Makes: Four layer cake
Nonstick spray for baking
2 boxes Swiss chocolate cake mix
2½ cups wine, Sterling Vineyard Vintner’s Collection Merlot
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons orange extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ cup butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
9 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray four 9-inch round baking pans with nonstick spray for baking. Set aside.
In a very large mixing bowl combine cake mix, wine, oil, eggs, orange extract, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.
Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake for 28 to 31 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool cakes on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Trim layers with a long serrated knife to make flat.
For Almond Buttercream, in a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough milk to make a creamy consistency.
To assemble cake, place a cooled layer on a pedestal. Frost with Almond Buttercream. Top with a second layer and frost. Top with the third layer and frost. Top with the fourth layer and frost top and sides of cake with buttercream.
To decorate, arrange a ring of sugared Champagne grapes (see below) around base and top cake with them as well.
To sugar fruit, in a large bowl beat 4 egg whites using a fork or whisk. Using a clean brush, paint fruit with egg whites. Immediately roll it in superfi ne sugar; gently shake o_x001E_ excess. Dry sugared fruit on waxed paper for at least an hour.