Ingrients & Directions


FOR CAKE
3/4 Stick unsalted butter;
-softened (6
; tablespoons)
1 c Sugar
1 1/4 c Cake flour; (not
-self-rising)
1 1/2 ts Baking powder
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 c Milk
1 ts Vanilla
3 lg Egg whites

-FOR FILLING-
1/3 c Plus 3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 c Macadamia nuts
3 lg Egg yolks
3/4 c Milk
2 tb Cornstarch
3/4 ts Vanilla
1/4 c Chilled heavy cream

-FOR FROSTING-
1 c Sugar
1/4 c Water
2 lg Egg whites
1/4 ts Salt
1 c Sweetened shredded coconut
-for coating
; cake
Macadamia nuts brushed with
-honey for
; garnish

Make cake:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line bottom of a buttered 9- by 2-inch round cake or
springform pan with a round of wax paper and butter paper. Dust pan with
flour, knocking out excess.

In a bowl with an electric mixer cream butter with 2/3 cup sugar until
light and fluffy. Onto a sheet of wax paper sift together flour, baking
powder, and salt. Stir flour into butter mixture alternately with milk in
batches, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla and blend batter
until just combined well.

In another bowl with clean beaters beat egg whites until they hold soft
peaks. Beat in remaining 1/3 cup sugar gradually and beat meringue until it
holds stiff peaks. Stir one fourth meringue into batter to lighten and fold
in remaining meringue gently but thoroughly.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake in middle of oven 30 to 35
minutes, or until cake begins to pull away from side of pan and a tester
comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Invert cake onto
rack and cool completely. Cake may be made 1 day ahead and kept at room
temperature, tightly wrapped.

Make filling:

In a dry heavy skillet cook 1/3 cup sugar over moderate heat, undisturbed,
until it begins to melt. Cook, stirring with a fork, until melted
completely and a light caramel. Add macadamia nuts and cook, stirring,
until nuts are coated well and caramel is deep golden. Pour praline onto a
sheet of foil and cool completely. Break praline into pieces and in a food
processor grind fine. (Do not puree to a paste.)

In a small saucepan whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, egg
yolks, milk, and cornstarch. Bring pastry cream to a boil over moderate
heat, whisking, and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, 2 minutes.
Whisk in vanilla. Transfer pastry cream to a bowl and chill until cold, its
surface covered with plastic wrap. (Pastry cream will be very stiff.)

In a bowl beat heavy cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk pastry
cream to loosen and whisk in praline. Fold in whipped cream and chill while
making frosting.

Make frosting:

In a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water whisk together frosting
ingredients until mixture is warm and sugar is dissolved. With a portable
electric mixer on high beat frosting 6 to 7 minutes, or until thick and
fluffy. Remove bowl from heat and beat frosting until cooled slightly.

Assemble cake:

With a long serrated knife cut cake horizontally into 3 layers. Spread
filling between layers on a cake plate and spread cake with frosting. Coat
cake with coconut. Cake may be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered
loosely. Garnish cake with macadamia nuts.


Yields
1 servings