* 7 eggs, separated
* 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 3/4 cup water
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
* 1 cup chopped hickory nuts or pecans
CREAMY VANILLA FROSTING:
* 4 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 4 to 6 tablespoons milk
* Chopped hickory nuts or pecan halves
* Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla; beat until smooth. In another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into egg yolk mixture. Fold in nuts.
* Gently spoon batter into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest rack at 325° for 60-65 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and cracks feel dry. Immediately invert pan; cool completely. Run a knife around the sides and center tube of pan. Invert cake onto a serving plate.
* For frosting, in a bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Frost top and sides of cake; garnish with nut halves.
Yield: 12-16 servings.
~~ Birds & Blooms | February/March 2001 ~~