During these troubling times, it can help to find joy in little things. As a food and baking blogger, I sometimes feel odd spending my spare time obsessing over recipes, writing them out, and taking photos of stuff when outside my window the world looks like it’s slowly being destroyed. But I think it’s essential to take a break from the news cycle and bad news, and to recharge and replenish oneself. For me, it’s baking and cooking. It’s not like being a Pollyanna or putting your head in the sand to avoid the world, but rather to take a moment to acknowledge what is still good and right and positive in your immediate world and to be grateful for it so that you can carry on. I hope you’re able to take some time off from the stresses of the world and enjoy the little things, like this little half-pound cake I made! I think you’ll enjoy making it too. It has just the right amount of buttery sweetness of the cake and the fig jam, which is contrasted by the tartness of the tamarind paste. It was adapted from this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. The main change was to add more batter to the jam part, and to bake it in a smaller loaf pan so that it looks taller.
For last year’s pop tarts, I wanted something that was sweet and also tart, and so I thought of putting tamarind paste and fig jam together. I liked it so much I also used it as a component for a cheesecake and we also use it as a jam for toast from time to time. Recently while doing an internet search for that flavor combination, I noticed that a company called The Jam Stand offers a fig tamarind jam, which I already ordered and am very excited to try real soon! This isn’t a recommendation, obviously, because I haven’t even tried it yet, but I imagine it will taste very similar to mine. I’ll keep you posted on what the verdict is! If I like it you may see a recipe utilizing it here! The beauty of making a fig tamarind jam yourself though is that you can adjust the tartness by increasing the ratio between the tamarind paste to the fig jam. Feel free to experiment with it to get the right tartness you want!
tamarind fig marble pound cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the tamarind fig jam swirl:
1/4 cup fig jam + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened tamarind paste
1/2 of the cake batter
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. grease a 8.5 x. 4.5 pan or other pan with similar volume. If you use a 9 x 5 loaf pan, you may not need it to bake as long, and it may not be as tall. Line with parchment paper that overhangs on two opposite sides for easy removal. Set aside.
Sift the flour into a bowl, along with the baking powder and salt and stir with a whisk several times to ensure the baking powder and salt are evenly dispersed throughout the flour. Set aside.
In another bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until creamy; add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg until mixed; add the vanilla and the yogurt and beat on low until incorporated into the batter; scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again briefly.
Into another smaller bowl, add a little less than 1/2 of the cake batter from the first bowl, add 1/4 cup fig jam, and 2 Tablespoons of tamarind paste and mix all three ingredients together until it is consistently one color. Set aside.
Take about 2/3 of the plain cake batter from the first bowl and place in the bottom of the loaf pan in large dollops. Spoon all of the fig tamarind batter on top of the plain batter in dollops and swirl slightly with a knife.
Add the remaining 1/3 of the plain cake batter on top and swirl with a knife slightly once again. Tap on a counter to get the batter to be even at the surface.
Place in center rack of 350 degree oven and bake for about an hour until a toothpick stuck in the center of the cake comes out clean with no crumbs or wet batter. Make sure there is no uncooked batter in the center. It may take longer than an hour. Remove from oven and let sit for about 20 minutes until cooled before inverting and placing right side up in a cake platter or plate and slicing. Lasts a few days in an airtight container at room temperature. Freezes well too.