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You can’t have chili without a delicious Cornbread to go along with it, and this is the best cornbread we’ve had!
The ideal cornbread is golden on the outside, moist but not too dense on the inside, and just lightly sweetened to complement the spiciness of your chili. This cornbread is so good thanks to the combination of ingredients we’ve used, as well as the cooking technique.
Our cornbread uses a combination of ricotta and mascarpone cheese (rather than milk or buttermilk) in the batter, as well as creamed corn to make this cornbread super moist and full of corn flavor. We also used an amber agave nectar to lend a gentle, natural sweetness to the cornbread.
(Agave nectar is available in any supermarket next to the honey usually, and is better for you than processed sugar. It’s an extract of the agave plant and is all natural. It comes in three basic varieties; light which is a neutral flavor, amber which has a subtle maple-like flavor and raw which has a richer flavor. We use amber in this recipe. Agave nectar is 1.4 times sweeter than sugar so you use less and it is gluten-free, vegan and low glycemic.)
And the best way to bake cornbread is in a cast-iron skillet that’s been placed into a very hot oven to preheat. As the cornbread batter is poured into the hot skillet, a perfectly browned crust forms and helps keep the inner batter moist and light as it bakes.
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 ½ cups corn meal
- 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup agave nectar (or honey may be substituted)
- ½ stick butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ cups creamed corn (approximately one 14.75 ounce can)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and put an 11” cast iron frying pan into the oven to get very hot.
- Mix sifted flour, corn meal, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix mascarpone cheese, ricotta, agave nectar, melted butter, olive oil, eggs and creamed corn until smooth.
- Add wet to dry and mix until blended. Mixture will be pretty thick, this is normal.
- Open oven door and put butter and shortening in hot pan. Swirl around to melt and coat sides and bottom.
- Pour batter into hot pan, spread evenly and close oven door.
- Bake in center of oven for 30 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 325 and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Allow to sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
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