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Recipe finder: Hotel known for layer cake

Pam Kelleman of Phoenix was looking for a recipe for a layer cake that was served at the now-closed Pimlico Hotel restaurant in Baltimore. She was hoping a reader would have the “original” recipe for the cake. Unfortunately, I did not receive any responses, but I happened to notice that Atwater’s bakery at Belvedere Square in Baltimore makes a version of this hometown favorite. This recipe is courtesy of Atwater’s.

Pimlico Cake

Serves 12

Chiffon Cake:

2 1/2 cups cake flour (or all-purpose flour)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup water (hot)

4 ounces butter (melted in the water)

1 teaspoon vanilla

10 egg whites

1 1/2 cups sugar

Bavarian Cream:

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

6 egg yolks

2 cups half-and-half

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks

Chocolate Glaze:

16 ounces heavy cream

2 1/2 cups dark bittersweet chocolate chips (or one 1-pound bar)

Chopped walnuts for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans.

For the cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another bowl, whisk egg yolks, water, butter and vanilla together; set aside.

Whip the egg whites at high speed until they form soft peaks. Add sugar to the beaten egg whites and mix just long enough to blend in sugar (about 20 seconds).

Mix all 3 bowls of ingredients together gently but swiftly with a rubber spatula. You should be folding the batter over onto itself with each stroke, rather than stirring back and forth. Try not to over-mix. When all ingredients are blended, pour one-half into each pan and bake for about 25 minutes, testing the center with a pick for doneness. Cool on wire racks. Cut each of the cakes in half, yielding 4 layers.

For the Bavarian cream: Sift the sugar and cornstarch over the egg yolks and whisk to combine. In a heavy saucepan, heat the half-and-half until hot. Pour it over the yolk mixture, whisking while you’re pouring. Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat. You are going to cook this into custard, so the important thing is to keep whisking and watching.

When the mix noticeably thickens and bubbles more slowly, it is done. Pour the custard into a bowl to cool. Pour vanilla over the custard, cover with a lid and refrigerate until completely cool. Fold the whipped cream into the custard. It is now ready for filling the cake.

Use approximately 1/3 of the custard between each of the bottom 3 layers, leaving the top layer plain. Reserve a small amount of the custard for the outside of the cake. Smooth any custard that has dripped and then spread a thin layer of custard on the outside of the cake. Refrigerate the cake overnight if possible.

For the chocolate glaze: In a heavy saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil. Pour it over the chocolate and gently stir to melt the chocolate completely. Allow the glaze to cool and pour it evenly over the cake. Garnish the sides with chopped walnuts, if desired. Serves 12.

Per slice: 816 calories, 13 grams protein, 54 grams fat, 30 grams saturated fat, 84 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 285 milligrams cholesterol, 208 milligrams sodium

If you are looking for a hard-to-find recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or e-mail recipefinder(at)baltsun.com.

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