Here are two recipes for you, Barbarainnc. The one is longer than the other but that is because the directions are really broken down into baby steps.
The reason that the icing made with sugar tastes more "carmelly" is because it is made more like the process one would do to make candy, the sugar is melted, it must be brought up to a specific temperature, etc., etc.
There are TWO things you must keep in mind when making either one of these. First, make sure you have a candy thermometer or an instant read because it is VERY important that the sugar mixture reaches the temp specified so you do not end up with a runny or loose icing...which you will get if you are UNDER the temperature stated. You also do not want to go OVER the temp specified because the icing will then taste burned. It may not LOOK burned, but it will taste like it!
Second, if you are cooking on an electric stove of any type, when the recipes state to remove from heat, take the saucepan completely off the stovetop, because as you know if you have an electric stove, they continue to cook! With gas, you can just cut the flame.
Hope you enjoy them!
YIELD: Enough frosting for an 8 or 8 inch round double layer or 13 x 9 cake.
3 cups granulated sugar
11/2cups whole milk or evaporated milk
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4teaspoon cream of tartar or lemon juice
3 tablespoons water
2 large egg yolks
1/2to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2cup pecan halves, if desired
1. Have ready a pastry brush and cup of hot water for brushing down sugar crystals from sides of the pan, a candy thermometer and a wooden spoon.
2. Clear the countertops and stovetop so that you have plenty of work space.
3. Heat a saucepan of water on a back burner and keep it simmering. Set a metal spatula nearby. You'll need this when frosting the cake.
4. In a heavy 4-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine 2-1/2 cups of sugar, the milk, and corn syrup.
5. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring briskly and scraping the sides of the pan, until the sugar dissolves, for 3 or 4 minutes. Cover the pot and boil for 3 minutes.
6. Remove the pan from the heat. Add a few spoons of the milk and sugar syrup to the egg yolks and beat briskly.
7. Add a few more tablespoons of the syrup to the yolks, beat briskly, and then pour the egg mixture into the pot. Stir until the syrup is well blended. Set the pan back on the turned-off burner.
8. In a 1-quart heavy saucepan with a lid, combine the remaining 1/ 2cup of the sugar, the cream of tartar or lemon juice, and water. Place on medium-high heat and cook, stirring, scraping the sides of the pan, until the sugar dissolves, for 3 to 4 minutes.
9. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and boil for 3 minutes. Remove the lid, dip the pastry brush in water, and brush down the sides of the pan. Attach the candy thermometer.
10. Boil the syrup until it reaches 300 to 310 degrees, swirling the pan as it boils and turns deep golden brown with an amber glow.
11. IMMEDIATELY REMOVE FROM HEAT, remove the thermometer, pour the caramelized syrup into the pan with the sugar and milk mixture. Stir vigorously with the wooden spoon until well blended.
12. Wash the thermometer under hot running water to clear off all syrup. Turn the heat back on under the pot. Bring the syrup to a boil. Cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes.
13. Dip the pastry brush in water and brush down the sides of the pan. Attach the candy thermometer inside the pan, and replace on the heat.
14. Raise the heat and boil the mixture, without stirring, but swirling the pan by the handle from time to time. Brush the sides of the pan with the damp brush a few times as the syrup cooks.
15. When the syrup reaches 220 to 222 (thread stage), IMMEDIATELY REMOVE FROM HEAT and swirl in the vanilla and the butter.
16. Cool pan on a wire rack 10 to 12 minutes, until the caramel is a little thicker than honey. Swirl pan from time to time; DO NOT BEAT the frosting.
FROSTING THE CAKE:
1. Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake platter or plate. Make strips of wax paper or parchment paper and place them under the bottom layer of the cake.
2. Have a pan of hot water and a metal spatula near by. As soon as the frosting is thickened, using a glass measuring cup, pour about 3/4cup of frosting over the bottom cake layer and spread with the metal spatula.
3. Put on the second cake layer, top side up, and spread with the remaining frosting, smoothing with the metal spatula, starting at the bottom and smoothing upward.
4. If the spatula begins to stick, dip in the pan of hot water and quickly wipe clean on the edge of the pan. If the frosting begins to harden, set it back on the hot burner and turn on the heat, very low, and stir gently.
5. Allow the icing to set and cool completely before serving the cake. Do NOT refrigerate cake .
SERVING THE CAKE:
1. When ready to serve, carefully lift the cake and remove the wax or parchment paper strips. Serve the cake.
STORING THE CAKE:
1. Store the cake in a cool place, preferably under a dome cake cover. If No dome cover, turn a big mixing bowl upside down over the cake.
2. The cake is best served the day it is made. After a day or so the moisture in the air will cause the sugar to harden and the frosting will begin to lose its shiny coating. The cake and icing are still good, it will just not be as nice looking, not as shiny.
YIELD: Icing for one 8 or 9 inch double round, one 13 x 9
3 cups white sugar
1 can evaporated milk, 12 ounce can
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a heavy sauce pan, combine the 3 cups of sugar, evaporated milk and the pinch of salt.
2. Bring mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Lower the heat and cook until the soft ball stage.
4. Stir with a spatula to keep from sticking.
5. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
6. Add the 1/2 cup of butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and stir.
7. Beat the icing until it reaches a nice spreading consistency.
Vive Bene! Spesso L'Amore! Di Risata Molto!