3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 cup chopped pecans toasted in a 350 F oven for 3 to 5 minutes
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Spray with non- stick spray. Cut parchment paper 1/2 inch larger than the bottom of the cake pan to hold the praline layer so it won’t seep under the parchment paper. Place brown sugar, unsalted butter and whipping cream in a small saucepan and cook on low until mixture simmers and sugar melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and divide evenly between two prepared cake pans. Sprinkle praline sauce with toasted pecans. Refrigerate pans so the praline layer will set up while you make the cake batter.
Pumpkin Pie Cake Layer
1 box Butter Golden Cake Mix
2 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
15 ounce can pumpkin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Garnish: Caramel sundae syrup in a squeeze bottle
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Pour cake mix, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon in the bowl of a mixer. Stir with a fork to combine. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape bowl. Mix on medium speed 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly on top of cold praline layer. Smooth top of batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Run a knife around the edge of each pan to release cake from pan. Cool for 5 minutes. (If you wait longer the praline layer will glue itself to the bottom of the pan!)
Place one layer on a serving plate pecan side up that has wax paper underneath the edges of the cake. (To keep the cake plate clean). Place second layer on a wire rack- pecan side up. Place a plate underneath the wire rack to catch drips. Cool for 4 hours until praline layer has hardened. Ice cake with brown butter cream cheese frosting and decorate with caramel sundae syrup. See assembly directions below.
Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing with Caramel Glaze
1/2 cup unsalted brown butter, chilled for 1 hour or until it sets up
One (8 ounce) package of real cream cheese (Not Neufchatel), at room temperature
One (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
One Tablespoon Vanilla
Place butter in a small saucepan. Melt butter and bring to a boil over medium heat. Butter will crackle and pop as the water evaporates. Keep boiling and swirling the pan occasionally until the butter begins to foam (about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops). All of a sudden the milk solids in the bottom of the pan will turn an amber color. Immediately remove pan from heat and scrape both melted butter and browned bits into a bowl. (This stops the cooking process so the brown bits don’t burn!) Cover and chill until butter solidifies- about one hour.
After butter solidifies, cream brown butter and cream cheese on medium speed of a mixer, for 2 to 3 minutes. Change speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
To assemble cake: Place first cake layer pecan side up on a serving plate that has wax paper underneath the edges of the cake. (To keep the cake plate clean). Place 1/4 of the icing on top spreading icing to the edge. Add second cake layer pecan side up. Ice top and sides of cake with remaining icing. Remove wax paper. Refrigerate cake until cold. Decorate with caramel sundae syrup from a squeeze bottle (swirls, circles, lines, etc.). To serve: Remove from refrigerator, slice, then bring to room temperature before serving. Enjoy Friends!
Published in The Johnson City News on November 19, 2014