Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes

Last week my family and I went to a Mexican restaurant here in town. For most people in our area, this is not uncommon (let's be real, most people have Bueno almost once a week); for me, though, well let's just say I'm not a big fan of Mexican food. It makes my tummy feel funny.

So imagine my surprise when we ordered a dish that I LOVED. I mean, downright wanted to stop eating and take it home just so I knew I could have it the next day. I didn't, of course, because I wanted to eat it then, too. My mom and I looked at the menu online because I needed to decide what I wanted before we got there (I'm notorious for taking wayyyy too long to decide at the restaurant) and we saw on the appetizer list something intriguing: sweet corn tamale cakes. Hmm. I like corn, but I don't like tamales. But it was topped with avocado so of course I said, "Sign me up!"

After dinner, I declared that I would recreate the dish at home. I had to. I needed to have a recipe like this in my life. I would say I came pretty close...of course I didn't get everything right, I knew I wouldn't. But that just gives me an excuse to go back, right? Perfect!

Enjoy the recipe! If I had to do it over again, I would probably double the recipe. This cake wasn't dense necessarily, it just didn't rise like the cakes at the restaurant. I considered baking it in muffin tins, but was hesitant about the baking time. Let me know if you try it!

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Sweet Corn Tamale Cake with Creamy Avocado Topping
Adapted from Knead for Speed's recipe

Corn Cake
  • 1 can (14-15ish oz) sweet corn, drained--YES, sweet corn. Nothing else. Hence the sweet corn cake.
  • 1/2 cup masa harina (you can find it at Wal-Mart in the Hispanic food section!)
  • 3 tablespoons yellow corn meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • a little over 1/4 cup honey--I just let it overflow for a second. I like sweet things, okay?
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
Creamy Avocado Topping
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese--get it out of the fridge when you start making the cake. You'll want it to be a little bit soft.
  • a little bit of honey
  • one Roma tomato
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray.

Using a blender or food processor, blend the sweet corn until it's smooth but still a little bit chunky. Set aside for later.

In a small bowl, combine the masa harina, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Save for later.

Beat the butter until fluffy using an electric mixer. Make sure you're using a bowl big enough for all the ingredients, but not so big that you feel like you're just chasing the butter around the bowl. I'm speaking from experience, here. Add the honey, corn mixture, water and milk to the butter. Mix to combine. Then add your masa harina mixture to the honey/corn/butter/etc mixture and mix to combine.

Pour your batter into your baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 35-45 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

While it's baking, you can whip up the avocado topping. Slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, and cut the avocado into medium-sized squares. Place in a small bowl. For the cream cheese, I used whipped for two reasons: one, I felt like it would coat the avocado better and two, I'm on Weight Watchers and still really wanted cream cheese so this was my solution. Measure out the whipped cream cheese and add it to the avocados. Drizzle a little honey in, to taste. Using a rubber spatula, stir all ingredients together until the avocados are coated and it looks like the honey's been incorporated. Cover and put in the fridge until you serve the corn cake. Dice up the tomato and set aside.

When you're ready to serve, cut the cake in squares (Knead for Speed even recommends using a cookie scoop! I think I should have done that) and top with avocado topping and diced tomato. Drizzle a little more honey on if you wish, and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I did it! A nice complement to our fish tacos tonight! I didn't use any cream cheese in the topping but I'm sure it would be even better with that!