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2/3 c. almonds
3 10-oz. jars apricot preserves
13 oz. almond paste (about 1 2/3 c.)
1/3 c. half and half, light cream, or milk
1 c. butter
2 T. dark rum
1 t. grated lemon peel
1 t. vanilla
1 c. sifted cake flour
3/4 c. cornstarch
10 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
10 egg whites
dash salt
1/2 c. sugar
Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)

Allow all ingredients to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Grease and flour two 8x8x2-inch pans; set aside. Finely grind
almonds; set aside. Heat preserves; press through sieve, discarding
pulp. Set puree aside.

Prepare batter: Into a small mixer bowl crumble almond paste.
Gradually add cream or milk, beating at low speed with electric
mixer till smooth. Transfer to large mixing bowl. In same small
bowl beat butter till fluffy. Stir in rum, peel, and vanilla. By
hand stir in flour and cornstarch till combined. Stir this into
the almond paste mixture. In same small bowl beat egg yolks and
the 1/2 c. sugar till thick and light-colored (6 to 8 minutes).
Fold into almond paste mixture. Wash beaters. In a large mixing
bowl beat egg whites and a dash of salt to soft peaks. Gradually
add remaining sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating to stiff
peaks. Fold egg whites into almond paste mixture.

Adjust oven rack so that the bottom of the pans will be about 5 to
6 inches from heat. Carefully spread about 1/2 cup of the batter
in a very thin layer over the bottom of the prepared pan. Broil
for 1 to 2 minutes or till deep golden brown and batter is set.
Repeat spreading and broiling with another 1/2 cup batter. Spread
a generous 2 tablespoons of the strained apricot preserves atop
the broiled batter to about 1/2 inch from edge, and sprinkle with
about 1 tablespoon of the ground almonds. Then carefully spread
another 1/2 cup batter evenly over nut layer. Broil as above.

Repeat spreading and broiling with another 1/2 cup batter. Continue
layering and broiling, spreading preserves and sprinkling almonds
after each two layers of batter as above. (Some of the preserves,
about 3/4 cup, should remain for the glaze.) Cool tortes completely
in pans on wire rack. When cooled, loosen and remove sides of pan
[this makes me think that it is supposed to be a springform, but
the directions don't indicate a springform pan]. Lift tortes to
serving platter using wide metal spatulas. Make two cuts in each
square torte to make three ingots from each.

In small saucepan bring remaining glaze to boiling boil gently for
3 to 5 minutes or till reduced by about one-third. Spread Apricot
Glaze over top of tortes, allowing to drizzle down sides. Chill.
Prepare Chocolate Glaze (below). Spread over top, then down and
over sides of chilled tortes. If desired, tortes may be prepared
ahead and chilled; let stand at room temperature about 1 hour before
slicing thinly to serve.

Makes 16 to 20 servings.

Chocolate Glaze

1/3 c. unsalted butter
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
3 T. light corn syrup
3 T. dark rum

In small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt together butter and
chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in corn
syrup and rum till smooth. Cool completely at room temperature
(mixture thickens upon cooling).


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