Caramel glaze spills down a brown sugar pound cake.

TOP OF THE HEAP: Caramel glaze spills down a brown sugar pound cake. (Bob Chamberlin, Los Angeles Times)

 

Total time: 45 minutes, plus baking and cooling time for the cake

Servings: 10 to 12

Note: Adapted from "Southern Cakes."

Cake

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened, plus additional for greasing the pan

1 (1-pound) box dark brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

5 eggs

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork; set aside. Into a small bowl, pour the milk and add the vanilla; set aside.

3. With a mixer, beat the butter at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar in three batches, then add all of the white sugar, beating after each addition. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.

4. Reduce the speed to low and add half of the flour mixture and then half the milk, beating until the flour or milk has disappeared into the batter. Add the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk in the same way. Quickly scrape the batter into the tube pan and bake until the cake is nicely browned at the edges, springs back when lightly touched at the center and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the oven and leave it on a wire rack for 20 to 30 minutes. Loosen the cake from the pan with a table knife and turn it out onto a wire rack or plate, then leave it to cool completely. When cool, glaze with caramel glaze.

Caramel glaze

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk

4 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a large saucepan, place the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir until the butter melts and blends with the brown sugar to a smooth sauce, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Add the milk and let the icing come to a gentle boil. Stir well, remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat well with a mixer, whisk or spoon until the glaze thickens and loses a little of its shine, 1 or 2 minutes.

3. Use at once. If the glaze hardens, stir in 1 or 2 spoonfuls of evaporated milk to soften it.

Each of 12 servings: 840 calories; 8 grams protein; 129 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 34 grams fat; 21 grams saturated fat; 174 mg. cholesterol; 144 mg. sodium.