Cicero’s Cook’s Corner Column
Boiled Chocolate Icing
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
Milk or cream if needed
Measure the butter, sugar and milk into a large heavy saucepan. Over low heat, stirring, cook until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook without stirring for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. Stir in the vanilla and chocolate until it is melted and mixture is smooth. Scrape any sugar crystals that may have formed on sides of the pan.
Return pan to stove and cook over medium heat, without stirring, until mixture reaches 238 degrees, the soft ball stage (meaning, when a bit is dropped into cold water, it will form a soft ball. This is not a fast process — depending upon the heat and the pan it can take 20 minutes.
While the frosting is cooking, fill a basin or bowl big enough to hold the pan with ice and water. As soon as it is at 238 degrees, place the pan in the water bath (do not stir the mixture) and let it cool to lukewarm (120 degrees).
Beat the frosting for 4 to 6 minutes, until it reaches a pourable consistency. If it is too thick to pour, beat in milk or cream a tablespoon at a time until the proper thickness is reached. Work quickly and pour a third of the icing over the center of the first cake layer, spreading with a flexible spatula. Top with second layer and pour remaining icing over the top, again using the spatula to help spread evenly over the top so it runs down the sides of the cake. Let cake stand until frosting sets and is no longer shiny. Makes enough frosting for a 2-layer cake, 12 servings.
Per serving (icing only): 320 calories (33 percent from fat), 12 g fat (7.8 g saturated, 3.4 g monounsaturated), 23 mg cholesterol, 2 g protein, 54 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 16 mg sodium.