Apparently it’s Autumn.
London seems not to labour much over the details when it comes to transitional seasons: it’s either hot and humid or cold and rainy most of the time, with maybe a day or two of fresh, fragrant Spring or cool, crisp Autumn in there to make it a little less traumatising when you find yourself desperately rummaging through your wooly jumper stash before the weekend-lying-in-the-park tan has begun to fade.
Yes, my winter coat is back on duty. Yes, the cat’s wearing his winter coat too. Yes, the radiator is on and I may or may not be sporting a knitted hat as I type… It is October. Hallowe’en is still a few days away and I haven’t even thought about what I’m going to throw together for an expat Thanksgiving next month. NOT. WINTER. YET.
It must be true because I typed it in all caps.
So! Just to keep things in check, I’m celebrating the transition from Summer to Winter (British Summer Time ended today… I know, I think that’s hilarious too) with an Autumnal staple: Yellow cornmeal, which I made into a loaf cake – sweeter and with more moisture than cornbread, but with a texture and earthiness to it that is not quite cake.
It’s a cake for Fall. Which means Winter will have to back off until I’ve eaten every last crumb of this thing.
So, like, in a day or two.
Forks and long johns at the ready, folks.
Cornmeal Loaf Cake
adapted from Not Without Salt
- 1 cup Plain flour
- 1 cup Yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup Unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup Caster sugar
- 2 tbsps Golden syrup
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 5 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Prepare a loaf tin by buttering and dusting with a bit of flour – or butter and line with baking paper (this made removing the loaf after baking blissfully easy).
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal and salt in medium bowl until evenly blended.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and syrup a in large bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time beating constantly – the mix will become very, very light and fluffy – then beat in vanilla.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give it one more mix.
Gradually add the cornmeal mixture, mixing by hand, until the dry and wet ingredients are just combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared tin.
Bake the loaf cake until it is brown on top and a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean – about an hour.
Let the cake cool in its tin for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.
This can be made a day ahead, and definitely improves with the resting time – If making ahead, once completely cool wrap the cake well in baking paper and/or cling film and store at room temperature.
And may I say how much I admire your willpower: The below photo was taken minutes after the above…
And the next photo practically happened while the above was still being taken.
Oh, yes: Blackcurrant conserve is THE pro tip for this beast. The tartness of the jam makes the gentle sweetness and nutty savoury notes just glow – and makes the crunch of the golden crust even more irresistible.
Oh, and: No need to spread any more butter on this thing. Really. A bit of whipped cream is, however, permissible.
Just look at the crumb on this creature… It goes beautifully with that obligatory Autumn hot mug of coffee or tea, is a wonderful mid-morning snack or pre/post-dinner treat.
Try it. Eat it. Love it.
And then have another piece.