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Caramel cake

Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 10
Caramel cake
(Los Angeles Times)

Caramel syrup

1

Heat the sugar in a heavy skillet over low heat. Stir constantly until it is melted to a brown liquid. When it bubbles over its entire surface, about 20 minutes, remove from the heat.

2

Slowly add the boiling water, stirring constantly. Pour into a container and cool. Use one-fourth cup for the cake; save the rest for another use.

Caramel frosting

1

Brown the butter in a heavy pot over medium heat -- be vigilant or it will burn. Allow the butter to cool.

2

Pour the cooled butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth. If the frosting is too stiff, add a tablespoon of half-and-half or cream.

Cake and assembly

1

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch layer cake pans with greased wax paper.

2

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the syrup.

3

In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk.

4

In a separate medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs about 3 minutes, until foamy. Add the remaining sugar and beat until mixture resembles a fine spongy foam, another 3 minutes. Stir it into cake batter until blended.

5

Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes. Check by gently pressing the center of a cake; it should spring back. If it doesn’t, bake for 10 more minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then on a rack before frosting with caramel frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Adapted from “Hallelujah! The Welcome Table,” by Maya Angelou.

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