Thursday, February 11, 2010

Orange-Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

Thursday's is the day when our local paper publishes the Food Section.  Sometimes it good, sometimes it's not.  None the less I always look forward to seeing the weekly tips, tidbits, and recipes.  When I find something think has potential I clip it and stick it in the "To Try" pile.  Eventually I will get around to it.  Such is the case of the recipe for Orange-Cranberry Cornmeal Cake.

 I love cornmeal (i.e. cornbread) and I enjoy a good cake but was clearly skeptical about marrying the two. To my delight, the results were marvelous.  Even my dear hubby heaped praise on it.

Orange-Cranberry Cornmeal Cake
Serves 8

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) unsalted butter (plus more for buttering pan), at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of one orange (I used a lemon as I didn't have an orange)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange juice, divided
1/4 cup cranberries
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper; butter the parchment paper. Sprinkle the pan with 2 tablespoons sugar, turning the pan to coat the bottom and sides with sugar. Set pan aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter until soft. Slowly beat in 1 cup sugar; continue beating until light. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in the olive oil and zest. In a small bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Mix in the flour mixture until just combined, then beat in 1/2 cup orange juice. Fold in the cranberries.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 - 40 minutes. Remove the cake to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.

In a microwave safe bowl, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice and the honey until warm, about 30 seconds. Stir.

Invert the warm cake onto a second rack or plate; remove the parchment paper and then invert again so the cake is right side up. Brush or carefully drizzle the honey-orange syrup evenly over the top of the cake until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.  Serve plain or with orange segments or a dollop of whip cream or BOTH!

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution


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