Brownstone Front Cake
Because the icing requires time, patience, and a candy thermometer, some bakers prefer the quicker fluffy chocolate filling. There are instructions for both the cooked icing and the fluffy filling in this recipe, but choose only one, and perhaps try the other next time to see which you like best. Not even sturdy Brownstone Front can stand up under both.
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Creamy Frosting Substitute
Stir together 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 ½ cups evaporated milk (from 1 [12-oz.] can), and 1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature, in a large saucepan over medium until sugar is dissolved (butter will not fully incorporate). Bring to a boil, without stirring, and cook, stirring often, until a candy thermometer reaches 238°F (soft ball stage), about 30 minutes. Pour into a large heatproof bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until frosting is smooth, but pourable, about 2 minutes. Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; pour about ⅔ cup frosting over top, allowing some to drip down sides. Repeat with remaining 3 cake layers and frosting. Let stand until frosting is cool and set, about 15 minutes before slicing.