Thursday, August 25, 2011

Individual Blackberry Cornmeal Cakes

A friend and I went blackberry picking the other evening. And although I adore blackberries, I hate the pain and torture that goes along with the harvest.

It ended up that we got more tart blackberries than we anticipated. Last year, I made blackberry jam that was so tart that it was pucker-worthy. I liked it but no one else did.

So instead of making my usual blackberry jam, I decided that I needed to make something else with this batch of tart berries that would be a little more popular in my house. I remembered making a blackberry cornmeal cake years ago that was good but was a bit too crunchy. I set to correcting that little flaw and created these lovely individual blackberry cornmeal cakes.

They are absolute perfection- crisp, crunchy top with oozing juicy berries inside. The best use of tart blueberries that I have found yet, and worth every scratch and scrape!

Individual Blackberry Cornmeal Cakes
Makes 6 mini cakes
These are best served warm and can be whipped up in 5 minutes and put in the oven while dinner is served. The only adornment these little lovelies need is a light sprinkling of icing sugar, or leave them naked.

1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup cane sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
approx. 1 1/2 cups blackberries, rinsed
optional: icing sugar

1. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
2. In another bowl, whisk together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and then add vanilla.
3. Spoon batter into approximately 6 unbuttered 1/2 cup ramekins or into 6 or more large lined muffin tins. Press blackberries lightly into filling to cover the cakes.
4. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until baked through- check with toothpick. Watch the cakes during the last 5-10 minutes and if they are getting too brown, cover lightly with foil.
5. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.