25 Apr2011

The inspiration was a simple pound cake recipe with cherry jam filling that appeared in the December 2010 issue of La Cucina Italiana magazine. It was picture perfect, with a perfect shot of the cherry jam suspended in the pound cake in the photographed cross section. Having baked enough before, I immediately suspected that getting the jam to float airily in the cake would be a bit harder to achieve, and rightfully braced myself for a lot of melted jam on on the bottom of the pan. But no worries, while we may not have achieved a magazine photo worthy cake, this taste simply delicious. And it was so easy to make, even a non-baker can manage this. I adjusted the original recipe a bit to suit ingredients we had on hand, but the essence of the cake is that of the original “Dolce morbido all’amarena.”

Pre-heat your oven to 340F. Butter a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan (with removable bottom). In a bowl mix together 1 and 1/3 cups flour and 1/4 tsp. sea salt. In a mixing bowl, cream 1 cup unsalted butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and airy using an electric mixer. Then add 4 eggs, incorporating them into the butter one at a time. Put the mixer on low and add the flour and mix for a few seconds until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

For this cake above, I then added about 3/4 cup of mangosteen jam in a circular pattern halfway between the edge and the center point of the cake. The jam seemed to remain on the surface of the batter when I placed it in the oven. However, after a few minutes in the oven, the jam sank, liquified and spread out under the cake batter. I am currently trying it again and will put the jam in only after 10-15 minutes of baking the batter, hoping that the bottom of the cake will set up, then the jam will not liquify as much and form the base of the cake… let’s see how that goes in a couple of hours or so. I also sprinkled the top of the batter with shifted top quality organic muscovado sugar. Total bake time was 35-40 minutes.

The resulting cake was delicious. Not too sweet and just the right thing for an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee or tea. You can substitute other type of hearty jams for the mangosteen or cherry. Serve at room temperature, or zap in the microwave for a few seconds and serve it warm, with a large scoop of coffee ice cream!



  1. Anne :-) says:

    My Monday just become sweeter…thanks for sharing MM! :-)

    Apr 25, 2011 | 1:25 pm


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  3. sophie says:

    Love it MM, WHOAH! makes me long for a cup of strong coffee and a slice of your Mangosteen jam pound cake. I think a fruit cake left over will suffice my craving for the day, lol!

    Apr 25, 2011 | 2:04 pm

  4. Scramoodles says:

    Your cake looks like it has a most tender crumb. Lovely! My mouth is just watering.

    Apr 25, 2011 | 2:36 pm

  5. alicia says:

    Oh goodness.. I’m suppose to be dieting- I guess popping over was not good for my self discipline Now I must have a slice of that cake (or something close to it!)

    Apr 25, 2011 | 2:59 pm

  6. Mimi says:

    Just a suggestion…When making fruit cakes, I would toss the candied fruits in flour to ‘encapsulate’ them individually so they are evenly distributed in the batter instead of sinking to the bottom. How about scoop teaspoonfuls of jam and harden in the freezer, toss each in flour (just remove some from your mix) then fold in your batter?

    Apr 25, 2011 | 4:07 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    Mimi, sounds like a good idea to me. We just cooked the second cake and the same thing happened, despite waiting for 15 minutes before adding the jam. Maybe mangosteen is just heavier? Hmmm….

    Apr 25, 2011 | 5:47 pm

  8. Joel says:

    How much would it cost to do one of this? I was thinking of baking then selling. :)

    Apr 25, 2011 | 6:02 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Joel, add up the ingredients and figure it out. But I used homemade mangosteen jam. You might have to learn how to do that first if you wanted to replicate this exact cake. Mangosteen jam tends to be relatively pricey to make, and it is highly seasonal.

    Apr 25, 2011 | 6:34 pm

  10. Footloose says:

    I’d bake this in a small bundt cake pan and serve it upside down. In olden days fallen cakes and sunken fillings were considered bugs now you see them being featured in flicker food groups.

    Morbido is a false cognate. Nothing to do with morbid. It means tender and soft as in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, in quelle trine morbide (in those delicate drapes).

    Apr 25, 2011 | 7:51 pm

  11. Thel from Florida says:

    Baked an apple pound cake for Easter, recipe by Sunny Anderson of Food Network. It was soooo good!

    Apr 25, 2011 | 8:07 pm

  12. Ruth B says:

    MM, pound cake is one of our family favorites as my Mom used to bake this all the time when we were growing up. Your cake looks quite moist, must be because of the good quality of jam used. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup jam – do you think I should add more jam if using the commercial variety found in supermarkets?

    Apr 25, 2011 | 9:05 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    Ruth, my issue with most grocery jams is that they are mostly sugar and not fruit, and often with other additives, colorings, flavorings, etc. I might try this recipe instead with some good stewed dried fruit… say dried mango stewed in orange juice or rhum. Or maybe fresh fruit like cherries, mango cubes, strawberries, etc. It might take some experimentation, but its worth a try once, twice or thrice… The problem with fresh fruit is that it can be watery, and may affect the consistency of the cake. Do not overcook a pound cake, that can make it drier than it should be. Or like Thel above, try this with slightly cooked apples in sugar and cinnamon… yum. Footloose, I thought about turning it upside down, but there wasn’t enough jam on the bottom either… maybe if I doubled the amount of jam… but yes, I like upside down cakes too. And as for “false cognate” — I learned something today besides the many dozens of misleading euphemisms for “lie or lying” used by my bankers in recent discussions over credit cards, but more on that in the days to come. :)

    Apr 25, 2011 | 9:17 pm

  14. natie says:

    virtual deliciousness!..if you open the oven door halfway through baking time, won’t the cake “fall”? or does that apply only to chiffons and sponge cakes? did you bake one again, MM?

    Apr 25, 2011 | 9:45 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    natie, yes, it collapsed a bit when we quickly added the jam, but it’s a pretty dense cake so it wasn’t affected much. But the jam still melted on the bottom. I am nearly convinced the photo that came with the recipe could have been food styled beyond reality… :)

    Apr 25, 2011 | 9:55 pm

  16. gretchen says:

    Hi MM. Your posts are most interesting and informative. When I was developing mangosteen jam as a topping for our cheesecake for our restaurant, I came across yours on the net. Our recipe is similar to yours – we use less sugar. We slice the nuts too for a more equitable distribution when scooping out to serve. Your pound cake looks delicious and I’m sure the caramelized chewy mangosteen jam adds a wonderful dimension. But if you are intent on a swirl, might you consider a heavier cake batter? Maybe using a pound cake batter that has sour cream can buy you enough time for the jam to sink just partway if at all?

    Apr 25, 2011 | 10:10 pm

  17. tonceq says:

    will definitely add this on my list of things to bake! :)

    Apr 25, 2011 | 10:47 pm

  18. millet says:

    oh my…that cake is calling me! must make that soon. the recipe belongs to the genre i call “one-bowl wonders”. must try that soon. there’s not a single mangosteen in sight right now.

    i hate these over-styled food in pictures because they’re so obvious, and so perfect, and so impossible to replicate. there oughta be a law against over-styling…as in, “truth in advertising”, eh?

    Apr 25, 2011 | 10:50 pm

  19. Footloose says:

    @Natie, it’s not the opening of the oven midway as much as the careless banging of the rising foam that collapses whipped cakes and soufflés. I learned to bake chiffon on a rice husk burning stove that was lopsided in its heating. We had to open the oven door to turn the baking cakes around at least three times without experiencing collapse or deformation. With large rectangular pans, we even had to take the pans out of the oven to turn them around. I tell you though, leaving that for an electric or gas oven with window and interior light was intensely liberating.

    Apr 25, 2011 | 11:24 pm

  20. Laura says:

    I subscribe to La Cucina Italiana too & it’s one of my favorites with beautiful mouth-watering and inspiring food pictorials. I looked this up as soon as I read your post. I must say the cherry jam they used must be quite thick as it didn’t melt at all in the batter. It remained intact even when it sank to the bottom of the cake. Thanks! I will try to make this sometime.

    Apr 26, 2011 | 1:33 am

  21. Risa says:

    I’m a sucker for getting a good thing right so I would try 20-25 minutes. I cup butter to 1 1/3 c flour is a high butter ratio. At 340 degrees, butter would be melting first before the flour or eggs start to set. Fat floats so that’s working against the jam floating.

    I also don’t see any rising agents, and its a dense cake. Opening it at 25 minutes should not pose too much of a problem (at least, even less than opening it at 15). I would also try a thin drizzle several times around the batter, rather than a single thick one to beef up its chances of staying afloat.

    This is so obsessing. Now I want to try and make this cake to see how it works.

    Apr 26, 2011 | 1:53 am

  22. Risa says:

    I looked at the article. It doesn’t look highly stylized — actually it’s not a pretty cake. Maybe the modified proportions didn’t work out? Original seems taller (so more distance to the floor of the pan?) And that cake looks like it was cooked in a much hotter oven than 340 degrees; and it also looks more dry.

    Maybe the whole cherries in the jam also helped it float (like salbabida haha)? In any case, if it tastes good as you said, it shouldn’t matter. And i’ll go with mangosteen over cherry any day.

    Apr 26, 2011 | 2:07 am

  23. Tracy says:

    I have a good feeling about Mimi’s suggestion. I second!

    Apr 26, 2011 | 5:01 am

  24. betty q. says:

    Unfortunately, MM, for the jam to be suspended in the cake batter, it must be of the same density as the cake batter. I don’t know how you feel about incorporating meringue in your mangosteen jam to lighten it. I would suggest, baking the pound cake, split the cake and spread a thin layer of mangosteen jam if everything else fails….or just like Onie’s mom’s coffee mangosten cake, just incorporate the jam into the batter. But if I were to do this, I would bake the cake plain and have your brandied mangosteen sauce on the side with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or coffee ice cream…you have the best of both worlds! But oyu know what is better than the plain cake?….you have got to try your brandied mangosteen sauce with Japanese soft and fluffy cheesecake….

    Apr 26, 2011 | 9:22 am

  25. Emman says:

    Good morning.

    This is off tangent to the current topic but is related to your interest on pork.

    I read it in today’s issue of Business Mirror.

    Smoked native pig is a well-kept secret in Sagada
    Monday, 25 April 2011 19:38 Marilou Guieb / Correspondent

    LA? TRINIDAD, Benguet—In the old days, every home in Sagada, Mt. Province, had a hearth to keep the home warm and where they cooked meals.

    With no cooler to preserve game from a hunt, slices from a wild boar were salted and left to dry under the sun or more commonly kept hanging by the hearth. After a time, it became smoked meat, which foreigners called Igorot ham or bacon. The villagers called this meat etag.

    As the black native pigs were used as sacrificial animals and with rituals integrated with folklife, most every household raised native pigs. And in every milestone of village life, a ritual was performed where the etag was served mixed with a native chicken dish called pinikpikan.

    Sagada has for decades remained a kind of secret destination for artists and backpackers, and so has the etag remained a well-kept delicacy.

    But as tourism opened more interior villages to outsiders, Sagada’s etag started to gain popularity among city residents and visiting outsiders. This has also become a much-sought item among hundreds of thousands of Cordilleran overseas Filipino workers with a craving for the smoke- flavored meat of home. Slowly, it has become a homegrown industry in a small commercial scale, sold via word of mouth.

    The Highland Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (Harrdec) has latched on to the potential of wider commercialization of etag by giving it science-based value-adding techniques to ensure food safety, consistent quality and high market acceptability and promote it as a pork-based delicacy of the Cordillera.

    Harrdec is part of the consortia of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development.

    ?Under the program Technology to People of Harrdec, and with the cooperation and expertise of the Benguet State University, the Etag Project, a research started in 2009, led by consortium director Sonwright Maddul, aims to develop handling and packaging methods to prolong product shelf life, preserve its unique taste and flavor, and enhance its acceptability to consumers.

    ?Basically following the homegrown method, the scientifically enhanced technique involves a fabricated smokehouse. The ingredients are also standardized, which is 180 grams of salt to a kilo of native pork and mixed in an improvised tumbler, covered and smoked. Cold smoking entails standing it for 120 hours, or five days, and hot-smoking will take 144 hours, or six days, in a clean container. The meat is then hanged horizontally inside a smoker where they are cold-smoked at 26° to 43° C for 56 hours of five days (intermittent) or hot-smoked at 71° to 70° C for 16 hours, or two days (intermittent).

    ?When sundried, the sliced salted pieces are arranged in a clean container and let stand for 72 hours, or three days, before hanging to dry in an improvised dryer for 56 hours, or seven days.

    ?A very important intervention would be in the packaging in choices of sealed polyethylene or vacuum packaging method. Sealed polyethylene, where etag is visible,?preserves the traditional look of etag. Vacuum-packaging is convenient, gives longer shelf life, and the shrunk characteristic of this packaging will require less shelf space. The packaging will also be complete with information labels of nutrition facts and source of product.

    A side-product of this project, which will offer economic opportunities for rural farmers,? will be the propagation of black native pigs.

    Apr 26, 2011 | 11:16 am

  26. Lambchop says:

    What a great idea for a sweet treat! I’ve always loved mangosteen and always felt like is was a underused fruit. Very nice :)

    Apr 26, 2011 | 11:45 am

  27. anna says:

    Hi MM,
    Baked it last night using peach jam, which also sank to the bottom inspite of adding it after 15 mins. It didn’t matter though coz it tasted really really yummy!
    I did this when I got home from work last night, and it was very easy to make. For such a simple recipe, it sure had a delicious result! I look forward to more of your “quick and easy” recipes!
    Thank you!

    Apr 26, 2011 | 2:00 pm

  28. isla says:

    “And it was so easy to make, even a non-baker can manage this”. Thanks for the recipe, MM. Will try this.:-)

    Apr 26, 2011 | 2:23 pm

  29. Ruth B says:

    Thanks for the additional tips, MM. I will try the stewed dried fruits when I make the cake this weekend. Or perhaps will try canned fruits in heavy syrup though this might be more suited for upside down cakes. It is becoming more difficult to find sources of good old fashioned cakes and pastries in Manila. Looking forward to your sharing with us many more of your recipes which harried working Moms like me can readily whip out for the family.

    Apr 26, 2011 | 9:40 pm

  30. betty q. says:

    How about…after your cake is baked, poke holes random spots using desired size biscuit cutter maybe an inch in diameter but not all the way through the cake and with piping bag, fill it with your jam and top it with thin slice of cake. Ice it with mocha buttercream or mocha whipped cream….so when people eat the cake…SURPRISE!

    Another one, MM , is make half batch of coffee mangosteen cake and half plain…then pour half plain….half coffee mangosteen on top of the plain, etc. so that as it flows and reaches the sides, you have the BULL’S EYE effect like the Bull’s eye cheesecake on Maida Heatter’s book.

    Apr 26, 2011 | 11:10 pm

  31. betty q. says:

    If you don’t fancy any of the above, MM…cupcakes would be a good alternative. It bakes faster so the jam I think will be suspended before the baking time is over. I would put a dab of cake batter then a tsp. maybe of the mangosteen jam …no seeds though…then top it with another dab of cake batter. When baked and cooled, I would still put a swirl of mocha whipped cream. But that is just me!

    Apr 27, 2011 | 1:15 am

  32. millet says:

    grabe, bettyq, you are just brimming with ideas! i love imagining all the options.

    Apr 27, 2011 | 4:25 pm

  33. Marketman says:

    bettyq, nice to have you back… and thanks for the tips. I am pretty sure the photo in the magazine was food styled, as their jam was just so perfectly positioned… :) Ruth, Isla and Anna, yes easy recipes like pound cakes, banana cakes etc. the old fashioned way are definitely disappearing. So many of the commercial versions are but a shadow of the old stuff… :( Emman, thanks for that article.

    Apr 27, 2011 | 8:51 pm

  34. Joy says:

    That looks so good. I have yet to find mangosteen.

    Apr 30, 2011 | 3:53 am

  35. Pinky says:

    Hi. I would like to know 1 Cup of flour and sugar is equivalent to how many grams in your recipe? I am actually interested in making the Saveur’s Pound cake you posted on 2 May 2009. On that recipe, flour is All purpose flour? Did you cut down the sugar? 3 cups of sugar is very sweet I think. But anyway, if you have the equivalent in Gram or OZ,it would be great.

    Feb 13, 2013 | 4:07 pm

  36. Marketman says:

    Pinky, in general, one up all purpose flour is roughly 130 grams. One cup of white granulated sugar is roughly 200 grams. All such conversions are easily found on the net… Yes, flour in the Saveur recipe is all purpose flour. And yes, I used 3 cups sugar. After all, a true pound cake is a pound sugar, a true pound cake is made with a pound each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. As a general rule, I follow such recipes to the tee or as written, then adjust after I see the results if I think I can do better. Opting to reduce sugar may change more than the sweetness, and may affect the outcome more than you think… Unless you are a really experienced baker or cook, follow the recipe.

    Feb 13, 2013 | 10:10 pm


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