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Praline Dream Cake
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Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great holiday season. New Years Day is my Mommy’s birthday, so I always start my New Year with a wonderful cake creation! It’s a sweet way to start off the New Year. I hope 2015 is going to be a great year of strength for me and that we all will have a year full of laughter, lots of love, and many memorable moments. So, here’s my recipe and I hope you enjoy my Praline Dream Cake.

Preheat oven to 350. Well grease three 9-inch cake pans.

1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 eggs
3 cups self - rising flour
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and blend well. Slowly alternate adding flour and milk. Finally add vanilla and mix well. Pour into three prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Pecan Praline:
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 egg yolks
12 oz can evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Melt butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in sugars. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks with evaporated milk until smooth. Whisk egg mix into the saucepan with the sugar mix. Combine well. Return to medium heat and whisk constantly. Cook for 15- 20 minutes or until thick and glossy. Remove from heat and add pecans. Let it cool for 8-10 minutes. Place all three cooled cake layers on wax paper and pour pralines over each one. Set aside until completely cooled.

1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
4 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix sugar, water, and syrup in a saucepan and bring to a full rolling boil.
Let boil at medium heat about 10 minutes. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat when “stringy” from your spoon. In your mixing bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy and stiff. Then while beating egg fluff constantly on medium speed with your mixer, slowly pour in sugar mix in a very thin string. When it is totally combined add vanilla extract and mix it in well. Cool frosting completely.

Finally, frost the tops of the cooled cakes and stacking them to form a three-layer cake. Then frost the sides. You may garnish the top with a few pecans or extra any praline mix. Enjoy!

Melanie Thompson is a 13-year-old seventh grader at Indian Creek Middle School has been cooking since she first helped her great grandmother, Louis, in the kitchen when she was two.