I use cornmeal to dust the bottom of my bread loaves. I don't have much use for it otherwise--I'm not a huge polenta fan. It's a pity, too, because cornmeal is so darn cheap.
So imagine my excitement when I read about this cake, which promised a buttery denseness with just enough texture to keep me entertained. I was in. I made it one Wednesday night while everyone was fully engrossed in "LOST".
The cake calls for some kind of sauce to be poured over top, and not fresh fruit, which makes it a great winter alternative to a pie or chocolate-based dessert. I thought the jam Alex made this summer would be a perfect compliment. I can't remember what combination of fruit the jam is--raspberry plum, maybe? I heated up the glass jar (with the metal lid removed) in the microwave for just a few seconds to make it pourable.
The cake was also great the next morning for breakfast. Then again, my favorite thing to eat at breakfast-time is a brownie. Feel free to test that theory though.
I didn't have a tart pan with a removable bottom, so I just used a trusty cake pan covered in parchment I cut in a circle (and that trick, my friends, is for another day).
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature (save the wrapper!)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fine to medium grind cornmeal plus 2 teaspoons for dusting pan
1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
2 eggs, room temperature
3 egg yolks, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar for dusting
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Use the wrapper to grease a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan; dust with 2 teaspoons cornmeal.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light in color and fluffy, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl and add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
3. Sift the flour, remaining corn meal, baking powder and salt together and fold into the mixture.
4. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan (it might be hard to spread--don't worry about getting it all the way to the edges). Sprinkle the sugar evenly on top. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Serve with jam.