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If changing vanilla frosting to chocolate do I remove vanilla extract?

c
curiousaboutcafos Nov 26, 2013 12:15 AM

Hey I am hoping to get some help please.

I will be making the frosting recipe below, but converting to chocolate instead: (no oj in frosting, i will use water instead)
http://www.food.com/recipe/pumpkin-cranberry-spice-cake-vegan-or-not-404420 scroll down to directions, step 6

I already know I can add 1/4 cup cocoa, I am simply curious if I need to remove the vanilla extract? I will also like to know if I can add in chocolate extract and what amount?
To give you some background info I am making this cupcake recipe below which the frosting will sit on top of : http://www.chow.com/recipes/10794-bas...
There will already be 1tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp chocolate extract in the cupcakes, I am curious how much more chocolate xtract I can add to the frosting and if I need to remove/reduce the vanilla?

Thank you guys very much!

  1. n
    nothingswrong Nov 26, 2013 12:20 AM

    I wouldn't remove the vanilla extract. Many chocolate frosting recipes call for it, and I often add a dash even if they don't. It won't detract from the chocolate flavor, and will only add to it.

    I am not familiar with chocolate extract. I wouldn't think you would need it if you're using good quality cocoa in a decent enough amount.

    4 Replies
    1. re: nothingswrong
      c
      curiousaboutcafos Nov 26, 2013 12:31 AM

      Ok thanks! Would you recommend reducing the vanilla amount at all?

      1. re: curiousaboutcafos
        y
        youareabunny Nov 26, 2013 12:34 AM

        Chocolate and vanilla are two peas in a pod. Peanut butter and jelly. A fat kid and cake. Dentures and glue.

        But if you want to switch it up you could put almond extract, orange zest, instant coffee, cinnamon, etc.

        1. re: youareabunny
          c
          curiousaboutcafos Nov 26, 2013 12:38 AM

          nice..

          thanks.

          1. re: curiousaboutcafos
            n
            nothingswrong Nov 26, 2013 02:55 PM

            No, I wouldn't change the amount of vanilla.

            If you use almond, orange, coffee extract, etc. you may want to reduce slightly, as they are a bit more powerful than vanilla.

    2. t
      tacosandbeer Nov 26, 2013 01:51 AM

      Coffee would make a great sub for the oj instead of water. Keep the vanilla!

      2 Replies
      1. re: tacosandbeer
        hill food Nov 26, 2013 02:08 AM

        my mom's default mocha frosting uses old coffee for the liquid and I believe vanilla. (and she's a baker not a cook)

        vanilla won't change things much, just add a flinge on the flavor a bit.

        my only edit to hers would be to consider the coffee and the quality of the vanilla. but that's the snot in me.

        1. re: hill food
          t
          tacosandbeer Nov 26, 2013 02:26 AM

          That's so funny - my mom always gives me a hard time for making some fresh Texas Pecan coffee for my brownies, when there's "perfectly good coffee in the pot from this morning"!! (Her boyfriend won't even drink her coffee, and he's a long-haul truck driver who will drink almost anything!)

      2. s
        sandylc Nov 26, 2013 03:33 PM

        Leave the vanilla extract but skip the chocolate extract.

        6 Replies
        1. re: sandylc
          Ttrockwood Nov 26, 2013 05:33 PM

          +1
          I've never used "chocolate extract" before..... Sounds bizzare.

          1. re: Ttrockwood
            hotoynoodle Nov 26, 2013 06:17 PM

            never even heard of it...

            1. re: Ttrockwood
              chowser Nov 26, 2013 06:42 PM

              I've never heard of it either but surprisingly Nielsen Massey does it:

              http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

              1. re: chowser
                hotoynoodle Nov 26, 2013 06:50 PM

                peculiar.

                like others above, i usually add coffee or espresso to boost chocolate flavor.

                1. re: chowser
                  k
                  KailuaGirl Nov 28, 2013 11:30 AM

                  Well, I learned something new today. Not sure I'd bother with it. I think I'd prefer to just increase the amount of chocolate/cocoa I was using.

                  By all means keep the vanilla! It's essential to all baked goods if you ask me. Chocolate and orange are a pretty popular combination. They even sell orange shaped chocolates with an orange flavor - it's pretty good stuff (I was given one as a gift and was skeptical but ended up really liking it). I use orange in my Nanaimo bars and everyone loves them...

                2. re: Ttrockwood
                  c
                  curiousaboutcafos Nov 26, 2013 10:20 PM

                  organic chocolate extract from frontier/simply organic

                  http://www.simplyorganic.com/products...

                  i mean just thinking about it if there is vanilla extract added and one has in their possession a chocolate extract it would seem like there shouldn't be a problem adding the chocolate extract.

                  i will need to experiment!
                  thanks!

              2. c
                curiousaboutcafos Nov 26, 2013 10:19 PM

                hey thank you guys very much for all of the help.
                i'm still questioning whether i can use the chocolate extract, it seems like a lot of you haven't had experience with it therefore i am just curious if i really *could* use it . .

                thanks!

                5 Replies
                1. re: curiousaboutcafos
                  s
                  Skippy1414 Nov 26, 2013 11:14 PM

                  I haven't used chocolate extract, but have seen it in recipes. My guess is that using it won't hurt this recipe, but probably won't make a noticeable difference either. And yes, definitely keep the vanilla! It's not there to specifically add a vanilla flavor, but because alcohol helps convey flavor. Good luck--

                  1. re: curiousaboutcafos
                    a
                    Ama658 Nov 27, 2013 09:23 AM

                    I have some chocolate extract, but unfortunately it's not a high quality one. I saw it, it was cheap, I was curious :)
                    That said, I first heard of it through David Lebovitz' blog:

                    http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/11/...

                    1. re: Ama658
                      n
                      nothingswrong Nov 27, 2013 02:19 PM

                      So what does it taste like? I've never seen it and frankly would be worried it might taste funky. Artificial maybe?

                      Good quality cocoa powders are so potent that I've never had anything I baked with them turn out "not chocolatey enough." If anything, I struggle with things being too rich.

                      1. re: nothingswrong
                        Ttrockwood Nov 27, 2013 02:37 PM

                        My thoughts exactly.....i've also never tried it but when there is also "real" chocolate in the recipe i don't see the need for it either

                        1. re: nothingswrong
                          a
                          Ama658 Nov 29, 2013 11:32 AM

                          I searched my pantry and found a bottle of the chocolate stuff. The smell reminded me of cheap diet chocolate topping--the nasty stuff. I tasted it in a glass of water and also straight. Not pleasant, but I probably picked the bottle up on sale for a dollar. I'd be interested in tasting a quality chocolate flavor if I found it...
                          On a more positive note, the coffee flavoring I also rediscovered on the same shelf was ok. Not sure what I'd use it for instead of just strong coffee, but I like to try new/weird things :)

                    2. alkapal Nov 27, 2013 02:34 AM

                      you know, chocolate and orange is a good combination. the italians do a lot of that.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: alkapal
                        k
                        KailuaGirl Nov 28, 2013 11:36 AM

                        I just made a similar comment. Maybe I should have read through first...

                      2. a
                        AlexRast Dec 1, 2013 04:49 PM

                        I'm curious, why are you using either cocoa or chocolate extract rather than actual chocolate? Most good chocolate icings/frostings use chocolate - cocoa powder isn't as finely milled and can lead to detectable grittiness, and chocolate extract hasn't nearly as fine a flavour. Of course pure chocolate has fat (cocoa butter) in it, so you have to adjust your fat amounts downward to compensate (not strictly on a one-for-one basis - try reducing your fats by 2 parts for every 3 parts cocoa butter - which you can determine the amount by reading the nutrition information and looking at the fat percentage on the bar), but whatever the case the results are almost always better - smoother and more stable (the more solid crystalline form of cocoa butter helps to maintain the icing). It goes without saying that you should use a decent chocolate: in the USA, Guittard is an excellent basic variety - or if you want and can get them, Valrhona (not as good as it once was but adequate) or Michel Cluizel (superb in every way). The second 2 are good go-to choices in Europe quite generally.

                        If using chocolate adding vanilla is generally unnecessary and you should remove the amount recommended in the original recipe because chocolates usually come with vanilla added, except for a few new "purist" small companies. However, if you are still proceeding with cocoa or extract, then retain the vanilla; it will give a better balance to the overall flavour.

                        It's marginally possible the original recipe uses orange juice as an acidity regulator. If that's the case, be sure that your chocolate or cocoa isn't Dutch processed (the Dutch processed ones are dark, almost black, while "natural-process" either in cocoa or chocolate are reddish, like terra-cotta, or at least should be. Natural process will have the acidity necessary to avoid the orange.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: AlexRast
                          chowser Dec 1, 2013 05:11 PM

                          The orange juice is there for the taste. Why is an "acidity regulator" important for a frosting? Frostings can be acidic, neutral or basic; it doesn't matter.

                          1. re: chowser
                            a
                            AlexRast Dec 2, 2013 06:35 PM

                            That's why I mentioned "marginally possible" - i.e. this is conjecture on a low-probability scenario. However, I could envision situations where reasonable acidity were necessary for preservative effect or for preventing separation or some other critical reaction affecting texture or taste due to the use of a butter substitute. I've not worked with butter substitutes so I don't know exactly what properties they might have.

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