Sweet & Sour Cornmeal Cake

By • September 22, 2013 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Experiments. Sometimes they work and sometimes… not. This one turned out deliciously, but I’m not entirely sure what to call it. It is somewhere between an olive oil cake and a lemon bar in consistency… dense and moist and tart, as it is made with 1/2 cup lemon-lime juice, lots of zest, and dotted with zingy red currants. It’s based on an orange cornmeal cake by Elise Bauer over at Simply Recipes, with a few crucial differences, and some more minor ones (namely, the red currants and grapes). The major difference is that here I have omitted the 2 teaspoons of baking powder. I also replaced a quarter cup of the all purpose flour with a quarter cup of almond flour. This makes for a thin, dense tart, with the slight consistency of clafouti thanks to the eggs. You’ll want to eat it in small slices with black tea, or with subtle-flavored ice cream like vanilla or corn. It takes re-heating well.Katie Okamoto


Makes 1 cake

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar (or turbinado)
  • 1 large lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal of medium coarseness
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup red currants mixed in a small bowl with turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a round cake pan. Using the bottom of the pan to trace, cut a circular piece of parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil and sugars until combined, then add the eggs and citrus juices and whisk together as well. Stir in lemon and lime zests.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients, except for the red currants rolled in sugar.
  5. In small batches, add the dry mixture to the wet, using a fork to whisk them together using a figure-8 motion, just until all the dry is incorporated without lumps.
  6. Pour the batter into the round cake pan and scatter the sugared-currants over the top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes (or until edges are browned and a fork inserted comes out clean) and allow to cool for 20 minutes before attempting to remove the cake from the pan.
  8. Transfer the cake to a plate using the two-plate method (one plate held over the pan, then flip carefully so the cake is upside down, remove the parchment paper, hold another plate against the cake and flip carefully, tada!).
  9. Eat plain with tea, or beneath a scoop of sweet corn ice cream.

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