When I was touring in North Carolina last spring with Molly Weston, Hallie Ephron, and Jennifer McMahon, we made a stop at the fabulous McIntyre's books in Fearrington Village. One of my purchases was a book called Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott.
I've been studying these amazing recipes for the last eight months, and finally got the nerve to try this one, a dense yellow cake with caramel frosting. I am crazy for caramel, but this was my first attempt at preparing it at home. I take no credit for developing the recipe, just credit for having the good sense to try it!
3/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
2 cups sifted flour
2 and 3/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups of sugar
1 tsp vanilla
For the icing:
one pound light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
7 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt the butter with the milk and cool to room temperature. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together in another until they are a beautiful thick yellow color.
Stir the dry mixture into the egg/sugar mixture until the flour just disappears. Then mix in the cooled butter/milk, along with the vanilla.
Divide the batter between two buttered and floured cake pans. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes.
Tops will be a light brown and the cake edges will be pulling away from the pan, and will spring back to shape when touched. Once the layers are cool, remove them from the pans and have them ready for the great icing adventure.
|John testing the icing!|
Wasting no time, spread some frosting over one of the layers. Add the second layer on top, quickly frost the top and then the sides. If you tarry, the icing will harden and be difficult to spread. As you can see from my photo, I waited a bit too long to make beautiful caramel swoops on the top. But it was soooo good and soooo rich--hope you enjoy it as much as we did! It's perfect for a celebration--like the launch of a book--or a birthday!
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out on February 4, but you can pre-order it now.
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And don't forget to enter the Goodreads giveaway for Murder with Ganache.