Monday, October 15, 2012

Dutch Oven Cornbread Cake

I had a great big Dutch oven weekend!  It started with a demo at the Sportsman's Warehouse here in Midvale, UT.  Those folks are great!  I arrived and they had tables and canopies all set up for me in front of the store.  It was a brisk day, but not really cold.  There were a couple of spots where it drizzled, but we had good traffic all day.

I cooked chili and pulled BBQ chicken with my own flavorful sauce.  I got a lot of compliments as well.  I sold and signed a bunch of books, too.  I didn't keep count, because the actual sales happened inside.  At the end, my body was tired and sore, but my spirits were high.  It was really a lot of fun.

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
3 eggs

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 and his MoBoy blog.

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