If you read my blog astutely, not that I expect you to, but you may have noticed that I posted Allan and I went on a trip to Slovenia and Croatia. Now, I had every intention of giving day by day coverage of our discoveries, but I forgot the charger for my camera and I burned out the battery on day 2. Without photos, let’s face it you don’t have much of a blog. I took some pictures with Allan’s phone and I may dribble those out over time, but I missed the big photo op.
But maybe it’s better this way. Maybe Slovenia and Croatia just became part of me and I will reveal how they changed me through small revelations. That is actually true, and I noticed that tonight. I always have a quart of strawberries in my fridge these days because they are so beautiful and abundant in Tunisia, right now. We don’t eat much dessert at our house, but the weather has turned chilly again, and the sea is stormy, and Allan and I aren’t feeling our best, so our son made a gorgeous chicken soup with homemade dumplings for dinner. I decided I could at least contribute a little cake to have with our strawberries. I saw a recipe today for a cornmeal cake, which I hoped would be like just about every dessert we had on our trip: barely sweet. The desserts were heavily fruit laden, think strudel, with just a hint of sweetness. I commented several times that the dessert could almost be a side dish. This cornmeal cake has that very touch of sweetness and a really nice corn crunchiness (I used a coarsely ground cornmeal), while being fork tender at the center. It was just what I wanted to have.
Cornmeal Cake with Strawberries
From Fresh From the Farmers’ Market by Janet Fletcher
- Unsalted butter and cornmeal for preparing the pan
- 1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides, then dust with cornmeal, shaking out excess.
- In a bowl, stir together the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
- With an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar gradually and beat, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice, until creamy and light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon zest.
- Combine milk and vanilla extract. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with milk. Beat just until blended, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
- Bake until top is golden brown and firm to the touch, 35-40 minutes.