Category Archives: Baking

Anything and everything to do with baking – from artisan breads to cupcakes.

Cornbread Bites

cornbread_bites

These make a great snack for any homesick American who misses corn dogs.

I use our cornbread mix for the dry mixture but this is essentially the same.

Ingredients:
8-10 hot dogs – all beef if you can find them, cut into 2.5cm pieces
2 eggs
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup plain flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 190C (375F)

Sift together the baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt. Give it a quick stir around to make sure it’s mixed well. In a separate bowl combine butter and sugar and mix. Then the eggs and mix. Then the buttermilk and mix.

Now, add the dry mix into the wet mix. Don’t do it all at once or you may get some lumps. I normally do it in two or three batches.

Line a mini muffin tin with butter, and put 1 tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin cup. Place one hot dog bite into the middle of each cup.

Bake for 8-12 minutes (oven temperatures vary), or until cornbread is golden brown. Cool in mini muffin tin for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, and re-heat for 20-30 seconds before serving.

Homemade Southern Cornbread

cornbreadCornbread is definitely a Southern specialty that warrants a homemade, scratch recipe – particularly considering you can’t buy the dry mix anywhere in the UK.

We originally had to come up with our own recipe for cornbread because we needed the dry portion of the mix for our Cornbread Casserole recipe. In fact, a lot of the recipes we’ll post are for basics that any American would be able to go to the store and buy (but should make at home). Anyway, I digress.

Here’s how we do it.

Ingredients
290 ml milk
225 g coarse cornmeal (maize flour for polenta)
55 g  plain flower
55 g unsalted butter – melted and cooled
2 eggs – lightly beaten
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon caster sugar

Personally, I prefer plain cornbread but lots of people add other ingredients like jalapeño peppers. Feel free to experiment with adding other things and let us know in the comments how it tastes!

Directions
Preheat oven to 200C (400F)

Sift the cornmeal flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the caster sugar, making a well in the centre. Now, if all you need is the dry mix to use in another recipe, you can stop here. This is the basic mix. If you want to continue making a batch of cornbread, add the wet ingredients into the well and mix thoroughly.

Right. There are a couple of different ways to cook the cornbread from this point.

Traditional Southern cornbread pan
Traditional Southern cornbread pan

The traditional way is to pour the mixture into a pre-heated, oiled cornbread tin. Cornbread tin are a bit like muffin tins but they are usually made of iron and have little indentations shaped like ears of corn. (see image) The other way would be to just use a loaf tin about 9×5 or a muffin tray.

If you use a traditional pan, make sure it is piping hot with a bit of oil in the pan. (Like you would cook a Yorkshire Pudding) The hot oil will fry the bottom slightly and make the outside nice and crispy while the centre stays nice and soft. Cooking time will be around 20-25 minutes.

If you use a standard loaf tin make sure to butter the dish first and just pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35-45 minutes. If you use a muffin tin you should reduce the cooking time to around 20-25 minutes.

That’s it! Serve immediately or save it ’till later. Just don’t let it hang around too long. Happy baking!

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Have you ever had cornbread? Do you like it? Let us know in the comments!

Swirl Cake Tin

How cool is this?!?

What a wicked looking cake!

Classical Swirling Shape Cake Tin  Nordicware Heritage

It probably comes from a classic swirl cake tin by Nordicware. Nordicware based the design on an old German stoneware mould for baking a ring-shaped Gugelhupf, similar to the American coffee cake. Nordicware ‘swirl’ tins are made of durable cast aluminium, and feature a centre tube that ensures even baking and the non-stick coating should provide easy release and cleanup (but I’d still use some sort of cake release just in case).