Tuesday, March 5, 2013

citrusy raspberry cornmeal cake

Citrusy Raspberry Cornmeal Cake

March came with a hefty snow storm. The icy roads became even more slippery and the shoveling continues. Evenings are spent with a blanket wrapped around the shoulders, a mug of tea in hand, fighting the chills while dreaming of the snow melting away. Yet there is something good even in this: a snow storm in March calls for baked goods, something cozy and sweet to drive away the blues settling in.

In my opinion? Nothing fights the blues as well as a cozy cake, bursting bright with juicy berries and citrus fruit.

Citrusy Raspberry Cornmeal Cake 3

These cozy everyday cakes have stolen my heart. Now, it is not likely that I would turn down any kind of cake, let alone a fancy one. But there is something in these cakes, fit for any - and every - time of the day. Usually they aren't anything special to look at; nothing to make them stand apart. Yet when given the chance, they take their place, providing that easy and sweet moment of time that is meant to be enjoyed.

Another thing that I love about everyday cakes is their easiness. Best times with only one bowl and a spoon, these cakes are delicious as they are, stripped bare. Yet they can be fancied up easily, with a simple frosting or maybe whipped cream, without having to put hours into it. Honestly, what's not to love about that?

Citrusy Raspberry Cornmeal Cake 2

This cake, I can't help but love. The slightly coarse texture from the cornmeal makes the cake really interesting. Raspberries and that hint of citrus fruits provide a burst of brightness. For serving, crème fraîche is mixed with lemon curd to enhance the citrus flavour while the slight tang brings everything together.

Originally, I wanted to make this cake with a clear taste of lemon on the background but as it happened, I forgot to buy lemons. We had a grapefruit, though, so that's what I used and ended up loving it. Whether you use lemon or grapefruit or even orange for that matter, it will be delicious.

Citrusy Raspberry Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Curd Crème Fraîche
adapted from bleubird blog
makes one 9-inch cake

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 to 2 tbsp lemon curd
1/2 tsp grapefruit or lemon zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the lemon curd, zest and vanilla.

Set aside about 1/4 cup of the flour mixture. Stir in 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture to the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in the sour cream, then the other half of the flour mixture until just combined. Combine the raspberries with the 1/4 cup of the flour mixture; fold in to the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool to room temperature before serving. Serve with a good dollop of lemon curd crème fraîche.

Lemon Curd Crème Fraîche: mix 1 cup of crème fraîche with 4 to 5 tbsp of lemon curd.

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