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Twelfth Night Cake

2 cups butter or margarine, softened
16 oz. brown sugar
8 large eggs
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground mace
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 oz slivered almonds
15 oz raisins
10 oz currants
1/2 cup chopped candied citron
1/2 cup chopped candied lemon peel
1 dried bean (optional)
1 dried pea (optional)
12 oz can apricot filling

2/3 cup water
1/4 cup commercial meringue powder
16 oz. powdered sugar, sifted
1-1/4 cup shortening
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy;
gradually add brown sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time,
beating after each addition. Combine 3 cups flour and next 3
ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture. Mix at low speed just
until blended after each addition. Combine remaining 1/4 cup flour,
almonds, and next 4 ingredients; stir into batter. Spoon batter
into 3 greased and wax paper-lined 9-inch round cakepans. If
desired, drop dried bean in batter on one side of a cake layer and
a dried pea on opposite side. Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes or
until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in
pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool
completely on wire racks. Spread apricot filling between cake
layers. Spread white buttercream frosting on top and sides of
cake. Decorate, if desired.

Combine water and meringue powder in a large bowl; beat at high
speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add
4 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating at low speed after
each addition. Add remaining sugar alternately with shortening,
beating after each addition. Stir in salt and flavorings. Yield:
7 cups.

Just before you place the cake in the oven, drop a dried bean in
the batter on one side of the cake layer, and a dried pea on the
other. When serving the cake, cut it into equal slices, giving
pieces from the bean side to your male guests, and from the pea
side to female guests.

Following tradition, the man who finds the bean becomes King of
the Feast with the privilege of choosing games and songs at your
party. The woman with the pea reigns as queen. If you want to
carry it further, have the king host next year's Twelfth Night
festivities, while the queen prepares the next cake.


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