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CHOCO-MATE : A totally edible chocolate chess set may have one drawback--it probably will be usable for just one game. But what a game!

December 04, 1986

This may not be a regulation chessboard or an authentic game, but the idea should still come across--an ultimate board to hold chocolate chess pieces made by St. Moritz Luxury Chocolates. The cake constructed for photography was 12 inches square; the semisweet and white chocolate squares two by two inches.

Purists may want to cut 1 1/2-inch squares and set a standard 64 squares on the board. The 12-inch cake pans are available at cake baking supply stores, but the cake also may be scaled down to two (eight-inch) square pans. The recipe for Chocolate Malted Milk Cake is an oldie, with the vinegar soda solution added as the last step. It produces a cake that appears to be marbled.

CHESSBOARD CAKE

18 (2x2-inch) Semisweet Chocolate Squares

18 (2x2-inch) White Chocolate Squares

12-Inch Chocolate Malted Milk Cake

1 set semisweet and milk chocolate chess pieces

Alternately place Semisweet and White Chocolate Squares over top of 12-Inch Chocolate Malted Milk Cake in chessboard fashion. Place chessmen on squares as desired. Makes 36 servings.

Note: Chocolate chess pieces are available through St. Moritz Luxury Chocolates, 350 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, at $36 per set.

Semisweet Chocolate Squares

6 ounces semisweet chocolate

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Coarsely chop chocolate. Combine with corn syrup and butter in top of double boiler. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring to combine.

Remove from heat and spoon onto sheet of wax paper. Top with second sheet of wax paper. Using rolling pin, roll chocolate to 1/8-inch thickness. Chill until firm.

Cut dough through wax paper into 2x2 or desired size squares. Remove wax paper. Makes about 8 (2x2-inch) squares.

Note: Recipe should not be doubled or tripled. Repeat to yield desired number of squares.

White Chocolate Squares

6 ounces white chocolate

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Coarsely chop chocolate. Combine with corn syrup in top of double boiler. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring to combine.

Remove from heat and spoon onto sheet of wax paper. Top with second sheet of wax paper. Using rolling pin, roll chocolate to 1/8-inch thickness. Chill until firm.

Cut dough through wax paper into 2x2 or desired size squares. Remove wax paper. Makes about 8 (2x2-inch) squares.

Note: Recipe should not be doubled or tripled. Repeat to yield desired number of squares.

12-INCH CHOCOLATE MALTED MILK CAKE

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine

3 3/4 cups sugar

6 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

6 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice

3 cups milk

1 tablespoon baking soda

3 tablespoons malt vinegar

Cocoa powder

Chocolate Frosting

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate and set aside to cool. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla.

Combine flour and salt. Combine vinegar and milk. Blend flour into creamed mixture alternately with sour milk, mixing well. Add chocolate, blending thoroughly.

Dissolve baking soda and malt vinegar in bowl large enough to accommodate foaming of mixture. Add to batter, mixing well. Divide batter equally between 2 (12-inch) square cake pans, greased and dusted with cocoa powder.

Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes or until wood pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire racks.

Place 1 layer, top side down, on serving platter. Spoon about 1 cup Chocolate Frosting onto layer and spread evenly to edge. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Place other layer, top side up, on frosted layer. Frost sides of cake, then top, covering completely. Makes 36 servings.

Chocolate Frosting

(For 12-inch Cake)

12 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine

12 cups powdered sugar

3/4 to 1 cup milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

Melt chocolate and set aside to cool.

Combine 3/4 cup butter and 6 cups powdered sugar in food processor container fitted with plastic blade. While processing, add 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 6 ounces chocolate through feeder tube. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Place frosting in bowl. Repeat process with remaining ingredients, then add to bowl and blend well. Makes 7 cups.

8-INCH CHOCOLATE MALTED MILK CAKE

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon malt vinegar

Cocoa powder

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate and set aside to cool. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla.

Combine flour and salt. Combine vinegar and milk. Blend flour into creamed mixture alternately with sour milk, mixing well. Add chocolate, blending thoroughly.

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