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1 c. butter or margarine,
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. warm water
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
grated chocolate (optional)
pecan halves (optional)

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating until light
and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each
addition. Add flour alternately with buttermilk, beginning and
ending with flour. Combine water, cocoa and soda, stirring
well; add to flour mixture, beating well. Stir in vanilla.
Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 38 minutes or until a wooden pick
inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes;
remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread Caramel Frosting between layers and on top and
sides of cake. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and garnish with
pecan halves, if desired. Yield one 2-layer cake.

Caramel Frosting:
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; add
sugar and milk. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring
constantly, until candy thermometer registers 234 degrees (soft ball
stage). Remove from heat and add vanilla (do not stir). Cool
10 minutes. Beat on medium speed of electric mixer until thick
enough to spread (about 10 minutes). Spread immediately on
cooled cake. Yield: Enough for one 2-layer cake.

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