---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05
  Categories: Cakes
       Yield: 1 Servings
      Preheat oven to 350~. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
   Beat together shortening and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.
   Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together
   dry ingredients. Add to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beating well
   after each addition. Blend in flavorings. Pour evenly into prepared pans.
      Bake 20-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out
   clean. Cool layers in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen edges and remove
   to racks to cool completely. To assemble, spread tops of layers with
   Caramel Filling; stack on cake plate.
      To make basket weave design on side of cake. (1) Spoon 1/4-1/3 of the
   Buttercream Frosting into pastry bag fitted with ridged decorator tip. Make
   vertical strips at 2-inch intervals around side of cake. (2) Make
   horizontal strip around side of cake, just below top edge. Repeat halfway
   down side of cake. (3) Repeat step 1, making one new strip at a point
   halfway between each of the strips made in step 1. Continue to refill
   pastry tube with additional frosting as necessary. (4) Make short
   horizontal strips, each at a point halfway between the horizontal strips
   made in step 2 and also at bottom of cake. Each short strip starts at the
   edge of one vertical strip, crosses over next vertical strip, and ends at
   edge of next vertical strip. (5) Replace ridged decorator tip with star
   tip. Pipe any remaining frosting around top of cake. Sprinkle with pecans.
      Caramel Filling.  Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar in large heavy
   saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is light
   golden brown. Combine remaining 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, milk, egg and
   salt in medium bowl, stir in butter. Add to caramelized sugar.
      Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer
   registers 230~, 15-20 minutes; cool 5 minutes. Stir with wooden spoon until
   well blended and thickened.
      Buttercream Frosting.  Beat butter in large bowl until creamy. Gradually
   add confectioners' sugar alternately with half-and-half, beating until
   light and fluffy. Add additional 1 tablespoon half-and-half if necessary
   for desired consistency. Stir in vanilla.
      Potpourri from Cooking Class Magazine, March 1993.