In case you missed it on September 1st, 2018 I challenged my self to 30 blog posts in 30 days. Today is day 15! I’m halfway there and I am so excited and joyful because I have made it this far; basically without a real plan except to write. I had no plan on what I would write; I just wanted to write without caution for the next 30 days. Let me tell you when wake up in the morning and have no clue what is going to be posted to this site by 11:59 pm, I mean it. It’s been scary and fun because, a couple of days I thought I was not going to make it to my deadline of 11:59 and then in the last few minutes of the night I find my topic and my voice. Today, I have a number of things I want to share with you but, this post is devoted to the now well-known (If you’ve been reading my latest posts) Blackberry Jam Cake.
When I last left off on the subject I told you all of how the recipe I was going to make was my paternal grandmother’s recipe. My grandmother passed away 42 years ago and I don’t think the recipe had been made in all this time. I was both excited and intimidated when I thought about me making this cake. I had nothing to go off of except the recipe itself. I had no idea what it was supposed to look like or taste like. I had researched recipes prior to my attempt but, still no idea. There were so many variations of jam cakes I really did not know what I was getting into…I just had to jump in and do it.
I first made the cake exactly how the recipe was written except I did not add any coconut at my dad’s request. As I was making it my first thought was “this is almost just like a pound cake” recipe. It was very easy to make no complications with the recipe itself but, all the other recipes I had read up on used spices such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and, cloves. My grandmother’s recipe did not mention any of that (I did not have the original copy btw)… It starts off just like most cakes: cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs. Add the blackberry jam (which turned the batter a beautiful lavender color). Alternately mix in the flour and butter milk. And, finally stir in the muscats (raisins) and nuts with a wooden spoon. Pretty basic cake baking, right? I thought so. It really was. I put the batter in the appropriate baking pan and baked it for 1 hour and 5 minutes and let in rest in now off oven for 10 more minutes. I took it out of the oven ran a butter knife around the perimeter of the cake and the pan to release it and turned it out onto a cake board. I could smell the blackberry jam and the muscat aroma floating up from the cake. I let the cake rest for an hour and when my dad arrived we cut it. I have to say again that I did not know what to expect when I cut it. When I put the knife through it for the first cut the cake was still warm. I think thats when it tasted the best. The cake still reminded me of a pound cake the form and texture with the nice scents of blackberry jam and sweet raisins. My only complaint were the walnuts. I don’t like them but the cake was not for me so it was not up to me.
Overall, on this first attempt on the recipe I don’t think the cake gained any new fans on either side of my family. So, I committed to making the cake again adding in the same amount of spices in a similar recipe and I left out the nuts and muscats… I only left out the muscats this time because they need to be deseeded before used for baked goods and I just did not have the time to that on my second try……. the seeds of a muscat has a hard bite and is not what I would think is desirable in cakes or other baked goods. My thoughts on the second cake: adding the spices to the batter left the final results tasting something quite like a spice cake. I liked the second cake the spices gave it something extra. The texture just like the first cake reminded me of a pound cake with spice. I didn’t get any rave reviews from this one either though. My mom flat out said she did not like it but, she’s moody about food. My dad ended up having a cold and he hasn’t mentioned the second cake. My maternal grandmother was the only one that said that the second cake was delicious and I tend to agree with her. I do like spice cake.
All in all I am going to keep trying with the recipe I was given using the spices, nuts and muscats. I will also try using the icing recipe one of my aunts started using on this very same cake. There are several versions of this cake I learned while researching. I hope to bake a few of those too and, have something to compare my grandmother’s recipe to. Either way, this treasure is staying in my recipe box and I am willing to bake it whenever my father asks for it.