Vanilla Cornmeal Cake with Roasted Strawberries | First Mess Cookbook GIVEAWAY

vanilla cornmeal cake - first mess cookbook | apt 2b baking co
vanilla cornmeal cake - first mess cookbook | apt 2b baking co
vanilla cornmeal cake - first mess cookbook | apt 2b baking co

I have been trying to Kondo-punt (thank you Molly for this phrase) a lot of cookbooks out of my life recently due to the extremely saggy shelves they are currently occupying. BUT, I have been patiently waiting for this book - The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright - since I had the chance to test a couple of recipes from it last year. After testing those recipes I knew that the book would be amazing, and it truly is. Every page is totally packed with inviting recipes and photography that makes me want to dive right into the page. Not that I expected anything less from Laura. 

There is a lot of noise online, but  Laura's voice always breaks through. Hers is one of the blogs that I have read and enjoyed most consistently in my many years of blogging, and her table is the one that I most often find myself wishing I had a seat. I'm not vegan by any stretch, but Laura's recipes are always SO approachable and I always appreciate her no-nonsense/no judgement approach to plant-based eating and cooking which she has perfectly translated to this book.

I love a cornmeal cake, and this one sweetened with maple syrup and topped with roasted strawberries was so simple to make and so satisfying. The recipe calls for it to be made in a round cake plan, but I was feeling the slices and baked it in a 4x10-inch loaf pan instead. Then, I ate slices of cake with my coffee every morning until it was gone.


GIVEAWAY: I am so excited to give one away a copy of this stunning book to one of you lucky folks! Just leave a comment on this post with what fruit or vegetable you are most looking forward to this Spring. I"ll pick a winner at random in a week and the book will ship after it's officially published on March 7. Open to US and Canada only, sorry international folks!


A Few Announcements

Just two spots left for my workshop with Olaiya Land in Paris this Spring. Check out the details HERE

AND

OMG Sweeter off the Vine was nominated for an IACP Cookbook Award, and it's up against Mark Bittman and America's Test Kitchen so I have zero chance of winning (hello, underdog!), but damn is it exciting. This is the big time guys, and I am so surprised and thrilled to be nominated! 

You guys also nominated it as a Community Pick in Food52's Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks, thank you! It's such an honor, and much less nerve-wracking than being in the actual bracket! 

Now let's have some cake!


Vanilla Corn Cake with Roasted Strawberries

Reprinted from The First Mess Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright 2017, Laura Wright.

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) cake

¾ cup (175 mL) full-fat coconut milk

1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 cup (250 mL) cornmeal (not coarse)

1 cup (250 mL) whole spelt flour

1 teaspoon (5 mL) lemon zest

1 tablespoon (15 mL) aluminum-free baking powder

¼ teaspoon (1 mL) baking soda

1 teaspoon (5 mL) fine sea salt

½ teaspoon (2 mL) ground turmeric (optional)

½ cup + 2 tablespoons (125 mL + 30 mL) pure maple syrup

½ cup (125 mL) sunflower oil, plus extra to grease pan

1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla bean paste OR pure vanilla extract

roughly 1 quart (4 cups/1 L) whole strawberries (smaller berries are preferable)

Whipped Coconut Cream for serving (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan with sunflower oil. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan and press it in. Lightly grease the parchment, and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and lemon juice. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes so that the milk can curdle slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, spelt flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and turmeric, if using.

4. Make a well in the center of the cornmeal mixture. Add the maple syrup, sunflower oil, vanilla, and coconut milk mixture. With a spatula, gently mix until you have a smooth and unified batter. Avoid overmixing.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and slide the pan into the oven. Bake the cake for 25 to 28 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely. Raise the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).

6. Cut the strawberries into halves or quarters (depending on size), and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast the strawberries until they become juicy and jammy, about 20 minutes.

7. Serve slices of the corn cake with a few roasted strawberries and some Whipped Coconut Cream (page 271) if you like.

vanilla cornmeal cake - first mess cookbook | apt 2b baking co

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

rosemary olive oil cake | apt 2b baking co
rosemary olive oil cake | apt 2b baking co

Hi Guys! Head over to Food52's Facebook page today to watch me make this Rosemary Olive Oil Cake, adapted from the Lemon Verbena Olive Oil Cake from Sweeter off the Vine Live

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Makes one 9-inch (23cm) cake

1 cup (200g) sugar

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary

1 3/4 cups (225g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (175ml) fruity olive oil

1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup (240ml) whole-milk kefir or buttermilk, at room temperature

2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC/gas mark 4). Butter a 9-inch (23cm) cake pan at least 2-inches (5cm) tall, line it with parchment paper, and butter that too. Dust the pan and paper with flour.

Combine the sugar, rosemary, and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade or in a mortar. Pulse or grind the sugar and rosemary until the leaves are finely ground and the sugar is fragrant.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the rosemary sugar olive oil, and melted butter, together. Add the eggs and whisk for 30 more seconds. Whisk in the kefir, then use a rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients, mixing until combined and smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap it gently on the counter to release any air bubbles, and bake until the cake is puffed and golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan to cool completely. Dust the cooled cake with a bit of confectioners’ sugar just before serving if you like. This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.