Never Fail Creamy Caramel Icing
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 slightly beaten egg
1 stick of butter
3/4 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
Melt 1/2 cup of sugar in iron skillet slowly, until brown and runny. Mix egg, butter, remaining sugar, and milk in a saucepan and cook over a low flame until butter melts. Turn the heat up to medium and add the browned sugar. Cook until it reaches the soft ball stage or until mixture leaves sides of pan. This takes about 10 minutes. Remove from fire, let cool slightly, and add vanilla. Beat until right consistency to spread. If it gets too thick add a little cream. This will ice a 2 layer cake.
"Reprinted by permission from The Junior League of Memphis, Inc. from “The Memphis Cookbook” © 1952; recipe submitted by Mrs. Phil Thornton, Jr."
You can tell that both the cake recipe and the icing were oldies. I mean, how many cake recipes require that you cream butter and sugar for 20 minutes?! I'm thinking Mrs. Phil Thornton, Jr. definitely needed a Kitchen Aide mixer or at least her "help" did ; ) Too, standing over a cast iron skillet to boil down the sugar and stirring it with butter, milk, and egg 'til softball stage is not my cup of tea (especially in South Texas heat). BUT I'm glad I've tried it just for the sake of saying that I have.
Oh, and let me warn because the recipe didn't...once you've beat the icing, you better get it on the cakes, cooled or not, because as the icing cools it becomes nearly unspreadable, and that happens fast!
Here are some pics of the icing along the way...
|browning the sugar|
|stirring for way too long over a hot stove|
|See how the caramel icing cooled and I couldn't spread it out to the sides quick enough : (|