Jam-Inspired Pound Cakes
A while back, I signed up for a Confituras Jam Share. Each month, I get a jar of jam made by Stephanie McClenny using local (to Austin), seasonal (in Austin) ingredients. (all the qualifiers are because i’m in omaha, and stephanie is – you guessed it! – in austin.)
I bought my first jars of Confituras Jams as a pre-Christmas gift for my parents. We liked the jams so much that my Dranny and I had a bit of a tussle over the last spoonful of the Salted Caramel Pear Butter. I am not ashamed to admit that I won. I love my Dranny, but that was darned good stuff and well worth the possibility that she’d retaliate by taking away a Christmas gift or three.
When I cracked open the box containing my second Jam Share, Strawberry Rose Petal Preserves, all I could think was that this jam deserved something fancier than my typical toast or biscuits or even simply being eaten straight out of the jar by the spoonful. So I pulled out my trusty copy of Southern Cakes certain that it’d have a recipe that’d suit.
Southern Cakes did not disappoint. In fact, it served up about five or six recipes that immediately struck my fancy that day. After whittling the list down to two pound cakes, one for the jam and one just because it was irresistible, I got to baking.
Pound Cake number one was a classic recipe destined to be smothered in a jam. Too bad I baked it about five or 10 minutes too long. It was good, but dry enough on the outer edges to distract me from the joy of its taste combined with the Strawberry Rose Petal Preserves. So, I was happy, but I knew right away that the cake wasn’t going to get much love and it certainly wasn’t going to get more jam.
I guess now would be about the right time to confess that these were the first pound cakes I’ve ever made. My family was much more of an angel food kind of family. Or at least we were while I was growing up during the age of fat-free, heart-healthy fad diets that demonized the amount of butter, sugar and eggs required for a real pound cake. That my first try came out only just okay shouldn’t come as surprise in light of this info.
That’s okay though because it turns out that pound cake number two is where it was at during this baking mini-odyssey. And the frosting for it? Wowzer….
The second cake was a Brown Sugar Pound Cake. Unlike your traditional Pound Cakes that are made with a pound of each ingredient (butter, powered sugar, flour, eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla), this recipe was more complex, using flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, milk, butter, brown sugar, regular sugar and eggs. The recipe recommends a “drizzle of Quick Caramel Glaze” to top it off. And the photo made it impossible to resist the recommendation. What should’ve been included in the directions is that the recipe for the caramel glaze would be enough to “drizzle” on two or three pound cakes.
I guess I shouldn’t be complaining though because the recipe was enough to coat the entire cake, create a pool of glaze in the center and to top off a slice of the too dry cake as well. You have to work fast with the glaze though because it sets up lickety-split once it’s off the heat.
Quite frankly, the end result of pound cake #2 was good enough that I might not have shared it. Except it is so rich that a small sliver of cake is enough for me. So I shared it and received rave reviews for the recipe.
It may not have been the Confituras smothered pound cake success I was looking for, but it was nice to be able to share the cake and not fight over the very last bite.
If you’re looking for the recipe for these cakes and the glaze, you can find them in Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. I’ve had this cookbook for a while now and have nearly every recipe I’ve tried, including my winning Carrot Cake recipe.
And if you’re looking for your own jars of of Confituras Jam, be sure to check out Stephanie’s website. She updates it with new offerings regularly as well as with info about buying her jam if you’re in Austin. Whether you share any of your jam is your business though.