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Walnut-Spice Layer Cake with
Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting



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Walnut-Spice Layer Cake with
Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Renaissance Restaurant, Aspen
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1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark rum

3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup walnuts
5 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Five 3-ounce packages cream cheese,
room temperature
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter,
room temperature
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
25 to 30 walnut halves

For caramel: Stir sugar and water in heavy large saucepan over
medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil with-
out stirring until deep amber color, brushing down sides of pan with
wet pastry brush and swirling pan occasionally, about 9 minutes. Re-
move from heat. Add the cream. Stir until caramel is smooth. Return
to medium heat. Stir until caramel returns to boil and color deepens
slightly, about 1 minute. Pour into small bowl. Refrigerate until cold.
For syrup:
 Stir water and sugar in small saucepan over medium-low
heat until sugar dissolves and syrup becomes to boil. Remove from
heat; add rum.
For cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 9-inch-
diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line bottom with parchment.
Sift flour, cornstarch and pumpkin pie spice into bowl.  Finely grind
the walnuts and 2 tablespoons dry ingredients in processor. Combine
egg and sugar in large bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of gently sim-
mering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk
until mixture resembles softly whipped cream about 4 minutes.
Remove bowl from over water. Using electric mixer, beat mixture
until cool and heavy ribbon forms when beaters are lifted, about 5
minutes. Sift flour mixture over egg mixture in 3 additions; fold in
each addition. Sprinkle walnut mixture and melted butter over and
fold in. (Do not overfold or batter will deflate.) Transfer batter to
prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted in center comes out
clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Cut around cake.
Turn out onto rack; cool completely.

For frosting
:  Using electric mixer beat cream cheese and butter in
large bowl until blended.  Beat in 1 1/3 cups cold caramel sauce in
4 additions.

Assemble cake
:  Cut cake in half. Place bottom half, cut side up, on
plate. Drizzle with 5 tablespoons syrup. Spread 1 1/2 cups frosting
over. Place top half, cut side down, on top. Drizzle with 5 table-
spoons syrup. Spread 1 1/2 cups frosting over top and sides of
cake. Drizzle 3 tablespoons caramel sauce onto top. Using tip of
knife, swirl decoratively. Press chopped nuts onto sides of cake.
Place nut halves around top edge.
(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Chill.)

Featured Archive Recipes:
Sherry Spice Cake
Spice Layer Cake with
Mocha Buttercream

Spiced Pecan Cake with Pecan
Frosting (Paul Prudhomme)

Spicy Layer Cake
Walnut Ginger Cake (Craig Claiborne)

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