If you are a regular reader of this blog, you would be aware that not long ago I attempted a vegan and gluten free cornbread from BabyCakes. Unfortunately, it was a complete failure. Since then, I have been determined to find the perfect cornbread recipe. I wanted a cornbread that is moist, light, slightly sweet and baked in a loaf pan like a banana cake. I wanted to toast it for breakfast, cover it in lashings (yes, lashings!) of butter and enjoy it with a big, tall glass of milk.
After looking at many recipes, I finally found my ideal cornbread in my new copy of Baking Illustrated. Baking Illustrated are fantastic at explaining the how and why behind each component of a recipe. They taught me that Southern cornbread is baked flat in skillet, and usually somewhat dry, served as an accompaniment for soups and chilis. Northern cornbread is what I was after; sweeter and lighter than its Southern brother. Perfect!
Before I get to the cornbread recipe, I want to introduce you to my current food crush: Salted Caramel (please ignore the Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread half – it is disgusting and has the consistency of quince paste, not spread. Gross).
Boyfriend and I made a special trip out to Burch & Purchese on the weekend to check out what the hype was all about. This salted caramel knocked my socks off. The girl at the shop threw a few spoons into our bag (meant to be for the cake we bought) which I used to attack the jar as soon as we got into the car (Boyfriend could not believe I was eating salted caramel with a spoon and thought it was hilarious). Don’t judge me. It is YUM. Salty, sweet, butterscotchy; perfect to spread all over my Golden Northern Cornbread.
GOLDEN NORTHERN CORNBREAD
Adapted from Baking Illustrated.
1 cup of cornmeal, or if you live in Australia, polenta
1 cup plain flour
6 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Mix the polenta, flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt together in a large bowl using a wooden spoon. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
Crack the eggs into the well and mix them lightly, then and the buttermilk and milk. Stir quickly until the wet and dry ingredients are almost combined. Add the melted butter and stir quickly again until everything is incorporated.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cornbread is golden brown, slightly cracked and has pulled away from the edges of the pan.
Invert the cornbread onto a wire rack and cool slightly before cutting. Makes 10 slices.
This makes a great breakfast or snack, slathered in butter, Nutella, salted caramel or all three at once. Store wrapped in foil.