Savoury Cornbread

I said when I made this regular plain cornbread that it would be good with extra stuff in it, and I was right. I followed the recipe exactly the other night, except …

When I greased the baking dish, I scattered on the bottom:

  • 4 sundried tomatoes snipped into small strips
  • 2 oz chorizo / paprika salami, cut into slices and then in half again
  • A handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 3 oz strong cheddar cheese, in little cubes
  • A handful of dried black pitted olives

Wow. That was amazing served warm with chilli, and has been wonderful cold for breakfast, snacks and lunches since. If I were to do it and again (and believe me, I will, it’s an excellent thing to take to a bbq), I would:

  • put less salt in the bread, with the olives and cheese you don’t need it
  • cut up the olives, they were a bit big
  • put the cheese on top? or stir the lumps into the mix rather than onto the bottom of the dish? it came out warm like an upside down pizza with minimal topping, which did make it easy to handle, but cold it could have done with a little bit more oomph
  • think about other things like bits of fresh chilli or onion or fresh pepper, it was a good side dish but if it were a feature it needs a bit more texture and hidden surprises
  • look at the sort of things you top polenta with, after all, it’s the same thing really, just made into a cake
  • cut down the sugar a little bit but not too much, it balanced the salty stuff nicely – it’s too much for the plain bread, though
  • think about a sweet version with dried apricots and other fruit that you could serve with cold thick cream and warm honey

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

 

Advertisements
Posted in Recipes. Tags: , , , , . 2 Comments »

Standard Cornbread

Mmm, says John, it's just like cake. Which of course, it is really. Now that I've done it I'll mess around with it, take out a lot of the sugar, for a start. Even for a sweet bread it doesn't need it. You could add dried fruit or veg (tomatoes, for instance), herbs, chillies, a cheese topping, chopped meat, to make it savoury. Recipe from 1976 edition.

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsps baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup polenta (yellow cornmeal)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup marge

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 7. Grease a 9" square pan or dish.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the cornmeal, then beat in everything else with an electric whisk. Don't overbeat it, just until it's smooth. Pour into the dish and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Bog-standard Trifle

I've got a wonderful trifle dish, which is actually the glass bowl bit out of a dead washing machine. I'm making a standard trifle in it today, which is:

 

  • 1 bought Madeira cake
  • Raspberry jam / conserve
  • Madeira or cream sherry
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 dessertspoon caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 2 pints double cream
  • Fresh raspberries

Slice the madeira cake and sandwich the slices back together with raspberry jam, in whatever shape is convenient for your bowl. Sprinkle with plenty of booze to soak well in. Today we're using ordinary raspberry jam, but soaking in Blandy's Avada 5 year old sweet Madeira.

Make a custard – in a bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour. Heat one of the pints of cream to nearly boiling, pour over the egg mixture in a stream, whisking as you go. Put back in the pan, and heat gently until well thick. Pour it over the sponges, banging it up and down a couple of times to make sure it settles well around the sponges. Leave to cool and set.

When it's cool, whip the second pint of cream, with booze and flavourings if you like, and spread over the top. If you're using a bowl shaped like mine, that's wider at the top than the bottom, you may need more cream to get a decent layer.

Decorate the top with fresh raspberries.

This is actually better the next day, but if you're leaving it for a while you might want to wait on the raspberries.

Variants – blueberries (jam and fresh for the top), cranberries ditto – but sweetened dried for the top, fresh is too tart, chopped nuts on top, some people put fruit in amongst the sponge, but I'm a bit of a purist about that, you can put vanilla in the custard if you must.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Carrot and Coriander Muffins

I lik muffins for breakfast, and most of the recipes I have are sweet. These looked interesting and different, and come out at 204 cals per muffin. My normal blueberry muffins have 174, but I use non-fat yoghourt, low-fat buttermilk, sunflower spread, Splenda and non-fat egg substitute. So I expect with some tweaking I could get these down. Recipe makes 9 deep / large muffins. From delicious, September 2005.

 

  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • 175 gms carrots
  • 50 gms pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 150 gms plain flour
  • 100 gms wholemeal flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • some black pepper – doesn't list it on ingredients but is mentioned in recipe
  • 200 ml milk (it doesn't say, but go for semi-skimmed)
  • 1 egg (try soy egg replacement)
  • 4 tbsps olive oil (think this might be necessary … the lightest you can find)

Preheat oven to Gas 5. Line 9 holes of a deep muffin tray.

Dry fry the cumin seed until toasted. Put into a large bowl, and add the carrot (coarsely grated), the pumpkin seeds and coriander.

Sift and add all other dry ingredients.

Add milk, egg and oil, stirring lightly until just mixed.

Fill each muffin hole 2/3rds full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until risen and firm. Cool 5 minutes, turn onto wire rack. Best the day they're made but can be frozen.

 

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Texan Dollies

One to make the fillings hurt. From olive February 2004. No nutritional info given, but you wouldn't really want to know, would you? Great to take to office bakesale days. Because you could have one, but if you had them at home you wouldn't stop.

  • 300 gms crushed digestive biscuits
  • 150 gms unsalted butter, melted
  • 150 gms chopped walnuts
  • 100 gms chocolate chips, milk or plain
  • 75 gms sultanas
  • 200 gms dessicated coconut
  • 600 ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 50 gms plain chocolate

Heat the oven to Gas Mark 3.

Mix biscuit crumbs and butter. Press into the base of a lightly oiled baking tin about 20cm square and at least 5 cm deep.

Cover the base with the walnuts, chocolate chips, sultanas and coconut. Pour over the condensed milk and spread evenly.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until light golden. (They emphasise the oven must be no hotter than Gas Mark 3 and the cake should not be overbaked.) Let it cool overnight in the tin.

Melt the plain chocolate and drizzle over the top. Once it has set, using a very sharp knife, cut into 25 squares, easing gently out of the tin.

Make sure you don't use a good non-stick pan or the sharp knife bit will be a bugger. So don't line it with foil or anything either. You could substitute things easily – dried cherries or cranberries for the sultanas; pecans or hazelnuts or chopped brazils for the walnuts. I think the coconut probably has an important part to play in texture and holding everything together, I'm not sure if you could use anything else.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Cranberry Christmas Rockies

These don't look too bad, especially if you can get unsweetened dried cranberries and didn't do the icing sugar to serve bit. If you make 16 lumps from this amount of batter, they reckon 80 cals per lump. December 2005 Good Food, again. Also says best a day or two after baking.

  • 50 gms unsalted butter
  • 100 gms self raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 50 gms light muscovado sugar
  • 85 gm pack dried cranberries
  • 1 small apple, halved, cored and finely diced (doesn't say peeled …)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • icing sugar, to serve

Heat oven to Gas 4 and lightly oil a non-stick baking sheet.

Rub butter and flour into fine breadcrumbs with fingers or pulse in a processor.

Stir in everything else until you have a soft dough. (It doesn't say so, but don't do this in a processor or you'll lose all the textures.)

Drop 16 heaped tsps dough onto the baking sheet, well spaced out.

Bake 18 – 20 minutes until golden.

Cool on a wire rack and dust with plenty of sugar.

When I first saw the recipe title I thought it would be like a Rocky Road thing with chocolate and marshmallows, but it's more of a traditional rock cake. You could use low-fat dried fake egg, and Splenda, and it would make a great breakfast muffin thing – especially as they reckon you could make 8 bigger ones instead. I gather that in the States you can get brown Splenda, that would be a Good Thing.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Mango & Lime Yoghourt Cake

Again from delicious, June 2005. Keeps in a cake tin for 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. 10 slices at 314 cals per slice, but this is a treat so who cares. You can ring the changes with any kind of ready-to-eat dried sweet fruit like pineapple or apricots, and you could use lemon instead of lime.

 

  • 125 ml sunflower oil plus extra for greasing
  • 125 gms ready-to-eat dried mango
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 125 gms natural yoghourt (doesn't specify fat content)
  • 175 gms golden caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 175 gms plain flour, sifted
  • 1.5 tsps baking powder
  • 100 gms icing sugar
  • 25 gms toasted coconut (flaked or dessicated)

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4, grease and line a 900 gm loaf tin.

Snip the mango into pieces.

Mix half the lime zest, the yoghourt, sugar, oil, eggs, flour, baking powder and not quite all the mango – beat with a wooden spoon until just smooth.

Pour into the tin and bake 50 minutes or until the skewer is clean.

Turn out to cool on a rack.

Mix icing sugar with enough lime juice to make a thick but slightly runny icing. Drizzle over cake and top with the coconut, remaining lime zest and mango.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend