Friday, August 22, 2014

Mad About Minis: Single-serve Cornmeal Strawberry Shortcake


Cornmeal Strawberry Shortcake
I also did not want summer to end without making a strawberry shortcake. Summer brings the bestest berries. Since we went down to Monterey a few years ago and bought super sweet strawberries, these have become one of my summer favorites.

Also while researching a dish that I was working on, I found this on Pizza Antica’s list of Sweet Finishes (a.k.a desserts). Although I did not have the opportunity to enjoy the shortcake at Pizza Antica (yet), I thought that it was a great idea. If you see some of my photos in Instagram, you’d see I have been in a cornmeal phase lately.

Fortunately, I have a single-serve shortcake recipe from iVillage.com, but I did not know how to make cornmeal strawberry shortcake. So I researched and found a Martha Stewart recipe that sounds delicious. Cornmeal, plus a hint of lemon… Ooh, with strawberries, I am in.

My biggest challenge in converting a full-blown version to a mini-version. Believe me, I have had many, um.. fails in this. Thank goodness, I had the iVillage version to use as a base and tweak.

After a couple of attempts, here’s what I came up with. Let me know what you think.


Mad Gourmet’s Single-serve Cornmeal Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients
  • 2.5 T cornmeal (I used course ground)
  • 2.5 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T sugar + 1/2 t sugar (for strawberries)
  • 2 T cold milk
  • 1/4 t lemon extract
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • about 1/2 cup strawberries
  • whipped cream

Directions

Making the shortcake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the butter and work the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. You can use your fingers (my preferred method) or a fork.
  4. Add just enough milk until the mixture comes together to form a stiff dough.
  5. Put it into a circle about 1 inch thick on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and puffed.

Filling:
  1. While the shortcake bakes, slice the strawberries.
  2. Toss the sliced strawberries in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes to let the juices run.

Putting it together:
  1. When the shortcake is baked, allow it to rest briefly until it’s cool enough to handle.
  2. Split it horizontally on a serving plate and spoon most of the strawberries onto the bottom half.
  3. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, then put the top half of the shortcake on top, spoon on the remaining strawberries.


Verdict

I love this shortcake. The cornmeal really gives it a beautiful texture. The lemon also gives an extra hint of summer and an extra layer of flavor. Baking a single-serve version also fills the house with that yummy baking scent without firing up the big oven.

My husband did say that I should have made two. Hmm… am I detecting a trend?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mad about Minis: Single-serve Honey Cornbread


It is summer – time for picnics and barbeques. I don’t know about you, but a staple for me in either of those occasions is cornbread.

Sadly, more often than not cornbread is the first to go. So, if I have leftover barbeque or want cornbread with my salad, I am out-of-luck.

I found a small batch cornbread recipe in the solitary cook’s blog. However, she said that this was more for two. So, easy right? Just cut it in half.

However, I was committed to making it single-serve so I would not over-indulge. I also wanted to use honey. Lastly and most importantly, since it’s summer, I try not to hot up the big oven (I am also committed to this), so this was made in my toaster oven. But now, I am not too sure about the timing.

Here’s what I have so far. Let me know what you think.


Mad Gourmet’s Single-Serve Honey Cornbread

Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 teaspoon of butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon of egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon corn kernels (optional)


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease or line a ramekin.
  2. In a bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, egg whites and salt.
  3. Mix in flour, cornmeal and baking powder; blend thoroughly.
  4. Stir in milk and corn, if using. Pour or spoon batter into the greased ramekin.
  5. Bake in preheated toaster oven for 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.


Verdict

I love this recipe. It’s perfect when you have that cornbread craving or it’s late at night.

My husband loves it too. However, he does want another piece.

Maybe he can eat the entire pan.