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Chilli and bacon cornbread (v)

sweet corn

Attending the Berlin Cooking Club last Saturday inspired me to make more things with corn. (Actually, it inspired me to make many things, but this is the first I shall write about.) Suzy made a beautiful chilled tomato soup with roasted corn kernels, and I thought, as I always do when I eat corn, why don't I cook with this more often?


So I decided to make a cornbread, something I have never done before. Reading a few recipes online, I was surprised to find that cornbread is unleavened and uses baking powder as a raising agent. I'd always imagined it would contain yeast. Anyway, I tweaked the recipes a little, and ended up with this. We ate them hot from the oven, just with a little butter, but next time I think I will try serving them with a zingy tomato salsa on the side.


For a vegetarian version, just omit the bacon, though you may like to add a little more salt in compensation, or perhaps some grated cheddar.


Makes 6 muffin-sized cornbreads

120g plain flour

120g cornmeal

half a tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1.5 tsp baking powder

1 egg

100ml milk

100ml cream

a generous pinch of dried crushed chilli flakes

2 rashers of bacon

1 corncob

some butter


Heat the oven to 200°C. Fry the bacon in a hot pan until crisp, leave to cool, and break into pieces.


In the same pan, melt a knob of butter in the rendered bacon fat. Slice the kernels from the corncob and fry until sweet, softened and coloured in places.


Whilst the bacon and corn is cooking, measure out and mix together all the other ingredients. Stir in the bacon pieces and corn. You should have a thick slop, like cake batter.


Butter and/or line a muffin tin and divide the mixture between 6 cups. Bake for about 15 minutes until risen and lightly browned on top. Turn out whilst still hot, otherwise they will go soggy. Eat immediately, hot from the oven or when completely cooled, store in an airtight container for up to a couple of days.

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