The color contrast between the chocolate cake and the snowy white frosting is striking. And the chocolate chips add a whimsical touch!
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Line 3 3" round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly grease. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together until fluffy the shortening, sugar and eggs.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
On a low speed, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, mix in the dry and wet ingredients.
Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on wire racks for 20 to 30 minutes. Invert onto wire racks and cool completely.
Spread the frosting between the layers, on the sides and the top of the cake.
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, mix the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt. Cook until mixture reaches a soft ball stage, 238ºF on a candy thermometer.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a wire whisk, beat the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar and continue beating until the are stiff but not dry. Continue beating, slowly add the sugar mixture, beat until the icing is creamy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla, blend together.