Monday, 2 July 2012

Happy Canada Day: Birthdays, Baking and Channeling Bregman's Chocolate Fudge Icing

Birthdays were always a big deal in our home.

Mom always made our favourite meal on our birthdays - a tradition that continues in the Bruni household to this day.

Not surprisingly, my own birthdays stick out in my memory a little more than the others' do, and Mom always made sure there were amazing cakes for the occasion.  

Me & my parents on my 25th birthday - Dad goofing around
(you can imagine Sara's comment about my acid wash attire!) 

My all-time favourite cake was Bregman's' chocolate fudge cake, which says a lot given the fact that I am a chronic migraine sufferer - chocolate does me in every time.  Ergo, I rarely indulge...the short-term benefits do not outweigh the long-term suffering...except when it came to Bregman's' double chocolate fudge cake!

My 25th Birthday cakes from Bregman's
1 double chocolate fudge,
the other strawberry shortcake

In an earlier post I told you that we would have Sunday morning brunch at home when we were children.  As we grew older, those brunches moved from our kitchen table to Bregman's. was worth waiting in a line, and perusing their take-out counter, just to get their mammoth Greek salad with a side of fries and gravy.  To this day it is still my favourite meal to order, just ask Carlo....whether we were going for brunch to the Wexford in our "dating era", or taking the kids to Pickle Barrel for dinner in 2012, a large Greek salad with a side of fries and gravy is my "go to" dinner - old habits die hard!  Funny enough, it has passed down to the next generation...Sara ordered the identical meal just last week!

Recently, Carlo and I were reminiscing about days gone by, how much we miss the amazing chocolate fudge cake from Bregman's - they closed their doors in 2007 - and the fact that we've not been able to find anything that approaches comparison, ANYWHERE, since!  

And that's how it happened...I got a bee in my bonnet and went on a mission to seek out the chocolate fudge icing that has eluded me for 15+ years since we moved north and stopped going to Bregman's.

I stumbled upon a recipe and video online at videojug ... the finished product appeared similar to the fudge icing I've been searching for.  By the time I woke up on Saturday morning I could no longer fight the urge to start up my mix master and make some icing.  I whipped up two batches of cupcakes - 1 vanilla for Sara and me, and 1 chocolate for Carlo and Becca.  Then it was time...with all the anticipation of a kid let loose in a toy store, I brought out the ingredients for my fudge icing.  It was at this point that Sara came downstairs and started to help me.  

My vanilla butter cream cupcakes-love the photo, had to add it!

But first...I had to convert all the ingredients from grams to ounces (oy, my math brain was not yet awake and functioning (thank goodness for Google and!).  

Then it was finally time...there was margarine and chocolate squares to melt, then icing sugar, milk, vanilla extract and salt to be added to the mixture, and then lots and lots of whisking.  

The recipe called for 500g (2C) of icing sugar...after 5 minutes of intense mixing it still did not reach the right consistency (heavy sigh).  I kept adding more, and more,  icing sugar (thank goodness for a well-stocked cantina) and after I added at least 5 more cups of icing sugar (remember - I subscribe to the shitarein method of tossing it in until is "feels" right)...HALLELUJAH!  I got it!  It was the perfect consistency!  I cannot tell you how excited I was to have finally found it.  Even Sara, who is not a chocolate fan, admitted it was delish and assumed her rightful position as keeper of the whisk and bowl (read "lick every last morsel")!

I piped 24 cupcakes with unabashed delight, anticipating my beloved's reaction when I placed the cupcake before him after dinner...and then I went about making Bubbie Lou's butter cream icing, and piped another 2 dozen cupcakes.  Then it was time to bake Bubbie Lou's cheesecake, tidy the house and prepare the BBQ and dinner fixings for later.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, it was time to serve dessert.  I brought out the cupcakes, and watched intently as Carlo took that first bite of his cupcake.  He looked up at me…smiled…and nodded…I’d done it!  What a feeling of satisfaction…

PS –the following night we went to Mama Bruni’s for dinner and I took some cupcakes over for dessert.  My father-in-law actually told me I should open a bakery … I decided to forego my butter cream cupcake and try one of the chocolate fudge cupcakes instead (conditions were optimal, no inclement weather that would brew a migraine)…eureka, I really did do it…the icing was moist, sweet and delicious and perfectly formed.  Bregman’s may be gone, but their double fudge chocolate icing lives on…in my kitchen!

Until next time, I wish you a wonderful day filled with family, fun, friends and fantastic food.  B’Tayavon & Buon Appetito!

Naomi’s Chocolate Fudge Icing


  • ¾C butter
  • 7oz semi-sweet chocolate squares  
  • ½ C milk
  • 7½ C icing sugar (minimum)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt

Slowly melt chocolate and margarine together in small saucepan (over low heat, stirring often to ensure it doesn’t burn).  In the meantime, pour milk over a mixture of the sugar and salt in mixing bowl.  Mix on low speed until fully blended, then add vanilla and continue blending.  Turn off mixer, add melted chocolate/margarine combo and blend on low speed until fully mixed, then increase mixing speed and mix for at least 2 minutes.  You may want to add more or less sugar depending on your preferred consistency) until you achieve your desired consistency.  Pipe onto your cake/cupcakes and chill to set.