Over my time of baking and blogging I've tried out a few recipes using jam as an ingredient. Its such a versatile ingredient to both sweet and savoury cooking that I don't think people use enough.
Take this recipe, a standard loaf cake, swap the cherry with raspberry jam and the ginger for lemon zest and you have transformed it to something more suited to Spring. Its handy to have one of these recipes in your repertoire to change up as you need from season to season.
Come Winter/Christmas time, I'd be more inclined to go for marmalade and nutmeg or even a ginger preserve with orange zest.
In this loaf, I like to swirl the jam into the top of the batter. That way you get a nice fruity crust once baked. Unintentionally this one came out with a face in the first few slices...you may be able to notice!
Cherry & Ginger Swirl Loaf
(Makes a 2lb loaf, or 8" round cake)
175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
200g self raising flour
25g ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger (or equivalent spice/zest of your choice)
4 tbsp Mackays Morello cherry preserve (or equivalent jam/preserve of your choice)
Heat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line the loaf tin.
Add all ingredients except the jam into a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth, approximately 2 minutes. Pour into the loaf tin and smooth over the top with the back of a spoon. Spoon the jam into a piping bag (or sandwich bag), snip off the end and swirl onto the top of the loaf.
Bake for 40 minutes in the centre of the oven, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If there's some jam near the edges of the tin the sugar in it will catch and darken quickly, but it still tastes great.
Once cooked, sprinkle with the extra sugar and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. After which, turn out and leave to cool fully on a wire cooling rack.
This cake can be frozen for 1 month if needed.