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Rum Nut Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting




"I feel the end approaching.
Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur."
- Pierette, great-aunt of Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Rum Nut Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting
Gourmet October 1992

6 large eggs, separated
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups homemade fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup golden or amber rum
1 1/2 cups well-chilled heavy cream
Shaved chocolate for sprinkling the cake
Fresh raspberries for garnish

Butter generously two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with
rounds of wax paper, and butter the paper.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg yolks with 2 cups of
the sugar, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and the salt until the mixture is very thick and pale and falls in a ribbon when the beaters are lifted, add the
bread crumbs and the walnuts, and combine the mixture well.
In another large bowl with cleaned beaters beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they just hold stiff peaks and stir half of them into the yolk mixture to lighten it.  Fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly and divide the batter between the prepared pans.  Bake the layers in the middle of a preheated 350-degree F. oven for 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and let them cool completely in the pans on racks.  Run a knife round the edges of each layer, brush each layer with half the rum, and let the layers stand in the pans for 10 minutes.  Invert one of the layers onto a platter and the other layer onto a plate.  Remove the wax paper carefully (the paper will stick to the layers).
In a chilled bowl beat the cream with the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla until it just holds stiff peaks and spread one third of the frosting on the top of the layer on the platter.  Top the frosting with the second layer and spread the top and side of the cake with the remaining frosting.  Sprinkle the chocolate around the edge of the cake and chill the cake, covered loosely, for at least 12 hours or overnight.  Garnish the cake with the raspberries.

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