Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sugared Jam Cake

I bravely took the boys to Costco today.  It's super hot and we really didn't want to leave the house, but we needed food.  Like bread.  It's kind of important to the making of PBJ's and stuff.  It's definitely the end of the month when we are running out of basic necessities.  That and it was an easy lunch for the kids. . . and churros are a great bribe (don't judge. . . I know I am not the only one!). We made it home in one piece and part of me did a happy dance.  I even managed to get my kids to do a few chores before quiet time.  Today, I feel accomplished. 

One thing I've been doing this summer is baking and stretching my baking skills.  Baking is something that refreshes my soul.  Following a recipe and seeing something beautiful (sometimes, even a fail) is amazing.  Sometimes, it's just to get me out of a funk. My friend, Dorina, says it best, when she says that cooking can become an act of worship.  Sometimes my time in the kitchen, while my boys are watching Phineas and Ferb has been the quiet part of the day.  Other times, it has been crazy and loud and fun as I watch my boys learn how to follow a recipe as they help me or make something on their own.

I stumbled across this magazine a few months back and I'll be honest, the 12.99 price tag scared me, until I found it at Costco. . . my go-to place to get magazines I don't subscribe to.  I finally broke down and bought one and I drooled and drooled and made bread.  So, when the next issue came out just before summer started, I found wanting to challenge myself in the kitchen.  Jump out of my comfort zone and get kind of crazy (well. . . .not too crazy!).  

The pictures are beautiful and just call out to you to bake immediately.  They all look delicious and I just want to bake it all.  I am practicing self control because baking. . . well. . . that's usually a lot of bread.  A lot of bread.  And cake.  Must use self control.  That's what I keep telling myself anyways.

A few weeks ago, I made the jam and the rustic pie in the picture above.  They were wonderful!  The combination of fresh blueberries and blackberries was heavenly combined with flaky pastry crust was heavenly.  However, the recipe only used half of the jam. . . so had to make something else. I mean it would be a crime to let that jam go to waste and Jon said it was too sweet for a PBJ.  I mean, what else could I do? 

Several pages away was this delicious looking vanilla bean cake that slightly resembled a jelly-filled donut.  No joke.  The writers said if you eat it for breakfast, you just won summer.  It's safe to say that my husband took the challenge and loved it for breakfast as well as for dessert!  It was also super easy!  Especially since I had already made the jam.  I bed that you could use a different jam in it and it would be really good, too. 

Sugared Jam Cake

adapted from Bake from Scratch (summer 2016)

2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup jam

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8 inch round pan (I think mine was 9 inches and it still worked beautifully).  And line with parchment paper (please don't skip this step. . . you don't want to risk it cracking when you take it out).

In a mixing bowl, with whisk attachment, whisk butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla bean paste. Slowly add dry ingredients.   Stir until everything looks combined . . . not too long.  Pour about half of your batter into your prepared pan.  Pretend there is a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch wall on each side.  Spread jam in the middle, leaving that wall along outside jam free.  Pour the rest of the batter over and spread carefully.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Add a piece of foil to the top of your pan/cake and continue baking for 30 more minutes. 

Let cool for 10 minutes and then flip it out carefully and place on plate with the cake top facing up.  Melt butter and use a pastry brush to brush the cake with butter.  Brush the sides and the top.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mix over the top and then rub sugar along the sides of the cake. . .gently pushing it into the cake so it stays.

Eat warm or cold.  It's delicious! 

For the jam: In a medium saucepan, add 1/2 pound each of blackberries and blueberries, 2 cups sugar, and some lemon juice.  Let it sit for about 2 hours to let the juices come out.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring constantly.  Cook for 5 minutes. Keep stirring (just keep stirring just keep stirring. . . . sorry we just say Finding Dory).  Turn heat down to medium and cook and mash fruit.  do this for 45-60 minutes until you have a nice think mixture.  Let cool for 1 hour and then put into a clean jar and refrigerate.  Good for 2 weeks. 

Enjoy and Happy Baking!

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