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You Asked For It: jam cake with caramel frosting

My mom would make a jam cake with a caramel frosting. It had walnuts and blackberry jam. Does anyone have a recipe? David W. Boyd, Palm Harbor

Many readers are familiar with Kentucky jam cake but the recipe today comes from an old friend of this column: Anne Long of St. Petersburg and Tuckasegee, N.C. Some readers may remember her as the former writer of this column. Now she's sharing a recipe she found in The Courier Journal Cookbook. Similar recipes were sent by Jenna Bell of New Port Richey and Douglas Walbert, also of New Port Richey. The differences lie in the addition of nuts and raisins. Jenna found her version in her mom's recipe box. Douglas' is also a family recipe. They all use caramel icing, just made a little differently. I thought Anne's was so unusual because it used flour and is cooked. I would consider it more of a glaze than an icing or frosting because it's not spreadable. I poured it over the cake. As a suggestion, glaze the cake on a cooling rack set in a sheet pan so the excess can run off rather than pooling on your cake plate, which would make for an unattractive presentation and a soggy cake. It did set up after about 2 hours.

This cake is bursting with flavor from all of the spices. The raisins and nuts add a nice texture. Not only does this cake make your house smell wonderful as it's baking but it bakes up to perfect layers. It's worth mentioning that when you add the baking soda to the buttermilk it will increase in size. I measured the buttermilk into a 2-cup measure and then dissolved the soda in it. There was plenty of room for it to expand.

When making the caramel frosting, you will see an amazing transformation in the consistency as the butter and sugar melt in the double boiler. Continue stirring until you reach the desired consistency.

Recipe request

Seminole resident Leslie Schultz recently dined at Salty Rim Grill in St. Pete Beach. She and her husband enjoyed a steak topped with oyster-bar ingredients. Leslie writes that the menu description says it's a mixture of shrimp, scallops and whitefish mixed with crabmeat and a zesty Creole cream sauce finished with golden fried oysters. She would love the recipe.

Recipes tested by Times correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, P.O. Box 1159, Crystal Beach, FL 34681 or email youaskedforit@tampabay.rr.com. Include your name, city and phone number.

>>MODERATE

Mrs. Creason's Jam Cake

With Caramel Frosting

1 cup butter, softened, or shortening or part of both

2 cups sugar

5 eggs, beaten

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons cloves

1 ½ teaspoons allspice

1 cup chopped nuts, pecans or walnuts

1 cup raisins

1 cup blackberry jam (or strawberry)

For the frosting:

1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar

¾ cup flour

Pinch salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cake: Cream butter and gradually add the sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add well-beaten eggs. Sift flour before measuring and add it to the spices and salt. (The salt isn't necessary if you use only butter.)

Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk and add it and the flour mixture alternately to the sugar-butter-egg mixture, beating after each addition.

Lightly dredge the nuts and raisins with a little extra flour and add. Next add the jam. Stir to get good distribution.

Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper rounds. Add the batter. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or until done. Ice with caramel icing.

For the frosting: Mix sugar, flour and salt. Cream butter until light and add to sugar, beating well. Mix in heavy cream and vanilla and put in top of a double boiler over boiling water. Stir constantly and cook until about the thickness of medium cream sauce. This takes about 15 minutes after it melts. Allow to cool completely after cooking. It sets up after it's on the cake for a couple of hours.

Anne Long of St. Petersburg and Tuckasegee, N.C.

You Asked For It: jam cake with caramel frosting 06/12/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 5:30am]

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