Friday, 14 May 2010

Because you can put jam in everything.

The Jamvangalist strikes again! The cake I bring you today is a wonderful way to use up the dregs of marmalade that might be taking up several rooms space in your house cupboards. Okay, so I'm sure you don't actually have that problem, but when I am trying out new marmalades the half-full tester jars gradually stack up in our "breakfast" cupboard and because I try and eat nice boring healthy museli in the morning and so only have toast at weekends, I need another way to re-appropriate the half-filled jars.

I discovered this cake when doing all sorts of research in the run up to Food Junctions. In the spirit of "isn't preserving amazing and versatile" that I was trying to get across in my presentation I wanted not to have tasters of just jams and marmalades, but examples of the things you can do with them other than spreading them on bread. As a result I spent the evening and then morning before the talk frantically whipping up cakes, biscuits, tarts and slices all of which used jam, marmalade, curd or other preserves. It was the marmalade cake that was the first to go. It's moist, and whilst it doesn't taste too strongly of bitter orange marmalade, it does have a wonderful background hint of it, and a great depth of flavour.

It was so good that one participant actually prized the cake paper out of my hand and stood scraping the crumbs off it!

So today, I bring you my newly-found go-to marmalade cake. I used my "dark side" Seville marmalade, which is made with bitter oranges, all dark sugar (making it almost black, and very treacly in flavour) and a nice dash of smooth Irish whiskey. I also intend to make a version that uses my lemon marmalades. In fact, I might even try using other jams, as I get the impression it is highly adaptable and will suit many preserves and many tastes. It is adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe (of course) and so all credit must go to him really. Except I like my cake a bit darker and so have used light muscovado sugar instead of white, and didn't add orange blossom water, or any additional orange, or icing as I don't think it needs these extras. That said, a dash of lemon juice and perhaps some zest would probably make this cake really sing, but I shall leave that up to you.

Marmalady Cake - makes one large loaf cake.

175g unsalted butter, very soft.
175g light muscovado sugar
175g self-raising flour
3 large eggs
75g marmalade

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease or line a large loaf pan.

Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs a little and then add to the creamed mixture a little at a time, beating well between each addition. You want to make sure that you do this really well, I would probably even use a whisk next time because the dark sugar is less easily incorporated (or so I find). Next add the marmalade. I also chop the peel a little so you get nice bits of preserved peel all though the cake. Finally, in a swift firm action fold the flour into the batter until it is fully mixed, trying to whip in a bit of air as you go.

Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 40mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine was 40min bang on.

Leave to cool in the tin before turning out. Serve in thick slices.


  1. 5 ingredients! Looks so simple and good. I have only 8 jars of marmalade in my cupboard (blood orange/ginger and grapefruit/vanilla bean) so I'm sure you have me beat.

  2. That's my sort of cake. Especially the "serve in thick slices" part.

  3. You know I had to double check my notes when I noticed it was only five ingredients! So simply and so tasty.

    Siri - that grapefruit and vanilla bean sounds amazing, is it your own?