Make a chocolate party cake
Dramatic dessert: Rich cake with fancy frosting that takes just minutes.
Fluffy frosting and an easy decorative design can turn a simple cake into a simply wonderful dessert, the perfect finale to any festive meal.
Soft frosting is the key to the design’s pretty look. We prefer this boiled-type frosting — it has the just-right, satiny texture needed and can be made without using a thermometer.
Corn syrup adds body, creates the proper consistency. It should be heated to boiling and added to the egg whites just as they reach the soft-peak stage (when foam is white, shiny, moist, and soft rounded peaks form when beater is raised). Pour the hot syrup in a steady stream (1); if poured too quickly it will break down, “deflate” the whites.
As soon as the cake is frosted, begin decorating with the melted chocolate – do not let frosting dry on top and form a crust. Pipe parallel lines of chocolate crosswise on frosting, about 1 inch apart (2). Then quickly draw tip of knife lengthwise across lines, first in one direction, then in the other (3) at evenly spaced intervals — the distance between the lines determines the design of the frosting. Wipe the knife clean after each line is drawn to ensure a neat appearance.
Chocolate party cake recipe
1 18-1/2 to 18-3/4 ounce package devil’s food cake mix with pudding
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1-1/4 cups light corn syrup
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 3 hours before serving or early in day:
1. Prepare cake mix as label directs for 13″ by 9″ baking pan. Cool cake in pan as label directs; remove from pan and cool completely.
2. In small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate. Remove saucepan from heat; let chocolate cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, heat corn syrup to boiling; remove saucepan from heat.
4. In large bowl with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until foamy; add salt and continue beating just until soft peaks form. Slowly pour in hot syrup and continue beating 6 to 8 minutes until frosting is fluffy and forms pointed, stiff peaks when beater is raised. Beat in vanilla.
5. Place cake on cake plate. Spread frosting on top and sides of cake. Spoon melted chocolate into small decorating bag with small writing tube (or, use paper cone with tip cut to make 1/8 inch diameter hole). Pipe chocolate in parallel lines crosswise on frosting on cake. Then, draw tip of knife across lines at evenly spaced intervals, first in one direction, and then in the other to make feather design.
Makes 16 servings