Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Strawberries! Strawberry Honey Cornmeal Cake

So last week I got another 2.5 quarts of strawberries at the CSA. I had seen a recipe come through the google reader for a blueberry cornmeal cake and I figured I could adapt it a bit and use up some of these strawberries. Per usual, I decided to try it without the refined sugar it called for and used honey instead. This made the batter a bit more liquidy and I think required a bit of extra cooking time (well I needed to bake it longer and I assume this was part of the reason). The honey also caused it to have a much darker color than its cousin the blueberry cornmeal cake. The results were terrific tasting though. The ricotta and yogurt in the recipe ensures such moistness and the flavor combination with the honey and berries is just wonderful. I think this would be the perfect breakfast cake or wonderful at a luncheon with just a tiny bit of extra cream on top for contrast. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Strawberry Honey Cornmeal Cake
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cuphoney
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
Special Equipment
  • 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides
Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with vegetable oil. Whisk flour and next 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and honey in another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl until creamy. With mixer running on medium speed, gradually add egg mixture; beat to blend. Beat in flour mixture just to blend. Add ricotta and yogurt; beat on low speed just to blend. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Scatter 1 1/2 cups strawberries over. Spoon remaining batter over in dollops, then spread to cover blueberries. Scatter remaining strawberries over.
Bake cake until top is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Serves 12

Monday, June 07, 2010

Lemon Ricotta Maple Strawberry Biscake

Now that's a dessert name! (uh... maybe not). 

Strawberries are here in full effect. I have had a box in the fridge for a few weeks with no time to make anything. Last week the CSA opened and I got a quart more! Thank goodness those little guys can last a while if you don't wash or mess with them. Tonight I had my first opportunity to make something and decided to take a stab at a variation on a strawberry shortcake. I found the recipe below and made a few twists (replacing the sugar with maple crystals, jettisoning the almond extract and slivered almonds and baking them on a sheet like biscuits instead of in muffin tins). I am pretty sure the maple changed the chemistry a bit as they were smoother and had less rise, but they were really really good. A perfect base for the macerated strawberries (I added a tiny bit of crushed lavender and a little maple syrup) and whipped cream. 

Lemon Ricotta Biscake
Cook Time: 20 min

Yield:12 biscakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon maple crystals or more as needed for sprinkling
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup maple crystals, butter, and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta. Beat in the egg and lemon juice,. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended (the batter will be thick and fluffy).

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of maple crystals over the muffins. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.