Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing

There are some people who think and talk in properly formed sentences, which become very long paragraphs. And they can talk and argue and sound intelligent all the time. LIKE ALL THE TIME. It's a kind of genius. And it makes me jealous.

I think and talk in sentences. And they are usually poorly formed. Or at the very least, they are not nearly as smart or cool sounding as I wish. So I am not a talking/communicating genius. But let me tell you something.

Sometimes I get flashes of genius.

I mean this cake is a stroke of genius. I've been wanting to make it forever, and when I finally did. Well... It's almost embarrassingly delicious. It is a Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing.

And when I am in classes, where people discuss moral, ethical and literary issues as if their lives depended on it, and stylish and elegant sentences spill out of their mouths, I daydream about cake, cheese and shoes and magazines and music and generally feel like a shallow person.

 Not paying attention in class is kind of a genius too. Sort of. Kind of.

Not really. 

And you know what? I'm okay with not being a talking genius all the time. Not everyone can be a genius. Sometimes you have to be that girl who asks dumb questions and relates Awkward Personal Anecdotes that always make way more sense in her head. Sometimes you have to wear blinding bright neon-pink sneakers. Sometimes you just have to eat cake and cheese and enchiladas. All in one meal. And sometimes you have to talk in not good sentences.  What I'm trying to say is: this cake is for those of us who just get strokes of genius. It's for those of us who ask the dumb questions. It's dedicated to the in class day dreamers, who watch the clock, because they really don't want to discuss Ancient Greek drama, because they just want food. 
Especially on Banana Pudding Day. 

                                           Insert Awkward Personal Anecdote Here.

Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing
from The Gourmet Cookbook
This is everything cake was meant to be. Hearty, moist, sweet, tender. And I am obsessed with the icing.
I've literally been wanting to make this for years. It was not quite like I expected, namely in that the blackberry jam flavor was not quite as pronounced as I had hoped. Nevertheless, it is exceedingly luscious. Also, I was out of evaporated milk, so I substituted with heavy whipping cream and a smidgen of milk. Which obviously increased the delicious quotient. xoxo

For Cake

3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks (1/2 pound butter)
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup seedless blackberry jam
1 cup chopped raisins or dates
1 cup chopped pecans

For Icing

3 cups light brown sugar
1 cup evaporated milk (or heavy whipping cream)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

Make the Cake: Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan, line bottom with parchment paper, and butter it,  or simply butter pan and and dust with flour.
Sift together 3 cups flour, salt, allspice, cloves and cinnamon in a bowl.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs and beat until well combined.
Stir together buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl. Working in 3 batches, alternately add flour and buttermilk mixtures to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Add jam and beat until well combined. Toss together raisins, pecans, and remaining 1 tablespoon flour in a bowl, then add to batter and stir until well combined.
Pour batter into baking pan. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert cake onto rack, remove paper, and cool completely.

Make the Icing: Combine brown sugar, evaporated milk, and butter in a 3-quart saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Cook, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals clinging to side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water (I never do that kind of stuff) until caramel registers 238 F on thermometer, about 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to a heatproof bowl and beat with a handheld (or stand) mixer at high speed until just thickened, pale, and spreadable, about 5 minutes.