As promised in my last entry at Gourmet Meals for Less, I want to share this great recipe that I adapted from a few different ones I have been dying to try. I first saw a cornmeal cake on Giada's show on The Food Network Channel and was intrigued by the idea. I then saw this great post at The Pioneer Woman where she made these, which looks so delish. I found out later my sister, also a obsessive foodie like yours truly, had made the Pioneer Woman's mini cakes and said they were as good as they looked. I wanted to make a true cake though and I wanted to use cornmeal, so I started searching for some great lemon cornmeal cakes and stumbled upon a Woman's Day recipe that fit the bill perfectly.
Wanting to try the lemon, thyme, combination like the Pioneer Woman's recipe I decided to incorporate chopped thyme. This added just the flavor I was looking for.
My very daring guinea pigs willing family (who by the way scoffed at my recipe when I mentioned lemon, cornmeal and cake all in the same breath) agreed to try it...guess what, yep they loved it! It was moist, and not too sweet and the glaze was so yummy good! I served it with a simple raspberry sauce (crush raspberries with fork, add in sugar until you have a nice syrup) which really added to the complexity of flavors, but you could leave this off and it would be just as delicious.
I wish I could tell you this cake lasted several days but as is usually the case in my house, cakes get eaten for breakfast, snack, lunch...until it's gone. This cake was no exception. I heard on good authority it was great with a cup of coffee around 8 am the next day... but I'm not giving out names...
I hope you will give this unusual cake a try, it will not disappoint!
Lemon Thyme Cornmeal Cake-adapted from Better Home's and Garden and Pioneer Woman
Serves 20 (yeah right...maybe 10-15)
Baking spray (cooking spray with flour)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (PI)
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (PI)
2 tsp baking powder (PI)
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt (PI)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened (1.00)
1 3/4 cups sugar (PI)
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest-(freebie from mother-in-law see prior entry)
1/4 cup lemon juice-(freebie from mother-in-law see prior entry)
4 large eggs (.16)
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt, stirred to loosen (I used yogurt, cause it's what I had on hand. I will try with buttermilk next time. Would probably be even moister) (1.00)
3 tsp chopped fresh thyme or to taste (I will use more next time...heh heh no pun intended.) (free from garden)
1 cup sugar (I used 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar instead, I like how it blends better) (PI)
1/3 cup lemon juice (freebie from mother-in-laww see prior entry)
Heat oven to 325°F. You’ll need a 10-cup decorative tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan coated with baking spray. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt. In a large bowl beat butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk until batter is smooth. Stir in chopped thyme. Scrape into prepared pan; level top with spatula. Bake 55 to 65 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan on wire rack 5 minutes.
See this beautiful bundt pan...it was inherited from my dear, sweet, Mamaw-in-law, who was a frugal gourmet before being one was trendy. We have missed her presence in our lives but I feel her cooking beside me every time I use her bundt pan and it makes me smile!
Meanwhile, make the sugar glaze: Whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl just until combined (sugar will not be totally dissolved). Invert cake from pan onto rack; place rack over a baking sheet. Brush glaze all over hot cake until absorbed (sugar crystals will be evident).
Cool completely. Transfer cake to a serving plate and cover. Let cake rest several hours, or overnight, before serving. Store cake covered at room temperature up to 4 days. Cut into thin slices to serve.
Total Cost: $2.16 for cake. Additional $1.00 for raspberries. (now this is not completely accurate because I don't include pantry items in my total BUT if you feel you must to reflect the accurate cost I would add another $1.50-2.00 in ingredient cost. Still can't beat a cake for $3-4!)