Kohlman: Berry Cornmeal and Jam Cake raises the winter spirits

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On the tail finish of 2022, somewhat gem of a cookbook was self-published by Julie Van Rosendaal. “You’re Human and You Want Cake” is her newest assortment of recipes, and as you might need guessed, it’s all about cake.

Should you’re not accustomed to Julie, she lives in Calgary, the place she talks about meals for CBC Radio, writes about it for The Globe and Mail and different publications, makes podcasts and teaches cooking lessons. She additionally has a terrific meals weblog,

Dinner with Julie

. Oh, and he or she’s written 12 bestselling cookbooks. Julie’s work is inspiring and artistic, and her newest cookbook tackles considered one of my favorite issues — cake!

There’s a little story behind the title of this cookbook. Through the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, Julie edited the hate mail she was receiving to create extra uplifting messages within the type of easy poems. One of many poems was about cake, and it turned the inspiration for this assortment of comforting and scrumptious cake recipes. Discuss taking one thing extremely damaging and turning it again out into the world as one thing tremendously constructive and good.

Cake makes everybody glad, proper? And so they needn’t be reserved for particular events solely. Julie has quite a lot of recipes for easy on a regular basis truffles, some with fruit, and a few with chocolate. From Chunky Apple Walnut Bundt to Nanaimo Bar Cake (that’s proper, she turned the notorious bar right into a cake), there may be undoubtedly one thing for everybody right here.

And, after all, there are fancier truffles, excellent for pushing the boat out for birthdays and different celebrations. I made the Coconut Cake for my boyfriend’s birthday in November and he’s nonetheless speaking about it. Or perhaps he’s hinting that he needs me to make it once more, which I might gladly do. Julie’s cake recipes are so dreamy, as is her images which accompanies each single recipe.

On a dreary January day, I wished somewhat raise to my spirits so I baked up the Berry Cornmeal and Jam Cake. I like easy truffles that make nice use of freezer fruit. Let this be a PSA that it is best to now be utilizing the fruit you fastidiously picked and washed and packed into freezer baggage final summer season. These bitter cherries aren’t going to final endlessly. Talking of which, it’s all the time good to make buddies with somebody who has a cherry tree of their yard. After they say “come over and decide cherries” I’ll by no means flip down that invitation.

Bitter cherries in January are a godsend. And they’re smashing on this cake, which has cornmeal for a stunning textural distinction. It’s additionally terribly tender and moist, because of the canola oil and bitter cream. No bitter cherries? No drawback. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, would all be scrumptious. The jam a part of this cake comes from a last flourish of the protect earlier than the cake slides into the oven. I used cherry jam for the swirls, only a few tablespoons or so, and it made the cake ever so fairly.

I reduce fats wedges to serve for afternoon tea only for me, however the cake can be pleasant on the finish of any dinner in case you’re having firm round. Leftovers, ought to there be any, make a really agreeable second breakfast, with good espresso for accompaniment.


Berry Cornmeal and Jam Cake


For a dairy-free model, 1/2 cup orange juice will be substituted for the bitter cream or yogurt.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup high-quality yellow cornmeal

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp high-quality salt

1/2 cup canola or different vegetable oil, or melted butter

1 cup bitter cream or plain yogurt

2 giant eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1-2 cups contemporary or frozen (don’t thaw them) blackberries or blueberries

1/3-1/2 cup jam or preserves

Coarse sugar, like turbinado or demerara, for sprinkling (non-obligatory)

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

In a big bowl, whisk collectively the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In one other bowl, whisk collectively the oil and bitter cream or yogurt (if it’s very thick, like Greek yogurt, skinny it with somewhat milk or water earlier than measuring it) together with the eggs and vanilla.

Add the moist elements to the dry elements and stir simply till mixed. Butter or spray a 9-inch skillet or similar-sized baking dish with non-stick spray. Pour about half your batter into the pan, scatter with berries (save just a few for on prime, in case you like) and canopy with the remaining batter. Drop the jam in spoonfuls on the highest and swirl by means of with a knife; scatter with any remaining berries. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, in case you like.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, till golden and springy to the contact.


Serves about 8.




Recipe from You Are Human And You Want Cake, by Julie Van Rosendaal. Reprinted with permission.


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