Cornbread - It's Just Savory Cake Really

Meeta at Whats For Lunch Honey loves to set us a challenge. Her Monthly Mingle is always great fun to take part in though; last month we had to make sweets for our sweeties and previous months have seen us Giving Thanks and using two notable ingredients.
This month she has excelled herself with her ingenuity and is making us work hard for her. This months theme? Savoury Cakes! That title certainly set my mind whirling. I couldn’t even remember having ever eaten a savoury cake. Surely cake is for pudding or Sunday Tea? Or when you’re craving the consolation of a sugary Victoria sponge cake after a hard day at work?
Well, apparently not. There have been various impressively imaginative entries already, ranging from Courgette Cake to a Tourtiere Bon Femme to a Bacon and Prune Cake.
I’m sure that this had a lot of people scratching their heads, me included, but after toying with the idea of a savoury cheesecake, I finally settled on a cake by any other name: Cornbread.
But not just any old Cornbread. Ina Gartens Cornbread from her latest book, The Barefoot Contessa at Home. I know what you’re thinking, boring! Cornbread is Cornbread! And until I made this recipe, I did think that too, although I made some delicious Cornbread Muffins last summer.
However, Ina’s recipe is superlative. The addition of chopped green Jalapenos, Spring Onions and Strong Cheddar Cheese make the Cornbread as moreish and comforting to eat as a slice of chocolate cake.

Interestingly, because this recipe uses flour in addition to the cornmeal, plus the rising agent of Baking Soda this is sometimes referred to by Southerners as Yankee Cornbread as this version originates from the North of the country and it is not considered true Cornbread. These additions make the Cornbread more 'cakey' and it loses that delicious, slightly grainy texture that true Cornbread has. Actually though, I would defy anyone not love this tasty variation, traditional or not, because it combines everything that's great about baking and cooking: cake, hot chillis and cheesy topping. It's what I dream about.

I halved the recipe because I know how large the Barefoot Contessa recipes are and, whilst I certainly could have eaten another batch, I don’t think my arteries would have appreciated a battering from another half pound of butter. My tastebuds might have appreciated it though...
I won’t replicate the recipe here as I’m sure most of you will have the book anyway but I will make note that the recipe halved perfectly, using 2 eggs instead of three (because it’s quite tricky using 1 ½ eggs) for those of you who can’t manage Ina’s catering style portions.
We had planned on serving this with the Pork and Beans I had been slow cooking last night but, because the Cornbread was cooked first (always a bad sign) and we were irrationally hungry, we just filled our aching bellies with that instead. The Pork and Beans have gone into the fridge for consumption tonight. But that's no bad thing. I sometimes enjoy dinners that involve me putting a pot in the oven. But more on that later.

20 comments:

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, Freya!!! How sweet of you to leave this delicious piece for me, with a paper napkin and all!! ;)

Homesick Texan said...

Sounds scrumptious! (So do the beans!)

Ulrike said...

Lecker! Now the piece is gone into my stomach!

wheresmymind said...

Looks pretty damn good to me...I have that cookbook...and now I'll have to try this as my wife totally digs cornbread :)

ros said...

I've never had cornbread so can't really imagine what it tastes like but I love the idea of a savoury cake with cheese.

Anonymous said...

I thought this would be a cornbread I would bake from the description you posted and alas, no recipe. I have never seen a cookbook by the barefoot contessa.
A northern mom who grew up on Johnnycake always served with syrup or honey and whose father had a 40 acre swamp that was originally given to a northern soldier as pay after the civil war in the US.

Linda said...

gosh. i can't remember that last time i had cornbread. yum!

Kelly-Jane said...

Well that cornbread on the napkin just say EAT ME NOW:)

I think I have this one marked to try from Barefoot at Home. The extras that Ina adds in sound great. I've made a few things and they have all been really good.

Looks lovely.

Brilynn said...

I've actually never made cornbread. I've always associated it with the Southern States, I'm not sure if that has any basis or not. There are so many things I need to try making...

Meeta said...

Freya, cornbread is not always cornbread. Although I have eaten it several times I have never actually gotten around to making it. I love this combination and I admit I am a bit of an Ina Garten fan too. So, I'll be giving it a whirl. Thanks for bringing it over to the MM.

sher said...

Looks fabulous. You can always count on Ina!

Helene said...

I'd better not show that to my Southern boy or I won't be able to eat it all by myself...Looks delicious!

Callipygia said...

I love a good cornbread too and the thought of this with the pork and beans...pure heaven!

Kathryn said...

I've never had cornbread! This looks really good though - very inviting.

Kathryn x

Joyce said...

Wonderful additions to a traditional favorite, especially here in the South. Ina's recipes rock! Thanks for the reminder that a simple cornbread can be quite elegant with a few choice additions.

Gattina said...

go for the full-blown recipe next time, I'll be right there!

Lydia said...

I've never met a cornbread I didn't love. Yours looks absolutely yummy.

valentinA said...

Hi Freya!
your cornbread looks really good, never had it savoury, I should follow your advice! The only way we cook cornmeal here is by making a pudding!:)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

The stuff of dreams cake, hot chillis and cheesy topping...those are my dreams!
And half an egg is easy with a carton of egg beaters! Fewer calories also! not that you'd notice with all that butter.

Katie said...

This would have been the perfect accompaniment to those baked beans - and traditional, as well!