Week 2 of my couch night watching some keen Canadian bakers try to scoop a best baker award was a hoot, thanks to good company and a little more sizzle on the screen. The contestants made bread this week. Into the kitchen went I to find no yeast but cornmeal?? Close enough to theme, no? More on the bread episode to come (one word: sweet breads. YES!)
We served these poppers up with Italian sausages, crunchy kale salad and a heaping teaspoon of chili sauce, but these cornbread gems are versatile enough to accompany anything and become your favourite new sidekick.
Cayenne Cheddar Cornbread Poppers
(makes a dozen)
What you need:
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
What you do:
- Preheat oven to 425ⓕ. Fit parchment cups or muffin liners into muffin pan.
- Mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking salad, and cayenne pepper in large bowl.
- Whisk together buttermilk, melted butter and egg in another bowl. Mix into dry ingredients.
- Stir in grated cheddar. If the mixture is too sticky, add a little more buttermilk to thin it out so it can be easily ladled into muffin cups.
- Fill cups and cook for ten minutes. Reduce temperature to 350ⓕ and cook for another 15 minutes until a tester inserted into centre comes out clean.
- Serve warm with a dash of butter.
Today is the birthday of my father-in-law, a special grandfather who may or may not have embraced the Canadian chilly season but surely made his mark in this country. Spiros, we salute you today and everyday for your extraordinary generosity, hard work and sacrifices made for your family. Cake is on deck. You just know it.