Sweet Corn & Date Cakes

Recipe & Photos: Bebe Carminito

Yield 21-24 depending on scoop size 

I absolutely love corn and have since I was a kiddo. I love Corn Flakes, Corn Chips, Tamales, Polenta, anything with Cornmeal, Corn Chowder and any other food made with corn. Here, I developed a recipe for Sweet Corn and Date Cakes which incidentally are delicious all on their own, or as a little side dish, snack and exceptionally good added to a hot bowl of chili. In this recipe, these corn and date cakes are refined sugar free and get their natural sweetness from Rancho Meladuco Medjool Dates as well from the sweetness of corn. The trick is to steep the dates in the cream while you prep and make the batter and also it is extremely important to bake the corn cakes in a water bath covered tightly with foil so they retain their texture. You scoop them with a small ice cream scoop (my scoop measurement is 1 tablespoon) once cooled to make the individual servings, you could also cut into squares if so desired. I added a little chili powder because I like a little spice, this is optional depending on your preference. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, just bring to room temperature before serving. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pitted and small diced Rancho Meladuco Medjool Dates (about 5)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter plus extra for the baking dish
  • 1/3 cup masa harina
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chili powder *optional
  • 1/4 cup room temperature water
  • 1 3/4 cups of frozen yellow corn, thawed completely and pulsed in a food processor leaving some kernels whole

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly butter a glass 8×8 baking dish. (You could also use baking spray.) Prep your water bath (Bain Marie) by having a 9×13 baking dish set aside, you will need 4 cups of hot water to pour in so that it goes to a halfway point. Also, have tin foil on hand to tightly wrap your corn cakes during the baking. This will ensure a light texture and uniform baking. 

Pit and chop dates and then steep them in the cream while you make the rest of your batter. Whisk the dries together; masa harina, cornmeal, baking soda, salt and chili powder if using. In a stand mixer with a paddle attached cream the butter till fluffy about 3 minutes on medium speed then with a spatula, scrape down the sides of bowl. Lower the speed on the mixer and then slowly add the dry ingredients by pulsing to the butter and combine. Add 1/4 cup water and pulsed corn until you get a batter, this will be slightly thick. Remove bowl from stand and fold in the steeped dates with cream, don’t over mix. Spoon the batter into your prepped glass baking dish and have your hot water ready to pour into the 9×13. Cover tightly with foil and very carefully put the corn cake into the water bath then oven. Bake for 50 minutes and then cool on wire rack. Remove foil away from you and when cool enough to handle, scoop from baking dish. Enjoy!!

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