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Plantation Cake

1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted but- ter, at room temperature
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks packed in juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup grated or shredded fresh coconut or packaged sweetened coconut
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

Position racks so that the cake will bake in the middle of an oven
and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13-by-9-inch pan.
Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the nuts, brown sugar and butter. Using your
fingertips, blend well. Set aside.

Drain the pineapple chunks through a strainer set over a bowl;
reserve the juice. Cut each chunk into 4 equal pieces, add to the
juice, and set aside.

Place flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt together in
a strainer or sifter, and sift into a bowl. Repeat the process two
more times. (We sifted once.) Whisk to mix well. Add pineapple and
juice, eggs and vanilla, and stir until well blended.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber
spatula. Sprinkle nut mixture evenly over the top. Bake until cake
springs back when lightly touched in the center with your fingertip
and a wooden skewer inserted into center of the cake comes out
clean, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, place the coconut over medium heat and
toast, shaking the pan or stirring frequently, until lightly browned;
do not allow to burn. Pour into a plate to cool.

Just before cake is done, in small saucepan or microwave-safe
pitcher, heat condensed milk over medium heat or at full power
until warm and pourable.

When the cake is done, remove pan to wire rack. Drizzle condensed
milk over warm cake, sprinkle with the coconut, and set aside to
cool completely.

Cut into squares, and serve directly from the pan.

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