I've been trying to screw up the courage to make the jam cake recipe I copied from my great-grandmother's recipe cards for about a month now. It was the maple frosting that always got me. I just couldn't get myself to make anything with a pound of sugar as the main ingredient. This morning I saw the solution--chocolate. It makes everything better.
For some reason, while making a modern, mildly healthy version of Ann Koester's jam cake, I got the urge to do it the old-fashioned way. Knowing my great-grandmother, this should have involved a large glass of wine, but it was the middle of the day and I prefer to be sober when I cook. However, I did have some old-fashioned tools--a manual hand blender from my grandmother and a nut chopper that I stole from my father. These are both really good ways to work on building your arm muscles.
The nut chopper was easy as long as I didn't put too many nuts in at one time. The manual hand blender was a bit tricker and took some practice. It didn't want to stand up straight. I had to balance the bowl against my stomach so that I could use both hands to crank it. After that it worked beautifully. One nice thing about the manual blender is that it doesn't go so fast that batter splatters everywhere.
But back to the cake. Even though I cut out 2 cups of sugar, this cake is still sweeter than what I would normally make. I don't even want to think about how much sugar the Cascadian Farms blackberry fruit spread had in it, considering that sugar was the first ingredient. And the chocolate chips that were melted to make frosting? I didn't even look at the bag, but the chocolate chips must have been sugarific. They were so sweet I had to add unsweetened cocoa powder to tone it down.
Enough worrying about the sugar. It's been a rough week and I deserve a treat.
Note: If you're using Earth Balance butter, the mixture gets a little stringy-looking, but it never seems to have any effect on the end product.
GF DF Kentucky Chocolate Jam Cake
For the Jam Cake:
3/4 cup butter
3 tsp light brown sugar
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup almond milk
1 heaping tsp allspice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
10 oz. jar blackberry jam
1 cup raisins
1 1/4 cup walnuts
For the frosting:
1 bag of Enjoy Life DF GF SF chocolate chips
3/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
First, make the dairy-free buttermilk. Pour 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar into a measuring cup. Add one cup of almond milk. Let this sit for at least five minutes.
Cream the butter, sugar and eggs.
Combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and allspice.
Combine the buttermilk, the butter-egg mixture, and the flour mixtures by adding them alternately. Stir after each addition. Add the fruit, nuts and jam. Stir to get good distribution.
Grease a 9x13 pan. Spread mixture evenly into pan using a spatula. Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a long plate. Let it cool a little longer while you prepare the frosting.
To make the frosting, heat the chocolate chips in a double broiler until melted. Gradually stir in almond milk. If it's too sweet, stir in the teaspoon of cocoa powder. An alternate method without a double broiler is available on the EnjoyLife site.
Let the frosting cool for about 10 minutes, then spread on cooled cake.
Here's my great-grandmother's recipe. Be sure to eat these with a glass of strong red wine.
3 cups (about 5 ounces) Flour
1 cup Buttermilk
¼ tsp Salt
1 ½ tsp Cloves
1 cup Raisins Or Chopped Dates
1 cup Jam
2 cups (about 5 ounces) Sugar
1 tsp Soda
½ tsp Cinnamon
1 ½ tsp Allspice
1 cup Chopped Nuts
1 cup Butter
Cream butter, and gradually add the sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add well-beaten eggs. Sift flour before measuring, and add to it the spices, and the salt. Dissolve soda in buttermilk and add it, and the flour mixture alternately to the egg-sugar-butter mixture, and beat after each addition. Lightly dredge the fruit and nuts with extra flour, and add. Next add the jam. Stir to get good distribution.
Grease and paper line two 9-inch cake pans, and our batter filled the pans 2 inches deep. Bake 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Ice with caramel icing, or other.