Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottom only of an 11x7 inch pan.
In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt.
Melt butter in a 3 ½ quart saucepan. Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling water mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a rubber scraper, scraping sides of bowl, until blended.
Stir together sour cream, egg and extracts. Add the egg mixture to the mixing bowl and stir until blended. Lastly, stir in the baking soda. Batter will be very shiny.
Pour batter into the pan and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Cake should spring back when touched. Let it cool for about 20 minutes.
While cake bakes and cools, weigh out your confectioners’ sugar and sift it to remove any lumps. Set it aside.
Rinse the saucepan and melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the milk and salt and stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Add the confectioners’ sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until smooth. If the pot does not hold enough residual heat, you can set it back over the very low burner. Stir until smooth. Stir in the almond extract and pour over cake.
Sprinkle toasted pecans over the top of the cake and let icing set before serving.