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Author Notes: This cake is so tender and buttery with distinct vanilla bean flavors. It can be made as several mini loaves, or a large loaf or bundt cake. It's perfect for freezing and dressing up for last minute company. Try it anytime with a cup of java or soothing vanilla lavender tea. —Bohdanna
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/3 cup sugar, superfine preferred
- 3 ounces egg whites, room temperature (about 3 extra large eggs)
- 3 tablespoons half and half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, high quality
- 1 cup flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 7 tablespoons butter, unsalted, room temperature
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted, medium chopped
- 1 cup orange-mango jam
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier orange liqueur-optional
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups vanilla bean ice cream, best quality
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray mini loaf pans (or large loaf pan or large bundt cake pan) with baking spray and set aside.
- Split the vanilla bean diagonally and scrape out the vanilla seeds. Place vanilla seeds with the sugar in a small bowl and mix together with your fingers. Place in food processor and mix until the vanilla seeds are blended with the sugar.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix the egg whites, half and half and the vanilla extract until blended and set aside.
- In an electric mixer bowl fitted with paddle, beat together the flour, the blended vanilla sugar, salt, and baking powder for about 1/2 minute.
- Add in the butter and 1/2 of the egg whites mixuture, and blend. Raise to medium speed and beat for another minute.
- Slowly add in little additions the remaining egg white mixture, scrapping bowl from time to time. Batter may look curdled.
- Pour into the mini pans or larger pan, sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the batter, and bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.
- In a medium pan, heat the orange-mango jam with the water and the optional Grand Marnier until it liquifies and comes to a boil.
- Using a pastry brush spread the jam over the warm cake. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream, or with a cup of relaxing vanilla-lavendar tea, or cup of fresh java.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Vanilla
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