This is not a cake; it’s an adventure.
Servings: 12Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 25-30 minutes plus syrup-making time
For the Burnt Sugar Syrup–
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups water
Dump the sugar in a skillet on the stove. Turn the heat to medium-low. You don’t actually “burn” the sugar–you melt it. Stir only occasionally. The less you stir, the better. Once it melts, add the hot water, continuing with your heat on medium-low. It will bubble up then calm down and melt together. Turn off the heat and set it aside to cool to room temperature while you start preparing the cake. The syrup is thin while it’s hot, but as it cools, it thickens.
Note: Using 1 1/3 cups sugar and 1 1/3 cups water, you’re going to end up with approximately 1 1/4 cups Burnt Sugar Syrup after it cooks down in the process. Your exact mileage may vary.
For the cake, preheat oven to 350-degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In another bowl, combine room temperature butter and the sugar. Cream. Add two egg yolks and beat again. In a small bowl, beat egg whites till fluffy. Pour or spoon 1/2 cup of the Burnt Sugar Syrup in a one-cup measuring cup. Add the teaspoon of vanilla then add enough water (cool to lukewarm) to add up to a cup combined with the Burnt Sugar Syrup and the vanilla. To the bowl with flour, add the creamed butter/sugar/egg yolks, the Burnt Sugar Syrup mixture, and the milk. Beat well. Gently fold in the egg whites. (Do not beat again.) The online recipe didn’t call for the eggs to be separated with the whites beaten then folded in. Divide into two round, greased cake pans. Bake at 350-degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (Don’t overbake!)
Cool and frost with Burnt Sugar Icing.
For the Burnt Sugar Icing–
16 ounces powdered sugar
2/3 cup to 3/4 cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (however much you have left in the skillet! as noted above, your mileage will vary after your syrup cooks down)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine and beat till smooth and spreadable. If your icing is too stiff because you found yourself on the low side with your remaining Burnt Sugar Syrup, add a bit of milk or water. Frost cake and decorate with pecan halves. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
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