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Blog Archive Entry

Perfect Party Cake gone Chocolate

This entry is dedicated to all Daring Bakers for making the challenges and the group itself lots of fun!! Special thanks to Morven for hosting this month’s challenge.

At first I was a bit skeptical about this cake challenge since it was pushing me far away from my culinary comfort zone. The horror stories I grew up around were terrifying enough – threatening all of us about how even granules of sugar in either direction can ruin the precise scientific integrity of a cake. However, when I got around to reading this month’s challenge in further detail I realized that the possibilities for executing the cake were literally endless; so I took on the daring baker attitude and approached the task with an open mind (and a chocolate heart).

mise en place

In order for the cake flavors to go well with the newly introduced chocolate, I made some minor changes in the flavor department by substituting the lemon zest with orange zest and the lemon extract for orange liquor. The chocolate-orange combo is a classic and was fantastic in the cake. Otherwise, I prepared the cake as intended and folded the chocolate additions towards the end.

and the chocolate makeover begins

Once the chocolate batter was complete, I baked the cake for only 8-10 minutes because I used a sheet pan rather than the 9” cake rounds (which I don’t own).
Since this was my first Daring Baker Challenge, I wanted to make these cakes extra special by decorating them with piped chocolate designs. They’re a lot easier to make than they seem and they add a nice touch to the finished product. All it is, is melted chocolate piped onto a chilled sheet tray lined with parchment paper.

pretty chocolate

I was not too happy with the way my buttercream turned out, but that may just be the psychological side effect of knowing that there were 3 sticks of butter in it. Once all the pieces were ready, I assembled everything into individual cakes and covered each with a thin layer of fondant for decoration.

Perfect Party Cake

modified from Dorie Greenspan’s recipe

For the Cake


  • 2½ cups, cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • ½ tsp. orange liquor
  • 2.5 oz. cocoa powder (Scharffen Berger)
  • 3 oz. melted chocolate (Scharffen Berger)
  • ¼ cup hot water

Putting them all together

  1. Butter a 17in x 11in baking sheet and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Beat egg whites and sugar in a medium bowl. Mix together sugar and orange zest in another bowl.
  4. Cream butter and sugar and add orange liquor.
  5. Mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by ½ of the wet ingredients and continue adding in an alternating fashion until everything is incorporated.
  6. Mix together melted chocolate, cocoa powder and boiling water and fold into cake batter.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.

For the Buttercream


  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 12 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Putting them all together

  1. Whisk sugar and egg whites over a double boiler for 3 minutes, until hot to the touch.
  2. Remove from double boiler and continue whisking until slightly cooled, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add butter one stick at a time, beating until smooth before adding the next.
  4. On medium speed slowly add the lemon juice and continue beating until glossy and well incorporated, approximately 6-10 minutes.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and set aside until ready to use.

For Finishing


  • 2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
  • melted chocolate for designs
  • fondant for covering

Putting them all together

  1. Stir raspberry preserves vigorously or warmed gently until spreadable.
  2. Make chocolate designs by piping melted chocolate onto a chilled baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Cover with ready-made rolled fondant.


cakes are meant to be eaten

Posted in desserts, recipe by Antonio Tahhan on March 30th, 2008. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

50 Responses to “Perfect Party Cake gone Chocolate”

jenny Says:

Stunningly beautiful! Did you still use raspberry preserves, or were they orange too? My favorite flavor combination is orange and chocolate.

Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Antonio Tahhan Says:

Thanks Jenny!! I did use raspberry although using orange preserves sounds like a great idea!

meeta Says:

Tony this cake looks incredible. Something you would see in a fine pastry shop. Lovely!

honeyb Says:

Tony you did a beautiful job! Why can’t you be a student at my university! LOL. oh, because my school is an engineering school :-p
I would love to have your decorating skills and creativeness!

ann Says:

Really lovely interpretation of the recipe! Cheers!

namratha Says:

That is one fabulous looking cake, loved the ‘crowning glory’ 😀 Congratulations on your first challenge 🙂

jennifer Says:

Wow! What a beautiful first challege! Welcome to the DBers!

sweetdesigns Says:

OMg!! those are amazing. Congrats on utter success to your first challenge…simply breath taking!!

sara Says:

YUM, that looks so amazing! Love your decorating skills…the chocolate cake with the jam and white icing is beautiful!

the irreverent cook Says:

Hi! I’m a new comer too! Haha, oh dear, yours look so much better than mine =)

teresa Says:

Wow¡¡¡¡ This Cake looks beautiful¡¡¡
Well Done¡¡¡¡

glamah16 Says:

This is really awesome. Very beautiful. I’min awe.

lesley Says:

Very nice job! I love the final result, the chocolate designs on top are wonderful!

recipegirl Says:

So beautiful! And I love your chocolate toppers 🙂

sarah Says:

beautiful! You are very talented. Also, love the name of your blog!

saralynn Says:

Oh my goodness! This is fabulous!
I love it!

tartelette Says:

Perfect indeed! welcome to the Daring Bakers! Fa-bu-lous!

chou Says:

Lovely, I like the chocolate orange combo.

phemom Says:

Tony! I love your cakes. They are absolutely great… and I love the pictures (especially, the “cakes are meant to be eaten one”. Nice going!

rosa's yummy yums Says:

A stunning cake! Your decoration is amazing and the combination of flavors is mouthwatering! Very well done!



kate Says:

Really beautiful! And I’m sure really delicious as well!

baking soda Says:

Welcome! These minis are stunning, the chocolate decoration tops the beauty of it! Great job

morven Says:

Those little cuties look like they’ve come from a bakery. Chocolate and orange – YUM. I’m glad yuo enjoyed your first challenge.

megan Says:

Stunning little cakes!

sheltie girl Says:

Simply lovely. Great pictures too!

Welcome to the DBers!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

amy j. Says:

Superb job! I’ll have to try the chocolate decorations sometime.

deborah Says:

You did such a beautiful job! I have never tried chocolate decorations like that, but I’m going to be sure to now!

michelle Says:

Wow your cake is really amazing and looks super yummy! Great Job!

rocco e i suoi fornelli Says:

Ciao Antonio,
molto bello il tuo sito e le foto sono proprio belle.
Ciao Rocco da Roma

rocco e i suoi fornelli Says:

Antonio mi piace così tanto il tuo sito che ti ho inserito nella mia lista dei link preferiti

my food affair Says:

Wow! your cakes are beautiful! i also tried to make a chocolate cake, but mine didn’t come out very well. congrats on your success and welcome to db!!

proud italian cook Says:

Georgeous, absolutely georgeous!!!

katie b. Says:

Great first challenge! What a beautiful cake!!!

canadian baker Says:

Fantastic!! Your cake is beautiful and your pictures are very professional and add a lot of pizazz to your post. Great job!

candace Says:

Beautiful job! You clearly spent some time on this challenge!

the airy fairy Says:

this is absolutely beautiful. such fantastic presentation and stunning photos. well done!

katie Says:

Wow, what amazing pictures you take! Your cakes looks very gourmet.

beth g. Says:

WOW- that looks incredible!!! Fabulous job 🙂

the baker & the curry maker Says:

Oh my lordy, that just look divine! Well done, I’m in awe!

the irreverent cook Says:

Hi! Thanks for your comment! The silicon pan is quite nice, no need for any greasing, completely non-stick, but I find that it isn’t really that different from normal pans =) [except for the non-stick part of course =P] the floppiness of it takes some getting use to, and if you don’t have a dishwasher, like me, it needs to be washed with hot water to be rid of its grease. So…all in all, if price is an issue, I wouldn’t recommend it, since it cost a hell of a lot more than a normal pan, with just a little advantage. But otherwise, it is rather novel to play with =P Says:

How good does this look?! I have yet to complete & post mine – disgraceful. I have been moving house and everything’s packed away 🙁


eatme_delicious Says:

Wow wow! Beautiful presentation. And looks so yummy inside. I’m going to have to remember this chocolate orange variation of the recipe!

tracy Says:

I love those chocolate decorations on top. Very nice!!! The individual cakes are so cute. Great job on your first challenge!

sweet and savory eats Says:

Tony, great job on making the recipe your own. Your photos really add to the creativity. Welcome to the group.

medena Says:

Wow! Beautiful, inspiring, delicious!!!

taste memory Says:

that looks like a beaute + tasty too….chocolate combined w. raspberries + orange?!~I love it already!

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