I would call this cake a Happy Discovery. I have never had Cornmeal Cake in my 8 years in the US and I can confess I was very skeptical before trying this recipe. But since I’m looking for new fall recipe inspirations that are easy to make and delicious with an american twist, I wanted to give this recipe a try. I was not disappointed. The cake has a nice very fine crunchy bite and is smooth and tender at the same time. It goes well with any kind of jam or fruit compote you like. The original recipe suggests to make a cherry compote to accompany the cake. I personally used a Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves, that I warmed up just a little bit… it was perfect.
Adapted from Entertaining. Williams-Sonoma
3 oz (90 g) cake flour (soft wheat)
3 oz (90 g) ground almonds
3 ½ oz (105 g) yellow cornmeal
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, and seeds removed (you can do this with the tip of a very sharp knife)
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Very fine zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
Powdered Sugar for decoration
Your choice of Jam, as serving suggestion
Prep and scale all the ingredients.
You will need a 9 inch (23 cm) springform pan, one teaspoon of unsalted butter at room temperature and one teaspoon of all purpose flour to prep the pan. You will also need a medium bowl and an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Heat the oven to 350F (180C).
With your fingers or a paper towel, butter well the springform pan. Add the teaspoon of all purpose flour and shake the pan so the flour will coat it, tap out the excess.
In the medium bowl, mix the flour, ground almonds, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of the electric mixer, put the butter and the seeds of the vanilla bean. With the mixer on medium-high speed, mix the butter and the seeds until the mixture becomes creamy with a light color. With the mixer still on, add the granulated sugar, a little at a time. Beat for about 2 minutes until it becomes fluffy with an ivory tint. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Reduce the speed to low. Add the dry ingredients mixture (from the medium bowl). Mix just until combined (make sure not to over mix the cake batter once you add the flour and dry ingredients.) Pour the batter in the pan. Smooth the top of the cake with the back of a spatula.
Bake for an hour. Depending on your oven, I suggest you check the cake after 50 minutes. If a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, your cake is done! Don’t over bake it.
Let the cake sit for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool completely.
Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the cake with powdered sugar.
You can serve the cake with jam, or even better,… a few tablespoons of warm jam… it will act as a sauce, and moisten the cake…