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Examiner
  • Trading Post: Cold weather calls for cakes, soups

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  • Temperatures are dropping. It’s the season for warm foods and heavier recipes.
    Toni McCue of Springfield, Ill., shares a caramel cake recipe that she calls “one of the best cakes I’ve ever made in my life.” It comes from Maya Angelou’s “Hallelujah! The Welcome Table.”
    The second recipe, for taco soup, comes from Cathi Elliott of Morton, Ill. She calls it “a very good soup for an autumn evening” and even won a soup cook-off with the recipe.
    CARAMEL CAKE
    1 stick butter
    1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
    1/4 cup caramel syrup (recipe below)
    2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
    2 t baking powder
    1/2 t salt
    1 cup whole milk
    2 eggs
    Caramel syrup:
    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup boiling water
    Caramel frosting:
    6 T (3/4 stick) butter
    8 ounces powdered sugar, sifted
    4 T heavy cream
    1 1/2 t vanilla extract
    Pinch of salt
    Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two 8-inch layer-cake pans with greased waxed paper. In large mixing bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/4 cup caramel syrup (recipe follows).
    In medium mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Gradually add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating with milk.
    In separate mixing bowl, beat eggs about 3 minutes until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until mixture is a fine spongy foam. Stir into cake batter just until blended.
    Divide batter between cake pans. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, depending upon oven (cake should spring back when touched). Cool 10 minutes; turn cakes onto racks, removing waxed paper. Cool completely.
    To frost: Place 1 cake layer on cake plate. Cover top and sides with frosting. Place second layer on top; frost completely.
    To make caramel syrup: Heat sugar in heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until melted to a brown liquid. When it bubbles over entire surface, remove from heat and slowly add boiling water, stirring constantly. Pour into container and let cool.
    To make caramel frosting: Brown butter in heavy pot over medium heat. Allow butter to cool. In large mixing bowl, add powdered sugar, cream, vanilla extract and salt to the butter; beat until smooth. If frosting is too stiff, add 1 tablespoon whipping cream to thin.
    Makes 8 servings.
    TACO SOUP
    1 pound ground beef, browned
    1 can hominy
    1 can whole kernel corn
    1 can pinto beans
    1 can Great Northern beans
    1 package taco seasoning mix
    1 package ranch dressing mix
    1 can diced tomatoes with onions and celery
    1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
    Brown ground beef, add the remaining ingredients including all liquid from canned ingredients. Simmer about 20 minutes. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
    Page 2 of 2 - Makes about 12 servings.
    The Trading Post is a recipe-exchange column that is compiled by Kathryn Rem.
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