Cornmeal Cake with Mixed Berry Compote
For the cornmeal cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) good-quality unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
For the mixed berry compote
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen mixed berries
1 tablespoon sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice
For the cake, preheat the oven to 350°.Generously coat a 9-inch round cake pan with shortening (tip: this works better than cooking spray or butter) and lightly flour the pan, tapping out the excess.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter until it is light and airy. Add the sugar and continue to cream until very fluffy, about 3 - 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the buttermilk and vanilla bean seeds, mixing until smooth. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated, being careful not to over mix.
Pour the batter into the greased cake pan and smooth the top. Bake until the cake is golden and cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes (start checking with a toothpick at 25 minutes). Cool the cake in the pan set on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the pan and remove the cake from the pan. To do this, place a lightly-floured free hand or cardboard cake round directly onto the top of the cake in order to support the layer; then gently flip the cake pan over with your hand or cake round still supporting it, while gently tapping with the other hand until the cake slips out onto a flat surface. Invert the cake once more onto a serving plate. Cool completely, slice into wedges, and serve with mixed berry compote.
For the compote, melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the mixed berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Allow the mixture to cook down, stirring occasionally, until a thick syrup forms but some of the berries still hold their form. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Spoon over the cornmeal cake.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
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