Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of three 8 inch round pans with wax paper. Grease the sides. Bring some water to a boil and keep it simmering while you mix the other ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream, vinegar, oil and vanilla. Beat with mixer until combined.
Add 1 cup of the boiling water and carefully stir until it is mixed in. Beat for 1 1/2 minutes with mixer. Batter will be thin. Pour into pans and bake for 18-22 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 6 T. milk, still stirring constantly. (It helps to have someone pour the milk in for you!)
Return to heat and bring to a boil again. Stir until any lumps are dissolved. Remove from heat. Divide into two bowls and set one bowl aside. Let cool until lukewarm (approx. 20 minutes).
Combine one bowl of caramel mixture with the confectioners' sugar. Beat until smooth. Add milk one tablespoon at a time, until you reach desired consistency.
Microwave chocolate chips and whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl on medium power, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Whisk in butter; let stand 20 minutes. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 to 4 minutes or until ganache forms soft peaks
Assembling Your Cake
Level your cake layers. Place the first layer on your cake stand and cover with half of the caramel frosting. Sprinkle 1/3 cup chopped pecans on top. Repeat with second cake layer. Place third cake layer on top, then cover entire cake with whipped ganache. Arrange the pecan halves on top of your cake. Warm the remaining caramel mixture to pouring consistency. Slowly pour caramel over the top of your cake and let it drip over the sides.
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