Coming from north of India and that too being a Punjabi, cornmeal has been a quintessential flour of our diet. Especially during the chilly winter days, we start eating flat breads made of yellow cornmeal slathered with homemade butter and gently cooked mustard greens, more famously known as Makki ki roti and Sarso ka saag, which I think is synonymous to every Punjabi.
And my mother, she’s really sentimental about this one dish. But you must be thinking of why am I going so much gung ho about the cornmeal flat breads and the cultural values it has in a north Indian meal, while the title of the post says something else. Actually, when I saw this recipe in Smitten Kitchen’s cookbook for the very first time, I was taken aback, thinking how could one make a dessert out of something which I have been thinking all these years could only be used in savories.
This made me thinking on other notes too, of surprising my mother. That yes, you could bake a cake out of the cornmeal as well. Though I had presumptions too, thinking of the “Oh God! What has happened to my boy” look she would be giving out to me.
But I still wanted to surprise her by baking this cake. I am already a great fan of Smitten Kitchen’s. Her recipes haven’t failed me ever, so I was confident. Only thing I was doing different was using strawberries as opposed to blueberries in the original recipe.
Knowing that strawberries have more water content and through the learning of previous failures with these juicy red berries, I cooked them with cornflour before adding them to the cake. And that did work.
The cake came out to be bright yellow colored with a red contrasting berries in the middle. Texture wise, it’s a hearty yet flavorful cake, which we all enjoyed to the fullest!
100 gm butter, at room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped
3 tbsp cornflour
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornmeal
2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
- For the filling, in a non-reactive saucepan, add the strawberries and corn flour and simmer for 10 minutes, until berries are thick and cooked. Set aside to let cool completely.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degree C and butter and flour an 8 inch springform pan and keep aside.
- For the cake, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a bowl, until pale and fluffy, around 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl, after each addition. Add the vanilla and zest.
- Fold in half of the flour mixture, followed by half of the sour cream, followed by another half of flour mixture and sour cream.
- Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan. Spread the strawberry filling on the cake batter in pan.
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for streusel with a fork, until it resembles a coarse sand like mixture. Scatter the topping over the strawberry filling.
- Bake the cake for about 50-60 minutes, or until top is golden brown and the tester into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in pan for 5 minutes and then loosen the sides of the pan and let cake cool on a wire rack completely.