brown butter cornmeal lime cake. it sounds like i took a bunch of whatever i had in the kitchen and made a cake out of it, doesn’t it? oh, wait…
i rounded up the ingredients, cornmeal…yogurt…limes…i thought, how can i bring these all together into a cohesive whole? the brown butter was the key, adding a lovely toasty, caramely note that complements the cornmeal, and balancing out the acid in the limes and the yogurt.
luckily this worked on the first try despite not having one of these. i would suggest eating in within a day or so, when it’s supremely fresh. you could easily make this in a loaf pan, but i wanted to use the lovely violet cake plate from dis-a-ray that my special brit friend gave me for my birthday. he’s very thoughtful that way, and was very excited it said “made in england”. or maybe he knew i would immediately make a cake to go on it. either way, we ate it up with a pot of earl grey and it was delicious.
keep a close eye when browning the butter. it doesn’t take long to go from brown butter to burnt butter.
brown butter cornmeal lime cake
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 cup plain yogurt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp lime zest
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup brown sugar
for the glaze:
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
for the drizzle:
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp lime zest
preheat oven to 350f. grease a 9″ cake pan and line with parchment. grease the parchment and set pan aside.
in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. cook slowly, swirling the pan and watching for the butter to change colour from pale straw to a light butterscotch colour. when it’s just aproaching a deep amber colour, and smells like toasted nuts, remove from heat and swirl a few times. set aside to cool slightly.
in a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup of the brown sugar. whisking does a great job of breaking up the lumps in the sugar.
when the butter is cooled, whisk in the yogurt, eggs, and zest. pour all at once into dry ingredients and mix well, but do not beat.
pour into prepared pan and bake for 75 minutes, or until dry when tested with a toothpick.
meanwhile, make the glaze. heat the 1/3 cup lime juice with 1/3 cup brown sugar until sugar is melted. pour over warm cake, then cool cake completely.
when cool, mix the icing sugar with the 2 tbsp. lime juice and blend well. drizzle over cake, and sprinkle on the remaining zest. allow glaze to set before serving.