Recipe: chocolate chiffon cake

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 (18.25 ounce) box plain chocolate fudge or
devil’s food cake mix
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Crushed Peppermint Buttercream
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup powdered sugar
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

Place oven rack in center of oven and heat to 325 degrees F. Set aside an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with electric beaters on high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

Place cake mix, water, oil, egg yolks and vanilla in a large mixer bowl, and with same beaters (no need to clean them), blend on low speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes, scraping down bowl.

Turn the egg whites out on top of the batter and fold in with a rubber spatula until batter is light but well combined. Pour batter into the ungreased pan, smoothing top.

Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed. Remove and turn it upside down over the neck of a glass bottle. Cool 1 hour.

Remove pan from bottle and run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a rack. Then invert again onto a serving platter so that it’s right side up

Prepare Peppermint Buttercream: Place butter, peppermint extract and 1 cup powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Blend with electric beaters on low speed 30 seconds.

Add 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar alternately with milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, blending on low speed. Add another tablespoon of milk if frosting seems too stiff.

Increase mixer to medium speed and beat frosting 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Fold in crushed peppermint candy. Spread over the top and sides of the cake with smooth strokes. Let cake rest 10 minutes, then slice and serve. (Cake also looks great without frosting; dust with sifted powdered sugar. )