Baking Chez Moi – Cornmeal & Berry Cakes

Cornmeal and Berry Cakes

Muffins and cupcakes went through faddish phases and now are disdained by those who fancy themselves food sophisticates. But, little cakes have their place. They can be frozen and enjoyed over time. Their single-serving size might suggest individualism, but nothing speaks of sharing as much as a container full of them. A large cake is impressive, but it can also have a gatekeeper (like the poor host who served 1 centimetre by 1 centimetre pieces of cake to people he wanted to insult). Even mini-cupcakes are inherently polite and egalitarian.

They’re especially convenient for someone like me, who gets the urge to bake whether or not there are people to feed. My freezer is filled with projects savoury and sweet, awaiting occasions for sharing or celebration.

Some of these little cakes are going into the freezer, though fewer than usual. Sweet olive oil and polenta cakes are hard for me to resist. These also include a considerable portion of butter and are flavoured with lemon, blueberries, and a pinch of cardamom. The recipe calls for raspberries, but their season is over, so I used blueberries instead. The cardamom was a last-minute addition.

I over-filled the muffin tins, so they’re not as pretty as they might be. I think when people taste them, they’ll forgive me. I also think that those who turn their noses up at little cakes might find themselves betrayed by their sense of smell – I can’t imagine anyone being able to turn these down just because they’re cupcake-shaped, can you?

You can find the recipe here and if you really can’t stand the idea of a small, round cake, fret not – the recipe is really meant for mini-loaves.

You can find the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie crew’s entries on this recipe here or here, along with posts about July’s other selected recipe, Summer Market Galette. And here’s the link for any other recipes members chose for this week’s Rewind Post.

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6 thoughts on “Baking Chez Moi – Cornmeal & Berry Cakes

  1. Oh I love the sound of these, and I’m really persuaded by the fact that you have found a good use for polenta. I know I ought to like it (it’s Italian, after all!) but I just can’t take to it in savoury dishes. Adding a pinch of cardamom is a winning touch – when I make them, I’ll add more if I may, as I can’t resist it. Funnily enough, before reading your post I had just made a banana loaf, resembling an oversized muffin, laced with cardamom.
    In Egypt, coffee beans and cardamom are roasted together and then ground to make Turkish coffee. In the Persian Gulf. they are not roasted at all, making a wonderfully light, fragrant drink.
    I agree with you about small cakes; I love watching them disappear at a rate of knots as everyone, especially kids, dives into help themselves. They are also great picnic treats.

  2. I think they look beautiful, and corn, lemon and blueberries are an iconic flavor combination. On cakes… I think that people feel more welcome with the small individual ones – no one has to commit to a big slice, after all, it’s just a little! In my circles, that often leads to people having more than one. Especially the mini-muffins. In any event, I’m with you. I think yours look wonderful. I can almost smell them!

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