Then, the next day, some old family friends invited us over to a "family chili cookoff". Of course, I obliged, and made some more.
I also made some cornbread. My favorite way of making cornbread in the past was to do up a cornbread mix, then a yellow cake mix, and finally to stir the two together. I thought there would be a way to make both of those from scratch, and I did some research and came up with this recipe. It ended up to be more like a cake with a bit of corn flavor, but it was nice and moist and not so crumbly as typical cornbread is. As I prepare this recipe for the blog, I've added a bit of cornmeal to it.
Dutch Oven Cornbread Cake
10" Dutch oven
9-10 coals below
18-20 coals above
1/4 cup softened butter (the softer the better)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
light shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
1 3/4 cups whole milk
I started by lighting up the coals. Once these are white-edged, a lot of them will go on the Dutch oven lid, to preheat it.
The first step is to cream the butter and sugar together. I used the back of a big serving spoon to whip the two together and to incorporate as much air as possible. Do this for several minutes, until it's nice and fluffy.
Then I added in the eggs, one at a time, beating and blending as I went.
By this time, my arm was quite tired, and I took a break. I mixed the dry ingredients together into one bowl, and the remaining wet ingredients as well, into another bowl. After all this, I went out and put the coals on the lid, as I mentioned before.
Then, I added half of the dry ingredients, and continued mixing, then half of the wet, and mixed some more. While still mixing, I added the remainder of each. At that point it turned into a nice batter, which I finished up with a wire whisk, to break apart the dry clumps.
I cut out a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom, even though I wasn't sure that I'd need it. I planned on serving cut squares directly from the Dutch, so I wouldn't need to flip it out like a cake. Still, I went with it. I sprayed the sides of the Dutch oven with oil as well.
I poured in the batter, then took it out and set it under the heated lid. I counted out the proper coals above and below and set it to bake. I rotated the Dutch oven after about fifteen minutes, and after about 35 minutes, it was done! I brought it in and let it cool.
It was delicious and it served up well next to everyone's chili.
Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.