Daring Cooks August 2012 / Cornmeal!

Rachael of pizzarossa was our August 2012 Daring Cook hostess and she challenged us to broaden our knowledge of cornmeal! Rachael provided us with some amazing recipes and encouraged us to hunt down other cornmeal recipes that we’d never tried before – opening our eyes to literally 100s of cuisines and 1000s of new-to-us recipes!
Corn meal is always something I have on hand, but I don’t seem to use it very often. I was excited to research my options which, by the way, turned out to be infinite. I knew I wanted to do something savory and something sweet. Polenta? Pizza crust? I even found a recipe for French macarons made with cornmeal ( It’s on my “to make” bucket list). Finally I settled on these Corn Spoonbreads….

And also this Peach Melba Cake with Brandy Glaze…..

Both turned out magnificently! We loved them. I found some some blue cornmeal at Whole Foods (WIN!) and I loved it! Jesse and I had the Corn Spoonbread for lunch one day…..YUM……and the cake got rave reviews from the ladies at work….. ( I don’t blame them … it was a most excellent cake!)

Tomato and Corn Spoonbread
Adapted from Tomato and Corn Spoonbread by the Food Network

Unsalted butter, for the ramekins
1/2 cup Blue cornmeal, plus more for the ramekins
2 cups whole milk
1 cup corn kernels (from 2 ears corn)
1/4 cup bacon, crushed
Kosher salt
4 large eggs
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fiesta blend shredded cheese


– Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 4 ( 6 ounce) ramekins for baking and place them onto of a baking sheet.
– In a medium large microwave safe bowl whisk together corn, cornmeal, milk and a pinch salt. Microwave for 5 mites on full power. Then stir and replace in microwave on full power until mixture is thick. This will be about another two minutes.
– While cornmeal mixture is in the microwave, place eggs in bowl of your stand mixer and beat until thickened and airy, abut 5 minutes.
– Returning to the cornmeal mixture, whisk in the parmesan cheese. Then whisk half of your cornmeal mixture into your egg mixture….be careful you don’t want scrambled eggs! Once combined whisk in remaining half of cornmeal mixture, followed by half of the chopped tomatoes, half the chives, and the bacon. Divide the batter among the ramekins and top evenly withe the fiesta cheese blend.
– Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are puffed up and set. Toss the remaining tomatoes and chives
with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Divide evenly over spoon breads and serve.


Peach Melba Cornmeal Cake with Brandy Glaze
Adapted from Fleur Delicious’ Cherry Cornmeal Cake with Bourbon Glaze
Makes one 9-inch round cake, about 8-10 servings

For cake
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (= 1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
1 cup raspberries
1 cup peaches rough diced

– In a small saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Continue heating until butter is browned. Pour the batter into a small bowl and place into freezer for 20 minutes.
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 inch round baking pan.
– In a small bowl combine first four ingredients with a whisk.
– Cream butter and sugars together in bowl of stand mixer beat on medium high until well combined. ( It won’t look like creamed butter and sugar – that’s ok)
– Continue adding eggs one at a time, don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl in between additions.
– Mix in vanilla and coconut extracts. Beat the flour mixture into the the sugar mixture in 1/3 increments alternating with the buttermilk.
– Scrape sides of the bowl. Fold in fruit with a spatula. (Be gentle!) Pour batter into 9″ prepared pan.
– Bake for 40 minutes. Cake should spring back when touched lightly. Let cool 10 min.

For glaze (the cake is delicious on its own…if you don’t want to use brandy, you can skip the glaze or just go for a simple powdered sugar glaze)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 TBS water
1/8 – 1/4 cup brandy
– In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, and water. Heat over medium-low heat until melted, then continue to heat until it starts bubbling. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and add the brandy, stirring for about a minute to incorporate it.
– After 10 minutes of cake-cooling, run a thin knife around the edges of the cake. Turn it out onto a plate, then re-invert it onto a wire rack. Place a sheet of foil underneath the rack for easy clean up. Using a fork, poke holes in the top of the cake. Spoon the warm glaze evenly over the surface of the warm cake. Let the cake rest and finish cooling for about an hour before serving. Cake will keep, wrapped tightly for a day or two.

And there you have it!
Dream. Bake. Believe!
Love, Steffie


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pizzarossa
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 02:53:14

    Both of those look stunning! And are both now on my to-make list 😀


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