Cornbread with Clara Cakes
Most of us have had cornbread in one form or another. It is an innocuous and eponymous food that has a place in many cultures of the United States, much like the dumpling has a place in many cultures of the world (samosa, pierogi, empanada, ravioli, gyoza, etc.). And while it comes in a variety of forms the mixture of cornmeal, salt, and water is a common thread in the cuisine of many people who have found ways to survive in the United States. Like cornbread, survival in the United States is not a uniform concept. One person’s means of survival may be a tall, sweet, and airy cake of perfectly uniform proportions baked in a spotless oven in a pristine kitchen, while another person’s means of survival may be a low and chewy slice of nebulous grit cooked on a shovel over an open flame. You can tell a lot about a culture by its cornbread.
Because the recipe is so simple, and the ingredients so eponymous, cornbread adapts to the nuances of the people who make it. For instance, in the south—where there has historically been an enforced divide between black and white people—cornbread is a divisive topic. The specifics of the ingredients used, and the resulting type of bread are neither here nor there. Cornbread is merely a vehicle defined by the circumstances of capital, and resources made available to any particular community via the good graces of institutional support. People work with what they got, and cornbread can tell you a lot about what a particular culture has.
So what does skater cornbread look like? We are too diffuse of a community to have our collective values and principles captured in a single baked good. However, if there is a cornbread recipe that works for skating right now we think this is it. In a time when skating is so open and accepting of all people a vegan option makes sense because, when done right, vegan recipes can be enjoyed by everyone. So, with that guiding principle in mind there was only one person to call: Clara Cakes. Clara doesn’t skate, but she was definitely part of the skate scene here in Los Angeles before she moved to New York earlier this year. And since all her recipes are great first, and vegan second we know everyone will be good. Clara gave us a pretty righteous cornbread recipe that you can easily whip up, wrap in foil, and take to the session to break bread with all the homies, strangers, and in-betweens.
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8”x8” baking pan or a 9”x5” loaf pan with nonstick oil.
2.) In a medium mixing bowl Whisk together soymilk, coconut milk, and vinegar till foamy.
3.) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, paprika, baking powder, and salt.
4.) Add canola oil to the buttermilk, and whisk until combined.
5.) Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, and add chopped jalapeños. Stir until smooth, but don’t overstir. Transfer mixed batter to baking pan.
6.) In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon sugar,1 tablespoon cornmeal, and Paprika. Toss the sliced jalapenos in mixture.
7.) Layer the coated jalapeno slices over the cornbread batter evenly. Sprinkle the sugar + cornmeal mixture over. Bake for 30- 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool for one hour before serving.