It’s a simple cake to make which starts with softened butter that’s creamed with sugar. Next, four eggs were added one at a time and mixed into the butter. Flour that had been sifted with baking powder was added in three parts with milk being added alternately. The batter was divided among three pans, and the cakes baked for about 25 minutes. To make the icing, sugar was caramelized in a skillet while more sugar, butter, and cream were brought to a boil in a saucepan. The caramelized, or burnt, sugar was then poured into the cream mixture, stirred to combine, and cooked to reach the soft-ball stage. Off the heat, vanilla and salt were added. It was allowed to cool a bit before being whisked in a stand mixer. Placing the bowl of icing into a big bowl of warm water worked perfectly to prevent it from setting too quickly as the cake was assembled. Still, once the icing was spooned onto the cake, it needed to be spread quickly before setting. I had toasted and chopped some pecans in advance and sprinkled them on the two bottom layers after spreading the caramel icing.
This is an old-fashioned, caramel-dream of a cake. It was like one giant, Southern praline wrapped around layers of buttery, vanilla cake. I'm not good at deciding on a flavor of ice cream when presented with several options either. This wasn’t a quick decision, but I think I finally chose well.
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