Fresh, stone-milled grains are a revelation.
It took a while for me to appreciate the flavor and the organic color of bread made with freshly milled grains.
But with corn it was immediate. All it took was one bite of this cornmeal cake and I was thinking,
What is that stuff at the store that they try to sell as cornmeal?
Because this is something completely different.
The ground almonds give this cake just the righ amount of crunch. You are allowed to eat this cake for breakfast, with an afternoon cup of coffee, or call it cornbread and serve it with a really spicy chili, letting the sweetness of the corn balance out the heat.
This recipe has been adapted from Gourmet Magazine, August 2000.
ALMOND CORNMEAL CAKE
1 ½ cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1⅓ cup whole almonds
1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoon almond extract
¾ cup Greek style yogurt
1. Preheat oven to 325°F and butter 2- 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 3 loaf pans. (You can line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to make unmolding easier.)
2. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Finely grind almonds with 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor and stir into cornmeal mixture.
4. Beat butter, yogurt and remaining sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined well. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until just blended, then beat in almond extract. (Mixture will look curdled.) Add cornmeal mixture and stir and fold until just combined.
5. Transfer batter to loaf pan, smoothing top, and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife, and carefully lift cake from pan a cooling rack.