- 4 sticks (1 pound butter) minus 1 heaping tablespoon, cut into chips and softened
- 1 pound sugar (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 10 eggs, separated
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pound all-purpose flour (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 cup crumbled Creamy Pralines, recipe follows
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 (9 by 5 by 3-inch) loaf pans, using the heaping tablespoon of the butter.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks with the vanilla until light and frothy. With the electric mixer on medium-low, gradually add the egg yolk mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix for about 4 minutes.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the electric mixer on medium speed, alternately add the flour mixture, a third at a time, and the egg whites, a third at a time, to the butter and egg mixture, beating for 2 minutes between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you mix. Add the lemon zest during the last 2 minutes of mixing.
Divide the batter equally between the pans. To 1 of the cakes, add the crumbled pralines and the rum to the batter and gently stir to mix evenly; leave the other plain. Bake the plain cake for about 1 hour, the praline cake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Both should be golden when done and firm to the touch.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and condensed milk. With a wooden spoon, stir until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, stirring, until smooth and light brown, about 8 minutes. Add the vanilla and pecans and continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture reaches 234 to 240 degrees F. on a candy thermometer or the soft ball stage, that is, when a bit dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens. Remove from the heat and drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper. Let cool. Remove from the paper with a thin knife.