Molasses Buttermilk Cornbread with Maple White Dog
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- bacon grease, lard or butter for greasing the pan
- 1/4 vanilla bean
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, 1 stick
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup full fat sour cream or full fat greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1/2 cup medium fine yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground saigon cinnamon (it’s more potent than the regular cinnamon)
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1/4 cup grade b maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tbsp. plus 1 1/2 teaspoon white dog whiskey, optional ( nal (sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad. in this case, too much booze will cause the cream to break down and get water. don’t be tempted to add more than 2 to 3 tbsp.)
MAPLE WHITE DOG WHOOP:
CANDIED BACON CRUNCH, RECIPE FOLLOWS
1To make cornbread, preheat oven to 350.
Coat bottom and sides of 8 inch cast iron skillet or cake pan with bacon grease. Set aside. Split the piece of vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds with back of a knife and add to small sauté pan. Make sure the pan is shiny metal, not dark nonstick or cast iron or you won’t be able to see how dark the butter solids get. Add the pod and 6 Tbsp. of the butter and cook over medium heat til solids drop to the bottom of the pan and turn a nutty brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
2In medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and molasses. In large mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just til mixed. Stir in the browned butter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake til golden brown and top springs back when pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and rub the top of the corn bread with remaining butter.
3To make maple white dog whoop, in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment or with a handheld mixer, whip cream and maple syrup together on medium high speed til soft peaks form. Whisk in whisk if using, 1 Tbsp. at a time. With mixer on high, continue whipping til medium stiff peaks form. The cream can be made ahead and stored in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Put a slice of warm corn bread on a plate, top with a dollop of maple whipped cream and garnish with the candied bacon. Drizzle with maple syrup. You can omit the bourbon in this recipe and substitute 1/4 tsp. vanilla to round out the flavor.
4For a variation, use Praline Bacon crunch: Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons toasted finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts onto the pan and toast in a 350 oven til fragrant and beginning to color, 5 to 8 minutes or pecans and 10 to 15 minutes for hazelnuts.
Candied Bacon Crunch:
1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 grinds of fresh black pepper
5 slices thick cut applewood smoked bacon, about 1/3 lb.
Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and place metal oven safe rack like a cooking rack for cookies, on top.
In small bowl, mix together maple syrup, mustard, and pepper. Dip bacon in maple mixture, coating both sides liberally and arrange on rack in single layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip bacon over, baste with more maple mixture and bake for another 10 minutes. Baste once more during the last 5 minutes of baking. The bacon will take on a rich caramelized color and a lacquered sheen. If you want to tear the bacon into pieces, let it cool completely first. Or you can cut each slice in half and serve