A sweet surprise in Southern cornbread

A sweet surprise in Southern cornbread

November 9th, 2011 in Life Entertainment

Good morning, readers. Today you've got a plethora of questions. The questioners are a group of teachers who attended a recent convention and who were, by the way, mighty impressed with our city. They want to know how to make angel biscuits ("please, a tried and tested recipe, as I have failed at this one before," says one conventiongoer), pumpkin muffins with icing, blackberry cake, baked fresh asparagus, acorn squash prepared without sugar and how to prepare grits with milk without burning the grits. And one more: substituting self-rising cornmeal for plain cornmeal in a cornbread recipe.

Beverly Grove read Mary Ann McInturff's recipe for sour cream cornbread last week and wondered this: Can you use self-rising cornmeal and eliminate the baking powder and the salt? She'll gladly accept an answer from any of you.

Ann Hale of Dunlap, Tenn., says that sharing her family's cornbread recipe is "like I am giving up a big secret. The sugar is the key to its delicate flavor."

Southern Cornbread

2 cups buttermilk, self-rising cornmeal mix

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil (if pan is not well-seasoned, or for extra precaution, coat pan with vegetable spray just before putting in batter)

In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix sugar into cornmeal mix. Form a well in the center of dry ingredients. Pour egg into well and beat lightly with fork or wire whisk. Gradually add milk and oil, stirring gently with wire whisk or mixing just until moistened.

Pour batter into hot pan. Fill muffin or scone pans 3/4 full. Return to oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes (16 to 20 for scones or muffins) until golden brown.

Immediately after removing from oven, use a metal spatula or pancake turner, or a table knife for scones or muffins, to turn the cornbread pone over or the scones or muffins on their sides to prevent sticking.

If using a scone pan there may be excess batter. Fry it in a tablespoon or two of oil like pancakes.

Although "Yeast of the Ridge" could not come up with the Bluff View Inn's Yule log, as per Charlotte Freeman's request, she found one in Taste of Home that might suffice or more than suffice. And in the meantime, Bluff View, we're listening for your answer.

Yule Log

5 eggs at room temperature, separated

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa


21/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Mocha Butter Cream Frosting:

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon strong coffee

Confectioners sugar

Chopped nuts

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks at high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is thick and light-colored. Add flour and cocoa, beating on low speed. In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into batter. Mix until no streaks of white remain.

Grease a 15- by 10- by 1-inch pan; line with wax paper, then grease and flour paper.

Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly. Cover with wax paper and cool completely on wire rack. Remove paper; invert cake onto an 18-inch-long piece of wax paper dusted with confectioners sugar.

Trim edges from all 4 sides of cake.

For filling, combine flour and milk in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring until thick. Cool.

In a mixing bowl, cream sugar, butter and vanilla. Add flour mixture; beat until fluffy. Fold in walnuts if desired. Spread on cake and roll up, jelly-roll style, starting from the short end.

For frosting, beat butter until fluffy in a small bowl. Beat in sugar, cocoa and coffee. Spread over cake, using a fork to create a bark-like effect. Sprinkle with extra confectioners sugar and nuts, if desired.

And here's a recipe requested by those visitors mentioned above, visitors who left no forwarding address. We trust they will be watching Fare Exchange from afar, as this was their favorite Chattanooga food.

Cheesy Rice and Green Chilies

3 cups sour cream

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies

2 cups raw Jasmine rice, cooked according to package directions (should yield at least 4 cups cooked rice)

Salt and pepper, liberal amounts

3/4 or more pound Monterey Jack cheese

Heat oven to 350 F.

Mix sour cream and peppers in a bowl. Season Jasmine rice with salt and pepper. Put a layer of rice in the bottom of a 11/2-quart casserole, then a layer of sour cream and a layer of cheese. The top layer should be cheese, but don't put it on until this dish is at least half-baked.

Bake in preheated oven, topped loosely with foil, for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove foil, add top layer of cheese and continue to bake until bubbly.

This dish may be prepared in advance, refrigerated and brought to room temperature before baking.

And here's one more cold oven pound cake, this one from Theresa Lisa.

Cold Oven Pound Cake

3 cups sugar

2 sticks margarine

1/2 cup shortening

3 eggs

1 cup milk, divided

3 cups cake flour, sifted 3 times, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon flavoring

Cream together the sugar, margarine and shortening. Add eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. Add 1/2 cup milk and 11/2 cups flour; beat and add remaining milk and flour. Add flavorings last. Put in a greased and floured tube pan in a cold oven. Turn oven to 325 F and bake 11/2 to 2 hours or until a toothpick in center comes out clean.

So there it is for today; I'll be expecting you next week.

To Reach Us

Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

  • Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.

  • E-mail: janehenegar@gmail.com.

  • Fax: 423-668-5092.