Strawberry Cornmeal Cake

I like rustic things.  Fireplaces, driftwood, mason jars, pie … and this strawberry cornmeal cake.  Anything with cornmeal baked in a cast iron skillet is always rustic.  And always amazingly good.  Pretty sure that’s a fundamental law of the universe.

This cornmeal cake really isn’t what you generally think of when you think of cake.  It’s not overly sweet and doesn’t have frosting.  Like a cornmeal muffin in cake form.  But better.  Maybe call it a breakfast cake (actually I’ve managed to make it a breakfast, lunch, and dinner cake seeing as how I’ve eaten it with every meal so far).

What I like about this cake so much is that it’s REALLY GOOD, but not in that kind of insane, malicious way that say, birthday cake is.  See, I don’t know if you can relate to this, but when I a cake cake, like with frosting and everything,  something comes over me.  You know in Finding Nemo, when that shark (Bruce) catches a whiff of blood, and his pupils dilate and he kind of goes crazy and demolishes stuff?

Okay, well that’s me with a regular cake.  Sugar/insulin rush makes me go a lil crazy.  Well this cake doesn’t do that.  When I eat this cake, all I feel is a deep sense of satisfaction.  You eat it, you savor it in the moment, and then you wrap it up and save the rest for another time, feeling happy and satisfied.

Strawberry Cornmeal Cake

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup medium-ground yellow cornmeal

¾ cup sugar

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup milk

2 large eggs

7 Tbsp browned butter, 1tbsp regular butter (for skillet)

1 tsp vanilla extract

SCANT ¼ tsp almond extract

zest of ½ lemon

juice of ½ lemon

2 cups of strawberries (I used frozen, and then defrosted them)

Preheat oven to 375F, and place cast iron skillet with 1 tbsp butter into oven to heat up

To brown the butter:

Place the 7 tbsp butter in small saucepan over med-low heat.  Butter will at first look like its simmering

Around the 3 min mark it will start to foam and slightly change color from yellow to light brown.  When this happens and it starts to smell nutty, immediately remove from heat and let cool.

In large bowl, sift together flour, baking power, and salt

Add in cornmeal and sugar and combine

In medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, ¼ cup milk, the cooled browned butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, and zest & juice of ½ lemon, until the mixture is of uniform consistency.

Add wet into dry, stir just till combined.  Fold in defrosted strawberries

Remove skillet from oven and add batter.  Place back in oven and bake for 35-45 min, or until the top is golden brown and cracked

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