So, my favourite sporting event of the year, the Tour de France is in full swing. Chris Froome was last seen running up Mont Ventoux before being handed something not much better than a Raleigh Chopper to take him to the line.
Last year, I baked the jerseys: something yellow, something green, something white , and something spotty. This year, I was going to celebrate the regions of this year’s Tour. I was going to make fancy French patisserie, something from the Alps and so on. Didn’t happen. My son was ill and I couldn’t be pastry chef and nose-wiper-in-chief at the same time. I wouldn’t be able to handle any nose emergencies with my hands stuck in a piping bag.
I also had half a tin of sweetcorn in the fridge which I had to either use, or throw away. In the end, I did both.
I decided to make chilli cumin cornbread from the Hummingbird Bakery’s Home Sweet Home. It wasn’t an adventurous bake, but not something I’d usually try. Could the Hummingbird really do savoury? I wasn’t sure.
I started by toasting some cumin seeds. The recipe calls for a lot. I only had half a lot so I used all of them. I was supposed to toast them until they just started to turn golden brown and smelled aromatic. Mine were dark brown when I started, as they usually are I think, so they were never going to be golden brown. I just went by the smell. When they started to smell like toasted cumin seeds I took them off the heat.
Next, I mixed plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, light soft brown sugar, polenta, a few chilli flakes, sea salt and black pepper in the KitchenAid. Then, in a jug, I mixed eggs, milk and sour cream and added them into the dry ingredients. Finally, I added the sweetcorn and cumin seeds. My mixture was really, really wet.
I poured it into a loaf tin and put it into the oven at 160° fan for half and hour. The recipe says that, when it’s done, the bread should be risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Well, my loaf was golden and my skewer was clean. It was just the rise that was a bit on the strange side.
Home Sweet Home says that you can eat the cornbread warm, or cold and that it’s great with mature cheddar and apple chutney. I tried some warm and some cold and some with cheese.I didn’t really like it. It tasted like a really weird scone. More like a cake than bread. Had I done something wrong when I made it? Was it the recipe? Do all American savoury breads taste this sweet?
Whatever the answer, chilli cumin cornbread isn’t for me. It’s not for the children or my husband either. The kids wouldn’t touch it, and Jon confessed that he’d thrown his slice away after one bite. I did think/hope it may be a way to get an extra portion of veg into the children’s diet. I thought wrong.