Monday, April 16, 2012

Strawberry Corn Cakes with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream - Guest Post featuring Bellabits!


Spring is most definitely spreading her wings and bringing gorgeous, sunny skies to Southern California.  With spring, comes two of my favorite things... strawberries and spring break.

As we eased back into real life today, the kids reflected on our fairly inactive and much needed restful break, wishing themselves back into dreamland with no schedule.  Alas... the break is over and it's back to school and the regularly scheduled schedule.

Not everyone was spending their break kicking back and relaxing though.  I'd like to introduce you to my favorite almost-teen blogger, Bella, of Bellabits, who spent her spring break in the kitchen and at the computer writing a Guest Post for us.  A 2011 Young Writer's Program winner, Bella brings a fresh voice to her blog and shows off her talent in the kitchen.


Who can resist a girl who in 2010 wrote about a Christmas shopping spree proclaiming her favorite stop William's Sonoma?  Coming home with a Vanilla Bean Paste she was eager to get back into the kitchen, just like she did on Spring Break 2012.

I can't thank Bella enough for sharing her sweet Strawberry Corn Cakes with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream with all of us.  You can find her on Bellabits and the Bellabits Facebook page.  She's also on twitter at @IamBellabits.

While I've never actually met Bella in person, I've enjoyed watching her blog grow over the last few years and I'm eager to see where she takes us next.  But for now I give you Bella and her sweet Strawberry Cakes...

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Oh my goodneshhh!!  Hello everyone, its Bella!!!

OK so I was doodling what might become Bellabits' new logo, and looking for blogging inspiration, flipping through some of my favorite Food Network Magazines.  These are always packed with SCRUMDIDDLYUMPTIOUS recipes, and I happened to stumble upon a delicious looking one of them: Strawberry Corn Cakes! Yummy right?

I've got to tell you that I have been on a cornbread kick lately.  My Mom never made cornbread much, but this last winter, we started making it instead of rolls with dinner, as breakfast (cornbread pancakes) and dessert (buttered brown sugar cornbread).  So, right then and there, I decided that we absolutely needed to make them.

We followed the oh-so-easy recipe making a few tweaks here and there.  Instead of lemon zest, we added orange zest, instead of vanilla extract, we used (my favorite) vanilla bean paste, and for an extra special topper, we made a fresh brown sugar whipped cream instead of the plain whipped cream in the original recipe. Using a cornbread mix really made this quick and easy too.

  
Here I am spooning the corn cake mix into the muffin pan after preparing it using the directions.  I pop them into the oven and make my strawberry filling/topping.



 
With about 5 min left to bake, take out the corn cakes, make an indention in them with the back of a spoon, and put some of the strawberry filling into each one.

 Stick the cakes back into the oven for the remaining time. They will be golden.


Once cool, add the remaining berry mixture and a giant dollop of the brown sugar whipped cream on the side. The end result: A delectable, fruity dessert!!!

When I first bit into one of the cakes, a sensational sweet-tart, warmness put a smile on my face. The cornbread muffin is substantial and quite filling. Make sure to add some of the whipped cream to your spoonful, to make it cool and sweet and moist. My mouth is watering just writing about it!!! This is a recipe that all of you guys NEED to try!!!

Strawberry Corn Cakes with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream
Adapted from Food Network Magazine, April 2012

Ingredients
· Cooking spray, for the pan
· 1 8.5-ounce package corn muffin mix (we used Jiffy, which also calls for an egg and 1/3 cup milk)
· 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
· 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
· 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or you can use vanilla extract)
· 1 cup chopped strawberries
· 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
· 3/4 cup heavy cream
· 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 6-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Prepare the corn muffin batter using the directions on the box, then stir in the flour, orange zest and vanilla bean paste.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are set and the centers are soft but not wet. While the cakes are baking, combine the strawberries and strawberry preserves in a bowl and set aside.

Remove the corn cakes from the oven (remember, cakes will still be soft in the center, but not wet). Gently press the back of a teaspoon into the center of each to make an indentation about 1/3 of the way into the cakes. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the strawberry mixture into each indentation, pressing it in, to tightly fill. Reserve the remaining strawberry/preserves mixture for topping. Return the cakes to the oven to continue baking just until they are golden (about 5 more minutes).

Cool cakes in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack for 10 more minutes.

While cakes are cooling, use your favorite mixer to whip the cream while adding the brown sugar gradually, until soft peaks form.

Top the cakes with the remaining strawberry mixture and serve with a big dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!!!

MOM NOTES: These serve 6.  It's cornbread, so it is filling, AND in our experience, they tasted best while they were fresh.  We didn't enjoy the leftovers half as much.

22 comments:

  1. Hallo Bella
    The berry corn cake looks so lovely. I will have to try the whipped cream with brown sugar for my next cream cake too.

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  2. Hi Bella! Please don't hate me for saying that that you're adorable. I'm old so I'm allowed, ok? Trust me, Liv puts up with it too.

    I love your corn cakes very, very much. Strawberries are up there in my top five favorite fruits and this definitely does them justice. I could like the screen, that photo looks so delicious.

    Ya'll have a fantastic day there in So. California. Big wave from across the country.

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  3. Now this looks like the kind of corn muffin I could eat EVERYDAY!!

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  4. Such a sweet post! These look delicious, too.

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  5. Such a sweet gust post :D
    Strawberries are my ultimate favourite so I am rooting for this recipe!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  6. Great guest post!! Thanks for introducing me to one more fantastic blogger. These cakes look so, so delicious :)

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  7. This recipe looks and sounds so delicious! I need to get some strawberries ASAP!

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  8. What a wonderful idea to use corn cakes as the base for these delicious strawberries! Well done Bella!! Drop by my blog today and grab an award...well deserved by the looks of this winning dish! :) I have an award to Kim too....her dishes are always wonderful! :)

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  9. I am looking forward to summer berries, and I've bookmarked this post to enjoy them this way! thank you Bella, for such a wonderful read!

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  10. Great idea! I love a dessert that isn't overly sweet. You are so creative with your cooking, looks wonderful.

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  11. Holy shmoley! Those are gorgeous!!

    PS_ there is a picture of my new house in my blog :-)

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  12. Thank you for introducing me to Bellabits...and for such a fantastic recipe. We love strawberries, so I'm always looking for new ways to serve them when they're on sale!!!

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  13. Bella, can I adopt you???? None of my kids care one bit about cooking or baking :( Your corn cakes with berries looks amazing! Wonderful twist on our favorite strawberry shortcake. So nice to meet you!!! And thanks to Kim for the introduction.

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  14. What a wonderful post and recipe, Bella. When I was your age I didn't know my around a kitchen at all! My younger sister was the one who liked to cook and I was the designated cleaner-upper. And the worst part? She wouldn't even let me taste the food until she set it on the table! I admire your talents in the kitchen. Great job! :)

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  15. Brown sugar in whipped cream!? I love this, Bella!

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  16. LOVE this! Strawberry Shortcake BUT BETTER.... thanks :)

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  17. What a yummy looking post. Both of your blogs are lovely. Well done Bella.

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  18. Kim, yes spring break was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of thing. I loved having very little schedule too. I bet you all REALLY NEEDED a break with all that you usually do!

    Oh Bella, I just love your energy! I am so glad that you find joy in making and sharing what you make in the kitchen! These strawberry corn cakes are going to be seen at our house very soon.

    Hugs and kisses for you all!

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  19. Kim, yes spring break was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of thing. I loved having very little schedule too. I bet you all REALLY NEEDED a break with all that you usually do!

    Oh Bella, I just love your energy! I am so glad that you find joy in making and sharing what you make in the kitchen! These strawberry corn cakes are going to be seen at our house very soon.

    Hugs and kisses for you all!

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  20. What a great job, Bella! Your corn cakes look amazing and you did such a fun post!

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  21. Thank you all so very much for enjoying my guest post! I am SUPER glad you like it!!!! I want to thank Kim again for inviting me to do this guest post. You are the best Kim!! Be sure to follow my blog too if you havent already everybody. THANKS:)

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