For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired up with K&K Test Kitchen. One of my favorite things about the site is the design since the colors are so well coordinated and it is appealing to the eye. I am a web designer by day, so thats one of the first things I noticed.
This was another month where it was hard to choose just what recipe to make. I changed up my tactic this time and asked my fiancé to pick a recipe after I whittled it down to Healthy Spinach Dip, Artichoke Dip, Pistachio Marmalade Cake, or Cashew Chicken. Even though he picked spinach dip, I ended up making the cake. Next time I swear I’ll let him really choose!
I figured this would be a great opportunity to use some of my various jams in the refrigerator, as well as my cute gingham mini bundt cake liners from World Market. I did adapt this recipe to use what I had on hand, and it turned out no worse for it.
I had a lovely Japanese Quince jam gifted to me by my friend Stephanie that was just itching to be used in this. I have a problem when I get things that tast good. I actually don’t eat them. They’re so precious to me I always save them for later, but then they end up getting thrown away! I wasn’t going to let that happen to this jam, so I whipped 2 mini cakes up and sent her one as part of a care package.
You can substitute the cider for any juice (orange juice is the original). I also substituted the cornmeal with almond meal, and replaced the orange marmalade with quince jam. I also mixed the pistachios with some chai sugar I picked up at Mitsuwa on a recent trip to New York to echo the cardamom in the mix.
The texture of the cake was a bit crumbly and the bottom was a little overdone (the middle wouldn’t cook all the way). I don’t think this is due to the substitutions since this same issue was noted on K&K Test Kitchen. In the future, I would recommend bumping the cooking temperature to 325 so that none of it overcooks.
Since the cake itself that was not adjacent to the topping was a bit bland, I would definitely add more jam next time so that the flavor is more pronounced.
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