I’ve been a subscriber to Bon Appetit magazine for more than 30 years. The recent demise of Gourmet magazine has seen my good friend receive constant thrashing at the hands of fervent Gourmet magazine lovers who feel a need to take out their hurt against my beloved companion! I loved both magazines and admittedly miss Gourmet too but Bon Appetit has been a part of my cooking legacy for as long as I can remember!
Most recently I read a comment left by a reader at Michael Ruhlman’s blog that grouped Bon Appetit’s readers with Rachel Ray fans and that did lead me to wonder why such hatred? So, I looked through my latest issue with a keener eye, wondering if my long term relationship had somehow colored my perception and my conclusion was…I’m still not disappointed and I haven’t cooked like Ms. Ray since I was that girl in my 20′s!
Although I have seen Bon Appetit change over the years from a periodical that had few recipes I would attempt on a daily basis or could even find ingredients for to one that acknowledges a change in the way we live; I continue to make great dishes that have been inspired by their offerings.
One of my favorite sections of the magazine is RSVP. Readers send in a request asking for the recipe for a dish that the reader has enjoyed at a restaurant. It has become a tradition that I typically make one of the included recipes each month so starting this month I’m starting a section highlighting those efforts, my RSVP Redux.
May is typically a season for blueberries so I decided to make the Blueberry Cornmeal Cake. I planned well and bought everything ahead of time except for the blueberries since the store I was in didn’t have any in stock. So, the next day, I asked my daughter to stop and get some on the way home from work. Same result; none in stock . What was going on? I called a local grocery and they had a couple of packages available at $5/half pint; I needed three cups of blueberries! I’m assuming a spring freeze somewhere has limited the crop in Colorado, so against everything I would consider the norm, I used blueberries from a bag of frozen berries I typically have on hand to throw on top of cereal or yogurt.
We loved the cake, a wonderful marriage of cornmeal and blueberry muffins with the inspired addition of ricotta cheese. Not too sweet and a great addition for breakfast or an afternoon snack (yep, I’ve done that!). What I really loved was how it turned out after being prepared in a springform pan and am now thinking I’ll never make a breakfast cake in a square dish again; the presentation was much prettier.
And I can not tell a lie. Despite sugar in the cake and sugar on top of the cake…I added a drizzle of maple syrup at breakfast; something about cornmeal in a baked good that just makes that necessary for me. Not a lot – promise!
Adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2010
Huckleberry Balery and Cafe, Santa Monica, CA
- Nonstick Vegetable Oil Spray
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp honey
- 10 Tbsp butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 3 cups fresh blueberries
- Preheat over to 325 F. Spray 10 inch springform pan with nonstick spray
- Whisk flour and next 3 ingredients in medium bowl
- Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla and honey in another bowl
- Beat butter, 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar and salt in mixer til well creamed.
- Gradually add egg mixture to bowl and beat to blend
- Gradually add flour mixture; beating just to blend
- Add ricotta and yogurt; beating just til blended.
- Pour half of the batter into the springform pan and top with half of the blueberries. Pour remaining batter on top of berries and finish top of cake by scattering remaining berries
- Sprinkle 1 Tbsp sugar over top
- Bake until top is golden brown and tester comes out clean, 65-75 minutes.
- Cool completely in pan.
I omitted sprinkling the sugar on the top so that I could dust it instead with powdered sugar; I just liked the way it looks!