This is an addictingly aromatic cake with a slightly crunchy meringue-like topping. Makes 8 servings
shortening and flour, for pan
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup white vegetable shortening
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk (reserve the white for the icing, below) 1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg white
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1. Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and shortening together with a wooden spoon. Gradually beat in the brown sugar. In a small bowl, beat the whole egg and the egg yolk until blended; then beat into the brown-sugar mixture. Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Add one-third of the dry ingredients and 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk to the sugar-egg mixture. Mix until blended. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk and mix until blended. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Pour the batter into the springform pan. Tap the pan to level the batter. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, 35 to 40 minutes.
Make the icing:
Beat the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Crumble the brown sugar and gradually add it to the egg white while beating constantly. Spread on top of the hot cake, sprinkle the top with the nuts and bake until the frosting is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.