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Plantation Cake
Makes 9 servings

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup molasses

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
4 teaspoons (1-1/3 tablespoons) butter

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening until light and
fluffy, about 1 minute. With mixer running, slowly add brown sugar
and salt, then mix another minute. Stir in sifted flour. Beat
until mixture resembles dry crumbs.

In another small bowl, combine 2/3 cup water and the baking soda.
Add molasses and mix well; set aside.

Measure 2 cups of crumb mixture into a greased and floured 9-inch
square pan. Pat evenly to a 1/4-inch thickness. Pour 3/4 cup
soda-molasses mixture over crumb layer. Crumble 1/2 cup crumb
mixture over liquid. Cover evenly with remaining liquid and top
with remaining crumbs.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until a wooden toothpick inserted
in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until
smooth, about 1 minute. Add salt and sugar; continue beating for
1 minute. With mixer running, gradually add cream and continue
beating until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Place 1-1/2
cups water in the top of double boiler and heat over rapidly boiling
water while slowly stirring in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. Cook,
beating constantly with a wire whisk, until thickened, about 12

In another small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons hot cornstarch mixture
into beaten egg yolks. Add egg yolk mixture to the top of the double
boiler, whisking constantly. Cook 3 minutes longer. Remove from
heat. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and butter; blend well.

To serve: Slice warm cake. Top with a dollop of whipped cream cheese
and a generous portion of warm lemon sauce. Serve immediately.


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