Dear Abby's Coconut Cake With Custard Frosting

CAKE:
10 egg whites (separate the yolks equally in two small dishes)
5 egg yolks
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp cold water
1 cup flour(sifted)
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts cream of tartar
1-1/2 ts vanilla

Preheat oven to 325F.
Beat egg yolks until pale. Combine 3/4 cup sugar and water. Mix into egg yolks. Add flour and mix well. Combine egg whites and salt; beat until foamy. Add cream of tartar, vanilla and remaining sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold yolks into whites. Pour batter into 10-inch ungreased tube pan. Bake at 325F for 60-65 minutes or unti toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and invert to cool. When cool, loosen edges of cake with spatula; remove from pan onto serving plate. Cut cake in half horizontally. Sprinkle each half with 1/4 cup sherry.

TIP: After pouring batter into tube pan, gently run a knife around pan two or three times being careful not to touch bottom or sides. This eliminates large bubbles or holes in cake.

CUSTARD FROSTING:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
5 egg yolks (reserved from cake)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour (sifted)
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1-1/2 ts vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
2 cups grated coconut

Soften gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water. Combine egg yolks and sugar and beat until pale. Add milk, gelatin mixture, flour and vanilla and cook in top of double broiler over gently boiling water for about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture coats metal spoon. Remove top of double boiler from heat and let cool. After pan has cooled completely, refrigerate for several hours. (Custard must be very cold before using)
Remove custard from refrigerator. Using an electric mixer, beat until it is the consistency of heavy whipped cream. In large bowl, whip cream until thick. Fold custard mixture into whipped cream. Spread some of the Custard Frosting over bottom half of cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut. Place top half of cake on bottom half and frost with remaining Custard Frosting. Sprinkle with remaining coconut (top and sides). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

TIP: Cake freezes well. For a touch of drama I place a fresh red or yellow rose in the center. Voila!

Source: Dear Abby's favorite recipes, by Abigail Van Buren - 1987, 1988.