Cookin' Outdoors with Johnny Nix                                
Y'all Eat Yet?                                                                                                 

Blackberry Jam Cake


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup seedless blackberry jam
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (see Note)

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons (¾stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces white chocolate (such as Lindt — do not use a baking
chocolate like Callebaut), melted and cooled to lukewarm temperature (see Note)
½cup chopped toasted pecans (see Note), for garnish
Fresh blackberries, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.Grease and lightly flour two 9 x 2-inch round
cake pans, then line the bottom with a round of waxed paper.

To make the cake: In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars gradually, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and the vanilla.With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended. Fold in the jam and pecans until no large pieces of jam remain, but leave some small bits throughout the batter. (Do not be alarmed when you see that the cake batter is actually purple in color — it will be brown when it comes out of the oven.)

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pan for 1 hour. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the icing: In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Add the melted chocolate and beat well. Use immediately or store, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 hours. When the cake has cooled, spread the icing between the layers, stack the layers, then ice the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with pecans as desired. I also like to scatter a handful of fresh blackberries around the cake plate when they’re in season.