The Mount Everest of Spice Cakes
- Allow butter, eggs, and buttermilk to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour two 8 x1-1x2-inch round baking pans; set pans aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, the cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ginger; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1-1/2 cups sugar and vanilla, beating on medium speed until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total). Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Spread batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from pans. Cool thoroughly on racks.
- Meanwhile, prepare the meringue. Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl (do not use aluminum, it will produce a gray-colored meringue) combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and 1/2 teaspoon ginger or 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 5 minutes or just until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed about 5 minutes more or until mixture forms soft, glossy peaks (tips curl) and sugar dissolves.
- To assemble, split each cake layer horizontally in half. Place bottom layer of cake on serving plate. Spread with about 1/2 cup of the apricot preserves. Place second layer on top; spread with another 1/2 cup of the preserves. Top with third layer; spread with the remainder of the preserves. Top with fourth layer. Pile meringue on top of cake creating tall peaks. If desired, lightly brown meringue peaks with a small kitchen torch. Serve at once or cover and chill up to 4 hours. (Chilling cake several hours firms the meringue and makes the cake easier to serve.) Makes 8 to 10 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
To substitute dried egg whites for pasteurized egg whites: Stir together 3 tablespoon dried egg whites and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water until powder is completely dissolved (about 2 minutes). Prepare meringue combining egg whites with cream of tartar and spice. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft peaks form. Reduce sugar to 1/2 cup and gradually add, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed about 5 minutes more or until mixture forms soft, glossy peaks and sugar dissolves.
Nutrition Facts (The Mount Everest of Spice Cakes)
- Per serving:
- 651 kcal ,
- 14 g fat
- (6 g sat. fat ,
- 2 g polyunsaturated fat ,
- 5 g monounsaturated fat ),
- 71 mg chol. ,
- 334 mg sodium ,
- 123 g carb. ,
- 2 g fiber ,
- 86 g sugar ,
- 9 g pro.