Monday, August 16, 2010

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Yesterday I woke up exhausted, realized we couldn't go to church because of Eden's nasty cold, said goodbye to Ben who flew to New Orleans for work, discovered that our refrigerator was broken (so HELP me -- this just happened), stashed all of our milk, eggs, cheese etc. at the neighbors, put a beer in the freezer (which still worked) to drink the moment it became cold (it was noon), and set about baking cakes for my dear friend Carrie's birthday. Though I ended up with two cakes by evening, I officially became ridiculous when I walked to my neighbor's for the third time to borrow my ingredients. Apparently I was moving only line by line through the recipes. In any event, cakes were made, Carrie was celebrated, and the night was lovely. Here is one of my favorites:

Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Glaze and Crushed Blueberry Sauce
(from Bon Appetit, April 2009)

1 1/2 c packed pow sugar, sifted
2 T (or more) fresh lemon juice

1 12 c flour
1/3 c yellow cornmeal
3/4 c sugar
3 1/2 t b powder
1/2 t salt
1 c buttermilk
2 eggs
1 T finely grated lemon peel
3/4 t vanilla
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted, cooled

Combine p.sugar and 2 T lemon juice in small bowl.
Stir with spoon until smooth and paste-like,
adding more lemon juice by the 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to spread.
Set aside.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350.
Butter 9" cake pan; line bottom with parchment.
Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, b powder, and salt in large bowl, whisk to blend
Whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel and vanilla in sm. bowl
Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture.
Using rubber spatula, gently fold liquids into flour mixture until just blended (don't stir)
Scrape batter into pan, spread evenly.

Bake cake until tester comes out clean and cake pulls away from sides, about 30 min.

Immediately run knife around sides of cake. Place rack atop cake and invert cake onto rack,
then invert onto second rack so cake is top side up.
Stir glaze until blended.
While cake is still very hot, drop glaze by tablespoons onto cake;
spread to within 1/2 inch of edge (some glaze will drip down sides of cake -- delicious, don't worry). Cool completely.

Crushed Blueberry Sauce:

3 c blueberries (fresh or frozen, thawed), divided
2/3 c packed brown sugar
2 t fresh lemon juice
1/2 t finely grated lemon peel
pinch of salt

Combine 1 1/2 c blueberries and all other ingredients in a medium saucepan.
Stir over med. heat til sugar dissolves and mixture simmers (~7 min)
Reduce head to med-low and simmer until syrupy, stirring often (~ 7 min)
Remove from heat
Add remaining berries
Gently press fresh blueberries against side of pan until slightly crushed
Cover and chill -- serve chilled or reheat if desired.

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