just the way I am – blueberry corn cake with sweet corn frosting
Birthdays are very much like New Year’s—a checkpoint for one’s life progress. This year’s birthday was no different.
During a conversation with friends about travels in Europe, I gleefully described my days of summer school in Rome—how my classmates and I would pack a bag, hop on the train and head off to different cities every weekend. We planned nothing except what we wanted to see for the weekend. We would arrive on Friday, look for a place to stay, and off we’d go to experience what that city had to offer.
Not for a moment that entire summer did we worry about being or about not finding places to stay and eat. Those carefree days I can only attribute to being young and fearless. Today, I’d make reservations months ahead and stick to an itinerary researched in exquisite detail—but the experiences are just as important.
After thinking about that conversation, I’m not saddened by my lost of fearlessness. I cherish those moments and am glad that I did those things in that way at the right time in my life. For now, though, I can’t wait for what’s coming next and how it will roll out.
Blueberry Corn Cake with Sweet Corn Frosting
- 1-1/3 cups (6 2/3 ounces) stone-ground cornmeal
- 1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (1-3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 ears corn kernels (2 1/4 cups) cut from cobs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 cup (5 ounces) fresh blueberries
- 6 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cups (4-1/2 ounces) cake flour
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (5-1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces and softened
- 1 teaspoon gelatin1 tablespoon water
- 4 cups (about 20 ounces) fresh blueberries
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Pinch fine sea salt
Sweet Corn Cream
- 3 reserved corn stalks, cut each in thirds
- 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
- Sweet Corn Frosting
- 4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 cups sweet corn cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Corn Cake
- Blueberry Cake
- Blueberry Filling
- Sweet Corn Frosting
- 1 cup fresh blueberries (optional)
- Fresh cooked corn kernels from 1 ear of corn (optional)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400℉. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.
2. Process corn kernels in blender until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer puree to medium saucepan (you should have about 1½ cups). Cook puree over medium heat, stirring constantly, until very thick and deep yellow and it measures 3/4 cup, 5 to 8 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat. Add 5 tablespoons butter and whisk until melted and incorporated. Add buttermilk and whisk until incorporated. Add eggs and yolk and whisk until incorporated. Transfer corn mixture to bowl with cornmeal mixture and, using rubber spatula, fold together until just combined.
4. Add 1 tablespoon butter to a 9-inch cake pan and bake for 3 minutes until butter has melted. Remove from oven and swirl butter to coat entire bottom of cake pan. Scrape batter into pan and spread into even layer. Bake until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 22-25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely. (Best on the day of but cooled cake can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up 1 day)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Grease one 9-inch round cake pan, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment, and flour.
2. Place blueberries to a saucepan, bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook, mashing and stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in milk until combined.
3. Whisk blueberry milk, egg whites, and vanilla in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain, about 1 minute. Add half of milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan, discarding parchment, and cool cake completely on lightly greased wire rack, about 1 hour. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
1. Place water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it, let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Combine blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce to medium heat, mash and stir blueberries occasionally until mixture has thickened, about 10-12 minute.
3. Stir in dissolved gelatin until fully combined, remove from heat, pour into medium bowl, cover and refrigerate until set, about 45 minutes.
Sweet Corn Cream
1. Place corn stalks and heavy cream in a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and let mixture steep in saucepan for 30 minutes.
2. Strain mixture into a large measuring-cup to yield 2 cups of corn cream, discard extra or reserve for another use. Refrigerate until cold.
Sweet Corn Frosting
1. Put white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high power for 30 seconds. Stir with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides of the bowl, continue heating and stirring for 15-second intervals until the chocolate is uniformly smooth and glossy.
2. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk corn cream to soft peaks, remove from bowl and set aside. Add cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and salt to now empty bowl, beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds; scrape down bowl. With machine running at low speed, add whipped corn cream in several additions. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate frosting for 20 minutes to firm up before using.
1. Trim and divide corn cake horizontally into two equal layers. Place bottom layer on a cake stand or serving platter. Spread half of blueberry filling evenly on top. Trim blueberry cake and place on top of corn cake with blueberry filling. Spread the remaining blueberry filling evenly on top of blueberry cake and top with top layer of corn cake. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minute.
2. Remove cake from refrigerator, using a icing spatula, spread frosting on top and side of cake. Decorate top with fresh blueberries and corn kernels (if use). Serve immediately or refrigerate cake up to 2 days.