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Lady baltimore cake

This is one of the earliest known cakes in America . and originated in Maryland. The filling varies considerably, depending on which source you use–this is one of the most luscious.

ingredients

serves 8
275 g (10 oz) 2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking powder
175 g (6 oz) 12 Tbs Butter
225 g (8 oz) 1 cup Sugar
175 ml (6 floz) 3/4 cup Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla essence (extract)
1/2 tsp Rum essence (extract)
6 Egg whites, stiffly beaten

frosting

2 Egg whites
350 g (12 oz) 1 1/2 cups Sugar
5 Tbs Water
1/4 tsp Cream of tartar
1/2 tsp Vanilla essence (extract)
175 g (6 oz) 1 cup Seedless raisins, chopped
75 g (3 oz) 1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
175 g (6 oz) 1 cup Maraschino cherries
65 g (2 1/2 oz) 1/2 cup Flaked almonds

method

1. Preheat the oven to fairly hot 190°C (Gas Mark 5, 375 °F).

2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.

3. Beat the butter and sugar together until they are creamy. Beat in the milk, a little at a time, beating in about tablespoon of the flour mixture with each addition. Beat in the vanilla and rum essences (extracts) and carefully fold in the remaining flour mixture. Fold in the egg whites.

4. Divide the mixture equally among three well-greased 2ocm/8in sandwich tins. Put the tins into the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centres of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place them, cake side down, on wire racks to cool. Cool completely before turning the cakes out of the tins.

5. Meanwhile, to make the frosting, put the egg whites, sugar, water and cream of tartar into the top of a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly, for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat in the vanilla. Continue beating the frosting until it is thick enough to spread. Divide among three small mixing bowls. To one bowl, add the raisins and walnuts and beat well; chop half the maraschino cherries and add to the second with the almonds. Halve.the remaining cherries and set aside.

6. Place one of the cakes on a serving dish. Spread the raisin and walnut frosting over the cake. Place the second cake on top and spread over the maraschino and almond frosting. Top with the third cake. Spread the plain frosting on top. Decorate with the reserved cherries before serving.

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