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Inspiration Cake

1 cup chopped pecans
2 1/4 cups all purpose or unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, grated

1/2 cup sugar
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
Sprinkle pecans evenly in bottom of greased and floured pans.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl,
combine all remaining cake ingredients except egg whites and
chocolate; beat 1 1/2 minutes at medium speed. Add egg whites; beat
1 1/2 minutes. Carefully spoon 1/4 of batter into each pecan-lined
pan. Sprinkle with grated chocolate. Spoon remaining batter over
grated chocolate; spread carefully.

Bake at 350 F. for 30 to 40 minutes or until cake is golden brown
and top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 10 minutes;
remove from pans. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, unsweetened
chocolate and 1/4 cup water; cook over low heat until melted,
stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat; cool.

In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup shortening and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Gradually beat in 2 cups of the powdered sugar until well blended.
Reserve 1/3 cup white frosting. To remaining frosting, add cooled
chocolate, remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar and enough water for
desired spreading consistency. To assemble cake, place 1 layer,
pecan side up, on serving plate. Spread

with about 1/2 cup chocolate frosting. Top with second layer, pecan
side up. Frost sides and 1/2 inch around top edge of cake with
remaining chocolate frosting. If necessary, thin reserved white
frosting with enough water for desired piping consistency; pipe
around edge of nuts on top of cake. 16 servings


High Altitude Instructions:

Increase flour in cake to 2 1/2 cups; decrease baking powder in
cake to 3 teaspoons. Bake as directed above.

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