This week we are appreciating our teachers. Every year this week rolls around and I always want to let my kids teachers know how valued they are.
Isaac, basically, has one main teacher (he also has a t.a., a music teacher, art teacher, science teacher, p.e. teacher, etc), Eli now has 6 teachers and Levi has 5 teachers. In the past I baked, I packaged, I labeled, I exhausted myself. I couldn’t do that this year. I had to simplify without sacrificing the message.
A few weeks ago, I participated in the All American Bake Sale, raising money for Share our Strength. A fellow baker/blogger ( A girl with a Curl) brought the cutest thing, ever! “Jar Cake”. I was looking for a way to recreate this impressively, packaged morsel of sweetness and it dawned on me that Teacher Appreciation week would be the perfect time to do that.
As I was contemplating what I was going to do for the teachers, I was reading my May issue of Bon Appetit mag and came across a recipe for Blueberry Cornmeal Cake from Huckleberry, a cafe in Santa Monica. I have eaten at Huckleberry a number of times and although I like it, I am not crazy about their attitude as well as the lack of menu choices for my little Levi. The positives are as follows; the pastry counter makes the corner of mouth drool. If you are watching your calorie intake, stay away. It is way too tempting!
I felt this recipe would work perfectly for my “cake in a jar” gifts. And it did. I also made a few “larger” cakes in these cute paper cake pans I found at Surfas. They were a great alternative for the office staff ( I could not envision, 3 office staff ladies, sharing one jar and one wooden utensil).
This concept can be done with almost any cake, cupcake, or coffee cake. If the cakes do not require frosting, close and seal the mason jars right away. If they do require frosting, let cool completely before smothering with your favorite garnish!
Huckleberry’s Cornmeal Blueberry Cake
2/3 cup yellow corn meal
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
6 Tbls. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 Tbls. vanilla
1 tsp. honey
10 Tbls. unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup plain yogurt ( I used greek)
3 cups fresh blueberries
• whisk flour + next three ingredients in a medium bowl.
• whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, & honey in another bowl
• using your electric mixer, beat butter, 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar, + 1 1/2 tsp. salt in large bowl until creamy. Add egg mixture, beat to blend.
• beat in flour mixture to blend.
• add ricotta + yogurt, beat on low speed to blend
• pour half the batter in prepared pan or jars, sprinkle some blueberries over. spoon remaining batter in dollops then scatter remaining blueberries over (for the jar method, I used a 1/4 cup scooper for the batter. scooped into jars, scattered a few blueberries, topped with another 1/4 cup of batter, blueberries then sprinkled some sugar on top. fill jars 2/3 full)
• bake until golden brown. this cake takes a long time to bake regardless if done in a 10″ pan or the jars. the jars took about 50 -60 minutes. about 35 minutes into it, cover jars with foil to prevent from over browning (mine were a little overdone).
The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com