Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cornmeal Pound Cake

The secret ingredient in this cake is stone-ground white grits, which give an unexpected crunch to the final product.  Leftover grits make a delicious bowl of hot cereal for breakfast in the weeks ahead.

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground white cornmeal*
  • 2 cups vegan sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 Ener-G egg yolks
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground white cornmeal*
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground white grits*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 Ener-G eggs
1. Coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray and dust with 1 tablespoon white cornmeal; set aside.

2. Combine 1 and 3/4 cups of the sugar, the butter, lemon rind, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat at medium speed until blended and fluffy. 

3. Make 5 Ener-G "yolks" by whisking 7 and 1/2 teaspoons of the powder into only 5 tablespoons warm water (half the amount of liquid for a whole "egg").  Add to the sugar mixture and beat to combine.  Beat in the sour cream.

4. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife.  Combine the flour in a bowl with 1/2 cup white cornmeal, the grits, salt, and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, stirring to combine.

5. Make 5 Ener-G eggs in a large bowl (whole ones this time i.e. 7 and 1/2 teaspoons powder in 10 tablespoons warm water), and beat with a hand mixer for 12 minutes, until stiff peaks form like beaten egg whites. At the 6 minute mark, gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.

6. Gently stir one-fourth of the beaten Ener-G mixture into the cake batter; fold in the remaining beaten Ener-G mixture.  Spoon the batter into the prepared tube pan.

7. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes - a wooden pick inserted in the cake should come out clean.  Cool in the pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

For a lovely look and fresh taste, serve wedges of cake with sliced strawberries and peaches, and add a garnish of mint sprigs.

*Both the white grits and white cornmeal are available from Bob's Red Mill.

Nutrition Info:
16 servings (1 slice), Calories 294 

Tasting Notes:
The crunch of the grits certainly lasts through baking, and made this cake quite novel. It was a touch too sweet, so I don't think you need the full 2 cups of sugar. Because of the sweetness, I recommend those peaches and strawberries - the more subtle sweetness of the fruit was a nice foil. Because the beaten Ener-G eggs deflate somewhat once stirred into the batter, I'm not sure it was worth the effort to beat for 12 minutes (which works far better for a cake like angel food). Instead, I might just use a touch more baking soda to get the cake to rise higher. Still, this cake is a great little treat with a cup of tea.


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