Friday, May 14, 2010

Crazy fun with jam - Jam Crumble Tea Cake

I'm sorry but this cake must be eaten on the day it is cooked. (Hooray!)
This cake always surprises me. It's a Donna Hay recipe that I came across years ago and I've been playing around with it ever since. Trying out different jams; what works and what doesn't. Mucking around with the quanity of eggs and flour. It's been alot of fun experimenting (ie eating!) It is such a wonderful combination of flavours - the sponge cake, the jam, the crumble topping and then when it comes out of the oven - YUM!. You get to use your favourite jam and no one can mock you. If you really want to use your melon and pineapple jam, then do it. It's so exciting trying out different ones to see how they alter the taste of the cake. This is my other secret obsession - JAM. If there is a Church fete on you'll find me there, stocking up on jars filled lovingly with homemade jams and chutneys. I LOVE them. Which one to try today? I decided on Dried Apricot Jam. Sounds strange, I know, but it wasn't too sweet, it had an old worlde charm about it.......

Take 185g butter out of the fridge, chop into smallish pieces and pop into a bowl. Set aside to soften. Pre heat oven to 180C and line your cake tin with baking paper. You'll need 1 cup of jam. If using one from the fridge measure out what you need and leave out at room temperature. Now you can make your crumble topping . Place 5 tablespoons plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 cup of firmly packed brown sugar and 45g cold butter, chopped into tiny pieces into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mix resembles fine bread crumbs. (If the room is very hot try not to overwork the crumble as the heat from your hands will melt the butter) Set aside.
Now back to the 185g butter. Add 1 cup caster sugar (I use a bit less) and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add 3 eggs and beat well to combine. (I usually use just 2 eggs with a bit less flour but it's totally up to you - see what you think) Fold through 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 and 1/2 cups plain flour until combined.(Don't be worried about the mix - it is quite thick) Spread into your cake tin. Now get your 1 cup or so of jam and swirl it through the mix. You want it throughout the cake not just on the top so use a knife to make grooves into the cake. (This is the fun bit and each time you make it from now on you'll experiment with this) Now all you need to do is sprinkle your crumble topping all over the top of the cake. Pop it in the oven for about 55 mins. (When you test the top it will still feel squishy but don't worry it will be cooked through) Leave to cool slightly in the tin and then serve straight away. Enjoy with thick cream or icecream or just on it's own.

It's a funky take on an old tradition. Enjoy!

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