I’ve always liked the texture of coarse-ground cornmeal so for this off-roading experiment, I substituted approximately approximately 125g of the flour with heirloom cornmeal. I also wanted to make the cake a bit fluffy so had wanted to replace half of the milk with ricotta but unfortunately could not find any locally so had to go with yogurt instead (this part didn’t work out as hoped). Other changes included: Cointreau instead of Grand Marnier (did not have on hand) and 1/3 cup less sugar (don’t like overly sweet desserts). I also made a “control” cake following original recipe (but still using Cointreau). SO GOOD! The cornmeal version was good but the original recipe was much more moist and that extra 1/3 cup sugar actually didn’t make the cake overly sweet. The additional baking time (see below re pan size) actually gave me extra crispy crust, which is always a bonus. (In the photos, the ugliful one with the dark lumpy crust is the “control” cake with minimal changes to the recipe.) —Denise Yuan
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder).
Mix the remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl. Whisk to get them all incorporated properly.
Slowly stir in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and continue to stir/mix until the batter is completely smooth and no lumps remain.
(While prepping and mixing, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees). Prepare the cake pan by lightly greasing the bottom and sides with thin coat of olive oil. (I also added a round of parchment paper at the bottom).
Once oven is ready, pour the batter into the cake pan (it’s a bit liquid so if using springform pan, suggest putting that on a sheet pan to catch leaks) and bake for around 60 minutes (or until cake tester in middle of cake comes out clean). In my “control” case, my cake pan was 7” diameter instead of 8” and so it actually took me closer to 2 hours before the cake was fully done.
When done, take out of oven and let cool inside the pan for at least 30 minutes and then take a thin knife around the edges of the cake to help remove the cake from the pan cleanly. Put cake on a rack and let cool completely before eating.