With an electric mixer, cream shortening or butter (if using), and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Melt semi-sweet chocolate over hot water in top of double boiler. Cool, and add to sugar mixture.
Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in ground almonds and slivered almonds. Add vanilla.
Pour into a large, greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 300° F for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. remove from oven. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack to finish cooling. Pour White Chocolate Glaze over top, and let drip down sides of cake. Serves 12.
White Chocolate Glaze
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 pound (4 oz.) white chocolate
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
Combine butter, milk, sugar and white chocolate in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat until thick. Pour over cooled cake.
Date: August 3, 2002