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Burnt Sugar Cake

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1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup hot water
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla


Melt the 1/2 cup of sugar in a heavy skillet, stirring constantly, and allow the resulting syrup to cook until very dark brown. Add the 1/2 cup of boiling water gradually, stirring constantly, and cook until the consistency of molasses. (Should measure 3 tablespoons.) Combine syrup with remaining cup of hot water and set aside to cool. Sift flour once, measure and resift with the baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or with the electric mixer until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the remaining liquid and beat until the batter is smooth. Pour into 2 greased 9 inch layer cake pans and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until done. Frost with 7 minute frosting flavored with burnt sugar syrup as prepared above, or any other desired frosting.

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