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cornmeal cakes tripled and berried July 7, 2009

Filed under: blueberries,cake — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 5:00 pm
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“BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL CAKE TRIPTYCH”

I’ve been goin’ at it with my Logan’s Turnpike Mill stoneground Georgia cornmeal and our organic Texas blueberries (still showing up in the local markets for around $4 per pint).   We enjoyed these three cakes recently (yes, we go through cake pretty fast around here).  If you gotta mind to you can enhance the cake of your choice with a little lemon zest or lemon oil added with the butter.  And if you really want to trip out try blue or even red cornmeal (make sure the grind’s not too coarse).

Here’s a terrific pound cake, with or without blueberries.


Cake and fireworks---can't be beat!

BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL POUND CAKE

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, preferably organic, softened
  • 38 grams cornmeal
  • 181.5 grams (1 1/2 cups) organic all-purpose flour
  • 125 grams (5/8 cup) sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • up to 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 151 grams (7/8 cup) sour cream, homemade yogurt 1/2-n-1/2 is fine
  • 42 grams (2 Tablespoons) honey, preferably local
  • scant Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, preferably local
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries, preferably local and organic, rinsed and dried well

Preheat oven to 350º and grease and flour (I like Spectrum baking spray) a 6-cup Bundt® style tube pan.  I use a Turk’s head pan.

Combine dry ingredients (cornmeal through salt) in a bowl with a whisk.  Lightly beat eggs with vanilla and about a third of the sour cream.  Mix the remaining sour cream with the honey.

Combine butter and dry ingredients in a mixer bowl (a stand mixer works best for this).  Add sour cream with honey and mix on medium speed with the paddle for 90 seconds.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add the egg mixture in three parts, beating for 20 seconds  after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl each time.

Fill the pan halfway with batter.  Gently stir blueberries into the remaining batter and finish filling the pan.  Bake for about 35 minutes, until cake tests done.  If the top seems to be overbrowning you can lightly lay a piece of foil on the top or  turn the oven down to 325º.

Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes.  Loosen sides by gently jostling pan and turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

A light lemon glaze is nice but not essential.  Combine 1 Tablespoon lemon juice with 6 or more Tablespoons powdered sugar to make a drizzly drizzle.  Pour over cooled cake.


This next cake is good as a 1 or 2 layer cake with super buttery frosting or as a single layer served with tartened whipped cream (1 cup heavy cream and 1/3 cup sour cream whooped together til softly peaking), fresh blueberries and local honey.


BROWN SUGAR CORNMEAL CAKE makes 1  9″ round layer

  • 3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) organic butter, softened
  • 155 grams (3/4 cup) organic light brown sugar–Central Market Organics is usually the best buy
  • 1 1/2 eggs–75 grams or 4 1/2 Tablespoons–preferably local
  • 121 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour, preferably organic
  • 2 ounces (about a rounded 1/2 cup) cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yogurt or buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350º and grease and flour a 9″ X 2″ round cake pan.  For a surefire smooth move at unmolding time lay a circle of waxed paper on the bottom of the pan before greasing and flouring or spraying with baking spray.

Cream butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in eggs.  Whisk together dry ingredients.  Stir vanilla into yogurt.  Add dry ingredients to butter in three parts alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat well and brieflybetween additions and don’t forget to scrape the mixing bowl.

Fill your pan, jiggling it to level batter, and bake about 20-25 minutes, until cake tests done.  Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes before loosening the sides with a metal spatula and inverting onto a cooling rack.  Reinvert if that’s your style. Let cake cool completely if you’re gonna frost it.  Otherwise eat it warm.  Go ahead.


Almost a cross between the first two cakes, this tall, rich layer is downright decadent without being fancy.  Dense with butter (nearly unctuous with Organic Valley Pasture butter), it’s irresistible when warm.  The blueberries actually help cut the richness.  So eat another piece before I eat it all!

that's rich!

RICH BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL CAKE makes one 9″ round cake

  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) organic butter, softened
  • 83 grams (about 7/8 cup) organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 35 grams (about 1/4 cup ) cornmeal
  • 83 grams (about 1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons) organic all-purpose flour
  • 200 grams (1 cup) organic sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • a little freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt–slightly less if using Pasture butter
  • 160 grams (2/3 cup) homemade 1/2-n-1/2 yogurt or sour cream (light is fine.  This cake is rich enough.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs, preferably local
  • up to 1/2 pint fresh blueberries, preferably local and organic, rinsed and dried well

Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease and flour a 9″ X 3″ round pan.  Lining  the bottom with a round of waxed paper is a good idea here.

Combine dry ingredients, through salt, in a bowl with a whisk.  Stir about 3 Tablespoons (don’t bother to measure) yogurt or sour cream and extracts into the eggs.  Combine flour mixture, butter, and remaining yogurt in a mixer bowl and beat on medium speed for 90 seconds.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Add egg mixture to batter in three parts, beating for 20 seconds after each addition and scraping the bowl in between.

Pour two-thirds of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle  the blueberries evenly over the batter.  Top with the remaining batter and the sprinkle with the blueberries.  Bake for 35 minutes or so until cake tests done.  Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes before loosening the sides and unmolding. Let cool as long as you can stand it.

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Bread Out Back July 4, 2009

Filed under: bread,bread machine — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 3:26 pm
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I generally use my bread machine just for mixing and kneading dough but in the hot hot months here I’ll bake an occasional loaf in the machine itself.  You already know it’s super easy to just dump in your ingredients, push the button and go.  I’ve now taken to putting the bread maker outside to keep the heat where it belongs.  Not quite the same as having a wood-burning forno or tandoor in the backyard but getting the job done nonetheless.  Here’s a cornmeal bread that bakes on the quick cycle (about 2 hours) that’s especially great as toast with some Luckly Layla butter or Organic Valley Pasture butter.

CORNMEAL BREAD for the bread machine

  • 2/3 cup plus 3 Tablespoons water
  • 3/8 cup milk (6 Tablepoons), preferably local
  • scant teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons local honey
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 325 grams (2 1/2 cups) bread flour
  • 4 1/4 ounces (scant 1 cup) organic yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon bread machine yeast

Your machine’s instructions will tell you in what order to place the ingredients into the pan.  In my machine, that would be the order listed.  Take your machine outside–it’s best to bake in the shade.  Program your loaf on the quick or rapid bake setting and go back inside to cool off!

This recipe makes a small loaf.  If you find yourself with leftovers, tear or cut the bread into chunks and stash it in a bag or other container in the freezer.  I do this with almost any kind of stale bread.  When your stash is full, you can easily bake up some improv stuffing–in the toaster oven of course!

Today we enjoyed this bread with purple hull peas from Oak Hill Farms ($4.99 per 1 pound bag) from Central Market.  You’ll find various cowpea types at our farmers markets right now.  In addition to my standard fixin’s, I sparkled this pot o’ peas with a few of Finca Pura Vida’s small oblong greenish-red tomatoes and a languishing leek type thing (elephant garlic, I believe) from the back of the veggie drawer.  Some fresh oregano, marjoram and savory from my herb garden didn’t hurt either.  Tender palates in this house can’t take much spice so I drizzled the grown-up portions with a little pickled jalapeno brine.  I almost never let good brine go to waste.  I use olive brine for seasoning veggies and sometimes hummus and I’ve been known to quick-fix my cucumber salad with some leftover pickle juice.  Waste not!

January 25, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Speaking of zero-waste,  leftovers from this loaf toast up into first rate breadcrumbs.  You can store them in the freezer if you don’t eat ’em all up with a spoon!

 

Blueberries abound June 29, 2009

Filed under: muffins — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 10:24 am
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berry blues

Still enjoying the heck out of that Logan’s Turnpike Mill stoneground Georgia cornmeal that we picked up in Atlanta.  I’m using the yellow more because that’s what I’m used to but I’ll get back to the white after a while.

Texas blueberries are all around with Central Market selling full pints of the organic jewels for $3.99.  I’ve been finding similar deals at the farmers markets and Whole Foods. The last issue of WF’s Whole Deal offers coupons for Organic Valley butters ($1 off per package)that expire tomorrow and both OV’s cultured butter (gold package) and Pasture butter (green package) are on sale right now at WF for $3.39 per half pound block.  These specialty higher butterfat butters are luscious and perfect for gilding your muffins.

BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL MUFFINS yields 1 dozen

  • 94 grams (1 cup) organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 92 grams (3/4 cup) organic all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/4 ounces cornmeal (2/3 cup), preferably organic
  • 1 Tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder, I use Rumford
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt, preferably local
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3  to 1/2 cup honey, preferably local
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • a cup or so of fresh Texas blueberries, preferably organic, rinsed and dried
  • optional enhancements:  lemon zest, freshly grated nutmeg, vanilla extract
  • turdinado sugar for sprinkling on top, optional

Grease your muffin tins and heat up your oven to 400°.

Whisk together your dry ingredients through the baking soda.  In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, salt and honey.  Pour the slightly cooled butter on top of the wet ingredients then dump the dry ingredients on top.  Give it a couple of stirs then pour on the blueberries.  Stir quickly and gently just to mostly combine everything.  Don’t overmix!  Fill your pans (use a scoop) and top the batter with turbinado sugar if desired.  Bake 12 minutes or more, until baked through.  Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes then loosen each muffin with a small knife or spatula and unmold onto your cooling rack.  Enjoy now or later.

This recipes halves easily so you can bake just 6 muffins in your toaster oven.