I am a big fan of both gingerbread and cornbread. I thought it would be fun to combine the flavors of the two, and so my ginger honey cornbread was born. I decided to go all out with intense ginger flavor, so I used freshly grated ginger, candied ginger, root beer and last but not least ginger honey.
The result is a strong, mildly spicy cornbread, which we absolutely loved. It's fairly simple to make, easy to transport and can be made a day in advance.
Servings: 10 servings
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup corn meal
1-¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
¼ cup ginger honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-½ tablespoons candied ginger
½ cup root beer
1 cup milk
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
¼ cup olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
When the temperature has reached 400°F, place a 9"-pre-seasoned cast iron skillet in the oven and heat it while preparing the cornbread batter.
In a bowl, combine the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift the dry ingredients.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs with granulated sugar until you get a pale yellow foam. Add the grated ginger, ginger honey and root beer. Using a wooden spoon, continuously stir while adding the dry ingredient mix, corn meal, butter, 1 tablespoon of candied ginger, milk, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir well until smooth and wet. For a light result, do NOT over-mix.
Open the oven and remove the skillet. Immediately brush the hot skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil, greasing the inside.
Transfer the cornbread batter into the hot skillet. Bake for about 10 minutes at 375°F, then lower the heat to 350°F and bake for another 20 minutes. Open the oven; sprinkle with the remaining candied ginger, rotate the skillet for an even result and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. A skewer or a toothpick inserted into the cornbread should come out clean. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool. Flip out the cornbread, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Sifting dry ingredients helps get rid of nasty lumps of flour and aerates the mixture when liquid is added. It's very important for all your baking so you get a moist result.
For a moist result, you want the cornbread batter to be wet and rather sticky. Also make sure not to over-mix it.
I buy ginger honey at the Asian market, you can also find it online.
Per Carole's advice, we tested baking the batter in different sized cast iron skillets. The 9.5-inch skillet produces a very moist cornbread (about 3-inch thick). The 15-inch one was much thinner with crunchier egdes. You could also make individual servings and bake them in a muffin pan.