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Mocha frosting is a type of icing often used to top cakes and similar desserts, which is flavored to emulate a mocha beverage. Although there are numerous recipes for this type of frosting, it usually includes butter and powdered sugar, much like other types of standard buttercream icing. Coffee is added to provide additional flavoring and is usually included pre-made or as a combination of instant coffee with hot water. Mocha frosting is finished off with chocolate, in much the same way that the drink it is based on is a combination of coffee and chocolate.
The two primary ingredients in mocha frosting are typically butter and powdered sugar, much like other types of buttercream frosting. Butter is often stirred up with a mixer or by hand to bring it to a light and fluffy consistency. This is an important step, as it provides both the “airiness” in texture that is associated with this type of icing and rich flavor. Powdered sugar, also called confectioner’s sugar, is typically added toward the end of making the mocha frosting. It thickens and binds the mixture together, while adding sweetness to the topping that the other ingredients often lack.
There are two major flavors that are added to mocha frosting, beyond the butter and powdered sugar, and coffee is perhaps the most important one. Nearly any type of coffee can be used, though only a small amount is added; stronger coffee is usually preferred. One simple way in which coffee can be added to mocha frosting is through the addition of it in liquid form after it has been brewed in a standard coffee maker. Instant granules can also be used to make this icing, typically by adding them to a small amount of very hot water, and mixing the liquid into the butter and sugar.
The other flavor that is necessary to make mocha frosting is chocolate, since a mocha drink is a combination of coffee and chocolate syrup or drink mix. Cocoa powder is typically used to make this icing, which is often added to the liquid coffee or mixed with the butter. Chocolate chips or bars can also be melted down and added to mocha frosting, though this can alter the consistency of the mixture and may require additional powdered sugar. A bit of vanilla is typically added as well, to provide extra flavor that compliments the other ingredients.
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